Berlin, Germany

18 January 2014

Secretary-General's message to the Global Forum on Food and Agriculture and Sixth Agriculture Ministers' Summit [delivered by Mr. David Nabarro, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Food Security and Nutrition ]

I am pleased to send greetings to the Global Forum on Food and Agriculture and to the Sixth Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Summit.

It is heartening to see how you are harnessing agriculture’s potential.  Developing this potential can eliminate hunger and malnutrition through food systems which are diverse, productive and sustainable.  I applaud your commitment to ensuring that every man, woman and child enjoys their right to adequate nutritious food. 

This is directly in line with my vision for a world with zero hunger -- a world where every person has year-round access to nutritious foods, where food is not wasted, and where the elimination of childhood malnutrition is achieved through sustainable, climate-smart agriculture that benefits smallholders.

Resilient food systems need to be climate-smart: adapting to changing conditions, minimizing their carbon footprint and enabling the most vulnerable to prosper even with increasingly unpredictable weather.  Food systems should increase income, enhance soil fertility and help to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.   

Achieving these aims requires a broad coalition of groups who share the conviction that hunger can – and must – be eliminated in our lifetime. Governments, farmers, the private sector, civil society and scientists, such as those represented at the Committee on World Food Security, are vital to our success.

Engaging a broad range of stakeholders is particularly important when it comes to addressing the links between climate change and food security.  Many of the world’s 500 million small farms are already struggling to produce enough food on increasingly fragile ecosystems.

Last month I welcomed the proposal made at the Third International Conference on Agriculture and Climate Change to establish an alliance for climate-smart agriculture and food security.  I will look to this new Alliance to encourage the widespread adoption of climate-smart practices and contribute to significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.  I also look forward to the launch of the Alliance at the Climate Summit I will host in New York on 23 September 2014.

I applaud the vital work that you are doing.  I ask you to consider what commitments and actions you can champion at the Summit.  And I wish you every success in the important work that lies ahead.