A review of more than 100 discussions out of more than 600 Independent Dialogues taking place globally found 10 common criteria for successful food systems transformation ahead of the Pre-Summit gathering in Rome.

Friday, June 9, 2021, Nairobi – More than 100 Independent Dialogues on transforming food systems worldwide have produced 10 guiding themes to support the outcomes of the UN Food Systems Summit.

Independent Dialogues, convened by any interested group on any topic, are one of three main components of the Summit Dialogues along with government-led Member State Dialogues and thematic Global Dialogues.

More than 10,000 people took part in the independent sessions that submitted feedback to the Summit by the end of May. Among the 10 common themes that emerged in a new synthesis report published today were diversity, equity, transparency, the need to shift perspectives, and the need to adapt solutions to local contexts.

“From discussions on the rights of women, youth and Indigenous Peoples to support for small businesses and smallholders, the results of the Independent Dialogues show that we all share the same goal of a stronger, healthier and more inclusive food system,” said Agnes Kalibata, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the 2021 Food Systems Summit.

“These 10 themes will offer vital guidance as countries begin to develop their national pathways towards transforming food systems and getting back on track to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will secure fundamental human rights for all.”

The 10 guiding themes published in today’s report were:

  1. Transform food systems to be equitable and sustainable
  2. Apply systems thinking
  3. Adapt solutions to diverse local contexts
  4. Shift perspectives and change mind sets
  5. Value diversity and engage inclusively
  6. Ensure equity
  7. Integrate what is already working into innovations
  8. Facilitate conflict resolutions and negotiate trade-offs
  9. Mobilize engaged and accountable actors collaboratively
  10. Be open and transparent

The report also takes a look at the themes coming out of more than 600 registered dialogues, including those yet to take place. Out of those registered, sustainability is the most common theme, followed by youth issues, nutrition, and gender. Other areas receiving attention are the impact of climate change already being referenced under sustainability, the role of livestock, and role of urban food systems.

The latest update from the Independent Dialogues was published two weeks before delegates were due to meet in Rome for the Pre-Summit from July 26-28, ahead of the Summit in September.

Last month, the Summit published 15 action areas surfaced by the five Action Tracks, with more than 50 solution clusters that are now available to Member States in their dialogues as possible solutions to shaping their food system strategies.

The action areas also are expected to help catalyse new coalitions and commitments to support national pathways to food system transformation, many of which will be announced at the UN Food Systems Summit in September in New York.


Contact: Katie Taft, UNFSS Communications Lead:

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About the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit

The UN Food Systems Summit was announced by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, on World Food Day last October as a part of the Decade of Action for delivery on the SDGs by 2030. The aim of the Summit is to deliver progress on all 17 of the SDGs through a food systems approach, leveraging the interconnectedness of food systems to global challenges such as hunger, climate change, poverty and inequality. More information about the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit and list of Advisory Committee and Scientific Group members can be found online: