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New York. Photo by Colton Duke on Unsplash

food | water

NYC hosts Food Systems Summit

Today’s historic UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) in New York marks the launch of a ‘global movement on food system transformation’.

After 18-months of global dialogues, world leaders and decision makers have arrived to announce action plans for fixing broken food systems that are responsible for 80% of biodiversity loss, and a third of global greenhouse gas emissions. These strategies will all acknowledge ‘innovation as a key enabler of food system transformation’ and innovation is one of the four levers of change, along with human rights, finance, and gender equality and women’s empowerment, that the summit has identified as key to delivering change.

“Science says we can come close to ending hunger by 2030 by investing 40 to 50 billion US dollars a year.” 

Professor Joachim Von Braun, chair, UNFSS scientific group

“We need to leverage the power of food systems because building trust in the food system can benefit all of us. They have an unbelievable ability to unite us and 155 member states will today commit to acting through national pathways, which they will pursue for the next 10 years,” Agnes Kalibata, the UN secretary-general’s UNFSS special envoy, said in her opening remarks this morning. “This summit aims to change the trajectory of global progress, uniting everyone in a shared commitment to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals and the fundamental human rights at their core.”

Around 600 member state dialogues, involving more than 45,000 people, have fed into the 80 national pathways that have already been submitted, with more expected throughout this week.

Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was the first world leader to speak at the summit, making national commitments which included a 40% increase in the development of climate resilient fruits, and biofortified crops by 2030, and the introduction of food-based dietary guidelines by 2022.

A raft of further commitments – including the development of an agriculture innovation mission for climate, zero food waste strategies, and the provision of school meals for every child – will be made today. With Professor Joachim Von Braun, chair, UNFSS scientific group, saying in opening remarks that creating an intergovernmental panel for food would make sense.

“Food connects people to each other and the planet, if we get it right the Sustainable Development Goals can be achieved,” said Dr David Nabarro, senior adviser on Food Systems Summit dialogues. “Ambitions for food systems will grow, the dialogues will continue: exploring inequity, differential power, and the challenges of reducing emissions. We will increase engagement with smallholder farmers, women, Indigenous Peoples, scientists from multiple disciplines, and more. Because we are all on notice, the kids are saying please sort out food systems quickly, for us and our planet.”

We will have more updates on today’s big announcements but for now you can watch the summit live for all the latest.

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Written By

Susan is the co-founder of Innovators Magazine and a consultant for OnePoint5 Media. Susan is also a member of the UNFCCC-led Resilience Frontiers Nexus group and co-chair of the APOPO Foundation UK board.

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