The UN Food Systems Summit+2 Stocktaking Moment (UNFSS+2) kicked off on Monday July 24th at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) headquarters in Rome with a high-level opening ceremony attended by over 20 heads of State and Government, and a strong call for accelerating action to transform global agri-food systems. The three-day high-level event is convened by the United Nations Secretariat and hosted by Italy, in collaboration with the Rome-based UN Agencies (FAO, IFAD, WFP), with the objective of taking stock of the progress achieved since the first UN Food Systems Summit in 2021. The opening ceremony was led by the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, and the Prime Minister of Italy, Giorgia Meloni. The summit takes place in Rome from 24 – 26 July 2023.
At his speech António Guterres – UN Secretary-General emphasizes: “Global food systems are broken, and billions of people are paying the price. More than 780 million people are going hungry while nearly one-third of all food produced is lost or wasted. More than three billion cannot afford healthy diets.” He also urged the Russian Federation to return to the implementation of the Black Sea Initiative.”
Why? Because both The Russian Federation and Ukraine are both essential to global food security. They have historically accounted for roughly 30 per cent of global wheat and barley exports, a fifth of all maize, and more than half of all sunflower oil. The Secretary-General said that he remains committed to facilitate the unimpeded access to global markets for food products and fertilizers from both Ukraine and the Russian Federation, and to deliver the food security that every person deserves. He then calls on the Russian Federation to return to the implementation of the Black Sea Initiative to be in line with his latest proposal.
Therefore, the UN chief urges the global community to stand united for effective solutions in this essential effort.” He also called for a massive investment in sustainable, equitable, healthy and resilient food systems; for government and businesses to work together to build systems that put people over profit, and to explore new ways to lower the cost and increase the availability of healthy food for all, and to reduce food systems carbon footprint to help end the senseless war on our planet and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Finally, Mr. António Guterres called on all parties to keep holding each other to account and learning from one another. “Let’s transform food systems for the future, and ensure that every person, in every community and country, has access to the safe and nutritious food they need and deserve. Let’s not forget, for that developing countries to be able achieve these goals. It is essential to massively scale up debt relief and guarantee long-term investments for those countries to be able to overcome the asphyxia there are currently facing.”
Referring to the last UN world debt report in-which debt situation has impacted to 3.3. billion people mainly in the sectors of education and health. Now looking at the impact of extreme weather events and the economic inflation recently; these two factors have impacted and pushed the food prices up in most countries which may deteriorate the situation worse. This summit is expected to deliver concrete solutions on food availability for all.