September 23, 2021, NEW YORK – The UN Secretary-General has called on the world to keep its promises for a better future through food systems that work for people, planet and prosperity at the first UN Food Systems Summit.
In the Chair Summary Statement of Action delivered at the Summit during the UN General Assembly in New York, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on governments and partners to meet the commitments they made to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
The UN Secretary-General’s intervention came as world leaders prepared to announce their commitments to more resilient, inclusive and sustainable food systems after an 18-month process of dialogues and engagement at community, national, regional and global level.
“As the pandemic physically pushed us apart, the preparations for this Summit brought us together,” Guterres said. “Through national dialogues, governments gathered together businesses, communities and civil society to chart pathways for the future of food systems across 148 countries. Over 100,000 people came together to discuss and debate solutions — many of which are now being shared at this Summit.”
Guterres commended the Summit for “injecting new life into multilateralism” and for “leading the way to food systems that can drive the global recovery in three fundamental ways. For people. For the planet. And for prosperity.”
As more than 90 heads of state and government submitted their national strategies and commitments, the Secretary-General called for “the engagement of the people at the centre of our food systems,” and added: “Family farmers, herders, workers, Indigenous Peoples, women, young people. Let’s learn from each other — and be inspired by one another — as we work together to achieve the SDGs.”
The Chair Summary Statement of Action outlines how progress in five key areas at national and regional level would amount to a global shift in making progress on the SDGs, securing fundamental human rights for all.
The five areas, informed by the Summit’s independent Science Group, Action Tracks, and the Summit Dialogues are: (1) Nourish All People; (2) Boost Nature-based Solutions; (3) Advance Equitable Livelihoods, Decent Work & Empowered Communities; (4) Build Resilience to Vulnerabilities, Shocks and Stresses; and (5) Support Means of Implementation.
Countries will be supported in effecting change across their entire food systems by Resident Coordinators (RCs) and UN Country Teams (UNCTs).
At a global level, UN agencies – the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the World Food Programme (WFP) - will jointly lead a UN system-wide coordination hub to continue the work of the Summit. The hub will benefit from structured advice from representatives of priority constituencies and issues, particularly youth, Indigenous Peoples, and women.
The Secretary-General will submit an annual report to the High-Level Political Forum to monitor progress against the UN’s 2030 Agenda. The Secretary-General will also lead a global stock-taking every two years to review progress.
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Notes to editors
The 17-day lead-up to the Summit featured an “SDG Countdown” that spotlighted how food systems played a defining role in every SDG, from zero poverty and zero hunger to gender equality, sustainable consumption and climate action.
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: https://www.un.org/foodsystemssummit