Five priority areas for action revealed as part of UN Food Systems Summit engagement process

The “action tracks” led by global experts were announced in a briefing for Member States by the UN Deputy Secretary-General to launch the Summit’s inclusive engagement process.


New York City, 4 September – Global efforts to transform food systems will focus on five priority areas, the UN Deputy Secretary-General confirmed today.

In a briefing for Member States on preparations for the UN Food Systems Summit, UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina J. Mohammed, and the UN Special Envoy, Agnes Kalibata, announced the five action tracks that will structure the event, its preparatory processes, and national commitments from public and private sectors.

These include (1) ensuring access to safe and nutritious food for all, (2) shifting to sustainable consumption patterns, (3) boosting nature-positive production at scale, (4) advancing equitable livelihoods and (5) building resilience to vulnerabilities, shocks and stress.

“The need is urgent, and our ambition is high. For this reason, this must not be ‘just another conference’.  We must act together,” Mohammed told Member States.

“The Food Systems Summit should be thought of as both a ‘people’s summit’ and a ‘solutions summit’, recognizing that food systems touch all of society, and all stakeholders. Every government, organization and individual needs to do more.”

Each action track will be jointly led by experts both inside and outside of the UN system to help gather evidence and advance solutions to make food systems more resilient and inclusive, culminating in the UN Food Systems Summit in 2021.

“Food is a complex problem but it is also a simple personal choice, and it is those choices that impact our conversation here and at a local level,” Kalibata said.

“We are looking to get all ideas on the table and to ensure action is owned and driven by different actors. We recognize that everyone is part of food systems and must join in creating the change we need. We must get back on track, there is no other option.”

Each track is designed to address synergies as well as possible trade-offs with other tracks, and to identify bold new actions, innovative solutions, and strategies that can deliver wide-reaching benefits across all of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In her opening remarks, Special Envoy Kalibata said the action tracks would draw on the expertise of actors from across the world’s food systems. They would also explore how key levers of change such as governance, finance, data, culture, and innovation can cut across all areas, including a strong focus on the empowerment of women and young people. She emphasized that young people must be at the heart of the engagement, given that they will be “sitting with the decisions we make today.”

The UN Food Systems Summit was announced by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, on World Food Day last October as a part of the Decade of Action for delivery on the SDGs by 2030.

The aim of the Summit is to deliver progress on all 17 of the SDGs through a food systems approach, leveraging the interconnectedness of food systems to global challenges such as hunger, climate change, poverty and inequality.

The Summit will also be guided by an Advisory Committee representing every region and an independent Scientific Group, which met virtually for the first time in July.

Member States will have until the end of September to express their interest in engaging around the five action tracks before work gets fully under way towards the Summit. The initial leaders of the action tracks will ensure representation from across society including farmers, scientists, and youth leaders, as well as representatives from the private sector, government and civil society.

More information about the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit and list of Advisory Committee and Scientific Group members can be found online:

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