Decade of action: UN Food Systems Summit for next year

By Foster Obi

As the world food need increases, the UN Secretary-General will next year host a Food Systems Summit with the aim of maximizing the co-benefits of a food systems approach across the entire 2030 Agenda and meet the challenges of climate change.

As a key contribution to the Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals, the objectives of the Food Systems Summit are to generate momentum, expand the knowledge and share experience and approaches worldwide to help countries and stakeholders tap the benefits of food systems for all people. The Summit will seek to inspire global public mobilization and actionable commitments to invest in diverse ways to make food systems inclusive, climate adapted and resilient, and supportive of sustainable peace.

The Summit is expected to yield the following outcomes:  a political declaration outlining principles for sustainably transforming food systems, broadly endorsed on a voluntary basis by all stakeholder groups; a set of significant commitments and partnerships to action with measurable outcomes, to be made voluntarily by different actors;  a policy framework and a diverse set of practical tools to manage trade-offs, to design food systems transformation strategies and to develop multistakeholder platforms or governance models for food systems; and a  voluntary system of follow-up and accountability that would allow for the continuation of sharing experiences and results and incorporate new metrics for impact analysis.

Meanwhile CIGAR said that Dr Kanayo F. Nwanze will represent a unified CGIAR at next year’s United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS), bringing the voice of independent agricultural research and broad-ranging partnerships to the global forum. Dr Nwanze in March accepted his appointment as CGIAR Special Representative to the UN summit, which is slated to be held in late 2021, pending the development of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Pix: Dr Kanayo Nwanze