22 September 2021

In Message to ‘Food Is the Future’ Youth Event, Deputy Secretary-General Lauds Young People’s Leadership, Efforts for Equitable, Sustainable, Healthy Systems

Following is the text of UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s video message to the “Food is the Future” side event of Youth and Action Tracks ahead of the United Nations Food System Summit, held today:

Thank you to the Food Systems Summit Youth Constituency and Chairs of the Action Tracks for organizing this important event.  We have a unique opportunity to shape the future of our food systems.  When the Secretary-General called for the Food Systems Summit nearly two years ago, our motivation was to change gears and really accelerate action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals] are — above all — about transforming our present to create a better future.  And the future belongs to the young.  That is why we have been so committed to ensure that young people have a leadership role throughout the entire process.

Today, we are reaping the rewards.  Together, we have facilitated an inclusive process and leveraged the power of our collective ideas.  We have brought new actors to the table — and put their concerns and ideas on the table. Our new approach to multi-stakeholder leadership engaged over 100,000 people across the world to think through what sustainable food systems should look like in their own unique context.

The integration of youth in the leadership of the Summit’s Actions Tracks, Champions Network and independent dialogues is a great example of co-leadership and a model for future global processes.  I have been inspired by young people bringing their perspectives and solutions on how we can shape a better food future for all.

And I was pleased to learn that the Youth Declaration at the pre-Summit recognized the right of everyone, everywhere to a healthy diet — a cornerstone of our collective effort to realize the SDGs.

Young people are not waiting to take action and make a difference.  They are stepping up and speaking up for equitable, sustainable, healthy and resilient food systems.  Ahead of tomorrow’s United Nations Food Systems Summit, we count on everyone to keep up the momentum.  Together, we can transform food systems and create the world we want and need.  Thank you.

For information media. Not an official record.