29 June 2020

Secretary-General Establishes Advisory Committee, Scientific Group for 2021 Food Systems Summit

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, in collaboration with the United Nations Rome-based Agencies, will convene the Food Systems Summit in 2021, as a critical contribution to the Decade of Action to deliver the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Summit will raise global awareness to understand the food systems challenges we must solve, build a global conversation on the way in which we produce, process and consume food, and galvanize global actions and commitments to change our food systems to provide safe, nutritious food for all within our planetary boundaries.  As noted by the Secretary-General in the recent Policy Brief on the Impact of COVID-19 on food security and nutrition, investment both during and after the COVID-19 crisis can accelerate movement towards food systems that are more inclusive and resilient to future pandemics and that offer better protections for all.

To create a truly catalytic moment, the inclusive Summit process led by the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy, Agnes Kalibata, will be informed by all‑of‑society conversations to extract the best evidence, ideas, initiatives and alliances from around the world.  It also builds on the many existing global events, agreements, collaborations and platforms, such as the Committee on World Food Security that are already supporting the transformation of our food systems.

To facilitate this process and its success, the United Nations Secretary‑General is forming a number of support structures.  A multi-stakeholder Advisory Committee will provide strategic guidance and feedback on the Summit’s overall development and implementation.  The following support mechanisms will feed into the Advisory Committee with each led by a member of the Advisory group:

  • An independent Scientific Group will bring to bear the foremost scientific evidence and help expand the base of shared knowledge about experiences, approaches and tools for driving sustainable food systems;
  • A system-wide United Nations Task Force will ensure that the Summit can build on the knowledge and unique capabilities of the entire United Nations system to deliver on this agenda beyond the Summit;
  • An open Champions Network will serve to mobilize a large and diverse group of stakeholders from the full range of constituencies that make up the food system, and drawn from all regions of the world, to champion food systems transformation by the time of the Summit moment and continue beyond.

“Today, I am pleased to announce the official establishment of these structures,” he said.  The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General will chair the Advisory Committee.  It will comprise Member State representatives, as well as senior officials of relevant United Nations agencies, other international organizations and individual experts across different sectors, including farmers, indigenous peoples, civil society, researchers, academics, young people and business leaders.  There is strong gender parity among the expert members and representation from all regions of the world.

The Scientific Group will be Chaired by Joachim von Braun and the United Nations Task Force will be Chaired by the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Inger Andersen.  More information on the constitution of the Champions Network will be shared in the coming weeks.

It is anticipated that the Advisory Committee will convene its first meeting in July and it will meet quarterly leading up to the Summit.

Advisory Committee Members

  • Qu Dongyu, Director-General, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization;
  • Gilbert Houngbo, President, International Fund for Agricultural Development;
  • David Beasley, Executive Director, World Food Programme (WFP);
  • Peter Bakker, President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Netherlands;
  • Gerda Verburg, Coordinator, Scaling Up Nutrition Movement, Netherlands;
  • Shamshad Akhtar, former United Nations Under-Secretary General, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Pakistan;
  • Esther Penunia, Secretary‑General, Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development, Philippines;
  • Elizabeth Nsimadala, President, Pan-African Farmers Organization, Uganda;
  • Joachim von Braun, University of Bonn, Germany;
  • Inger Andersen, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme;
  • David Nabarro, Strategic Director, 4SD, United Kingdom;
  • Myrna Cunningham Kain, President, Fund for Development of Indigenous Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean, Nicaragua;
  • Christine Gould, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Thought for Food, United States;
  • Chavannes Casseus, Coordinator of MP3K, Haiti;
  • Argentina;
  • Antigua and Barbuda;
  • China;
  • Fiji;
  • France;
  • Hungary;
  • Italy;
  • Liberia;
  • Morocco;
  • Russian Federation;
  • United Arab Emirates;
  • United States.

Scientific Group Members

  • Joachim von Braun, Bonn University, ZEF, Germany (Chair);
  • Kaosar Afsana, BRAC University, Bangladesh (Vice‑Chair);
  • Louise Fresco, Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands (Vice‑Chair);
  • Mohamed Hassan, The World Academy of Sciences, Sudan (Vice Chair);
  • Mario Herrero Acosta, CSIRO, Costa Rica;
  • Ousmane Badiane, Akademiya2063, Senegal;
  • Patrick Caron, University of Montpellier, France;
  • Martin Cole, CSIRO and Committee on World Food Security, High‑Level Panel of Experts, Australia;
  • Ismahane Elouafi, International Center for Biosaline Agriculture, Morocco;
  • Frank Ewert, Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research, Germany;
  • Lisa Sennerby Forsse, Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry, Sweden;
  • Sheryl Hendricks, University of Pretoria, South Africa;
  • Thomas Hertel, Purdue University, United States;
  • Elizabeth Hodson de Jaramillo, Pontifica Universidad Javeriana, Colombia;
  • Jikun Huang, Peking University, China;
  • Marta Hugas, European Food Safety Authority, Spain;
  • Andrew Kambugu, Makerere University, Infectious Disease Institute, Uganda;
  • Kaoru Kitajima, Kyoto University, Japan;
  • Rattan Lal, Ohio State University, India;
  • Hoesung Lee, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, South Korea;
  • Uma Lele, International Association of Agricultural Economists, India;
  • Urs Niggli,, Switzerland;
  • Lynnette Neufeld, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition and International Union of Nutrition Scientists, Canada;
  • Claudia Sadoff, International Water Management Institute, CGIAR, United States;
  • Jean-Francois Soussana, Institute National de la Recherche Agronomique, France;
  • Morakot Tanticharoen, National Science and Technology Development Agency of Thailand, Thailand;
  • Aman Wirakartakusumah, Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia;
  • David Zilbermann, University of California Berkeley, Israel;
  • Maximo Torero, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (ex-officio).
For information media. Not an official record.