Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video message to the eighth Global Forum for Food and Agriculture, in Berlin today:
Your Excellency Christian Schmidt, Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture of Germany,
Your Excellency Phil Hogan, EU [European Union] Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am pleased to share my best wishes to all those gathered for the eighth Global Forum for Food and Agriculture.
Thank you for focusing on the challenge of feeding our cities. And thank you for doing so as we begin the journey to realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, approved by world leaders in September 2015.
By the middle of this century, three out of every four people will be living in urban areas.
Ensuring that everyone in expanding urban areas has access to nutritious food is critical to achieving the goal of Zero Hunger set out in the 2030 Agenda.
Health-focused and resilient food systems should also nourish the environment, promote social justice and women’s empowerment, and advance local development.
We must also better understand the challenges and opportunities of growing urbanization for agriculture and rural areas around the world.
At the same time, we must boost our efforts to prevent food losses and waste.
I know you are discussing all these issues and more at this Forum — and I wish you rich and productive deliberations.
Thank you for your leadership.