About the Pre-Summit
The Pre-Summit of the UN Food Systems Summit will set the stage for the culminating global event in September by bringing together diverse actors from around the world to leverage the power of food systems to deliver progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Hosted by the Government of Italy, the Pre-Summit will take place in Rome from 26–28 July 2021. The event, which is open to all who would like to participate, will take a hybrid format, with an in-person component complemented by a vast virtual programme and platform. Through the Pre-Summit, the UN Food Systems Summit will reaffirm its commitment to promote human rights for all and ensure the most marginalised groups have an opportunity to participate in, contribute to and benefit from the Summit process.
Under the leadership of the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the Pre-Summit is a “People’s Summit” that will bring together youth, farmers, indigenous peoples, civil society, researchers, private sector, policy leaders and ministers of agriculture, environment, health, nutrition and finance, among other participants. The event aims to deliver the latest evidence-based and scientific approaches to food systems transformation from around the world, launch a set of new commitments through coalitions of action and mobilize new financing and partnerships. All of this will be achieved by fostering diverse engagement from all quarters to uncover the broadest range of solutions and have maximum impact, together.
Since last year, the Summit has hosted regular online meetings, public forums and surveys organized around the Summit’s five action tracks to ensure the broadest possible range of perspectives and ideas to develop food systems that cater to all. The Summit will consolidate all that it has heard and Member States and actors around the world will begin to focus on how to operationalize the best ideas and commitments, to be announced in June, to close gaps and raise ambition towards achieving the SDGs by 2030. The Pre-Summit will take stock of the progress made through that process, laying the groundwork for an ambitious and productive UN Food Systems Summit, which will take place in September alongside the UN General Assembly in New York.
Vision of Success
Within its broader goal of accelerating food systems transformation, the Pre-Summit aims to:
- Bring together the best ideas from all of the Summit’s structures while also identifying priorities and distilling a common vision that will lie at the heart of the UN Secretary-General’s statement of action at the Summit.
- Serve as a pledging moment for governments, businesses, civil society and other players to announce new commitments to support food systems transformation and advance game-changing solutions through multi-stakeholder collaboration.
- Provide Heads of State and other public and private leaders an opportunity to feature and advance their commitments to action, set a tone of leadership and bold ambition, and inspire the engagement of many others ahead of the Summit.
- Promote a global discourse and narrative that puts food systems at the centre of global efforts to achieve the SDGs, with vast virtual engagement and a coordinated advocacy and communications campaign in all regions of the world. This discourse will highlight the importance of food systems for progress on climate, development finance, health, human rights and other global priorities.
- Foster a sense of community by bringing together countries, stakeholders, and constituencies in all parts of food systems from all parts of the world.
- Mobilize public and private investments to drive food systems transformation and prioritize game-changing solutions.
Originally announced on 16 October 2019 by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the UN Food Systems Summit, including a Pre-Summit, was conceived following conversations with the joint leadership of the three Rome-based United Nations agencies – the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme – at the High-level Political Forum in July 2019. Ahead of the UN Food Systems Summit, which will take place in September 2021 in New York, the Government of Italy is hosting a Pre-Summit in Rome from 26–28 July 2021. The event will consolidate the progress that has been achieved through the Summit’s wide-ranging process of diverse public engagement, consultations and data gathering that began in 2020, setting the stage for an ambitious and productive Summit in September.
The event will bring together youth, farmers, indigenous peoples, civil society, researchers, the private sector, policy leaders and ministers of agriculture, environment, health, nutrition and finance, among other players. The three-day gathering aims to deliver the latest evidence-based and scientific approaches from around the world, launch a set of new commitments through coalitions of action and mobilize new financing and partnerships.
Hosted by the Government of Italy, the Pre-Summit will be held from Rome, Italy from 26–28 July 2021. It will take place in a hybrid format, with an in-person component complemented by a vast virtual programme and platform enabling the participation of all who would like to participate from all parts of the world.
The UN Food Systems Summit is a People’s Summit, and the Pre-Summit is no different. All interested parties are invited and encouraged to follow and engage in the event’s activities virtually. A fixed and very limited number of delegates will attend in-person events at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) headquarters in Rome.
The Pre-Summit will take place in a “hybrid” virtual format over three days, during which many people will participate in person in Rome, while others from around the world will be engaged on a vast virtual platform.
The nature of the in-person component of the Pre-Summit will be determined by COVID-19 protocols over time and what is deemed safe and possible. In this regard, discussions are currently underway between the UN and Italian health professionals to develop scenarios for the Pre-Summit moment to be ready for whatever COVID-19 protocols allow in the coming months. This discussion and the eventual approach and protocols will draw on the latest thinking and scientific information available from the UN and Italy.
However, all interested parties are invited and encouraged to follow and engage in the event’s activities virtually. Those participating virtually will be just as included in all programmatic sessions and elements of the Pre-Summit as those participating in person.
Originally announced on 16 October 2019 by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the UN Food Systems Summit, including a Pre-Summit, was conceived following conversations with the joint leadership of the three Rome-based United Nations agencies – the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme – at the High-level Political Forum in July 2019.
While the physical components of the Pre-Summit are currently planned to take place entirely within FAO on behalf of the entire UN system, all UN agencies are engaged through the UN Task Force led by UNEP.
Everyone is invited to participate in the Pre-Summit, and there will be many opportunities to follow and support the activities virtually. The forthcoming registration platform will provide the latest information. In the meantime, you can help to support food systems change and amplify the voice of your own community by hosting an Independent Dialogue and signing up to join the Summit Community.
All constituency groups, including the private sector, civil society, producer organizations, indigenous peoples, and youth organizations will have a specific opportunity to set out their commitments and actions for the Pre-Summit and Summit proper. All doors are open for anyone to contribute through Action Tracks public forums, Food Systems Summit Dialogues, and the Community platform. No group is singularly responsible for defining Summit outcomes and, while private sector engagement is important to create a momentum of change, there is no agribusiness leading any work.
As in-person attendance will be extremely limited, interested parties are encouraged to engage in the event’s activities virtually.
As the Pre-Summit is an opportunity to bring the community together around all of the substance emerging from the Summit process, the programme will not include any official “side events” that might pull stakeholders away from the Pre-Summit. Rather, it will incorporate ideas and leadership from all constituencies into a set of scheduled “parallel sessions” that will complement plenary sessions.
Delegates are invited to register at the delegates’ platform, which should be functional in May.
No. Interested parties are warmly invited to participate virtually from all over the world.
Media briefings will be held on each of the three days of the Pre-Summit. Press officers will also be on the ground to assist with access to video and photographs and to set up interviews, both in-person and virtual. Relevant documents, fact sheets and multimedia materials are available through the pressroom website. The accreditation process will open in May; details can also be found in the pressroom.