New York

24 February 2022

Secretary-General's message for the closing of the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are the foundation of a healthy and diversified diet. Rich in nutrients, they strengthen our immune system and fortify it against disease.

Yet three billion people across the world cannot afford a healthy diet. Two billion are overweight or obese.

By declaring 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables, the United Nations brought attention to their critical contribution to human and environmental health.

The UN Food Systems Summit rallied stakeholders around transformative changes to make food systems more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable.

COP 26 in Glasgow and the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit highlighted the linkage between food systems, the environment, and health, and emphasized the urgent need for a more holistic approach to production and consumption.

We all have a role to play in safeguarding our planet, reducing loss and waste, and ensuring that nutritious food – including fruits and vegetables – reaches the most vulnerable, leaving no one behind.

Let us leverage the momentum and awareness generated by the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables to intensify our efforts for a world where a healthy diet is available and affordable for everyone, everywhere.