Global Panel at the UN Food Systems Summit +2 Stocktaking Moment
The Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition participated in the UN Food Systems Summit +2 (UNFSS+2) Stocktaking Moment in Rome, from 24 to 26 July 2023, which followed on from the UNFSS in September 2021. The 2021 Summit focussed global attention on the need to transform food systems to ensure they contribute positively to people’s nutrition and health, while protecting the planet. After the summit, 119 countries submitted national pathways to define their commitment to and strategy on food system transformation. The UNFSS+2 brought together over 5,000 participants from governments, civil society, the private sector and other stakeholders to review progress on the national commitments made after the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit. The event also aimed to identify new opportunities for collaboration and action to transform food systems and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Global Panel echoes António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations statement on the need to accelerate action to ensure that every person has access to the safe and nutritious food they need and deserve and welcomed the announcement from Mariam Almheiri (UAE Minister for Climate Change and the Environment) to add the food and agriculture agenda to the forthcoming COP28 meeting in Dubai.
On 25 July the Global Panel organised a side event ‘National pathways: spotlight on nutrition, gender and food systems policy actions’ in collaboration with the Coalition of Action on Healthy diets from Sustainable Food Systems for Children and all, and CARE to present analysis from each organisation on different aspects of the UNFSS national commitments through the lenses of nutrition, gender and food system actions. The Global Panel analysis focussed on how actionable, measurable, and specific the national commitments were and the extent to which they integrated environment, sustainability, diet quality and policy actions. Dr Francesco Branca WHO Nutrition presented the analysis on nutrition, concluding that national pathways offer a springboard for action that could be greatly enriched by more systematic inclusion of nutrition actions to strengthen the transformative potential of food systems for health. The CARE analysis presented by Queen Katembu reported that 54% of the national pathways referenced nutrition in the context of gender – demonstrating gender and nutrition linkages are widely recognised. While Professor Sandy Thomas, Global Panel shared analysis which demonstrated that countries need more support in identifying actions to improve affordability of food and diet quality. Sharing experiences from Ireland, Zambia and Chile, Tom Arnold, Mathews Mhuru and Amanda Baker respectively, reflected on how they had integrated nutrition and gender policy actions while taking a systemic approach, into national pathways to ensure they will deliver equitable, healthy sustainable diets for all. The side event was attended by participants from over 60 countries worldwide.
Prof Patrick Webb, Technical Advisor to the Panel delivered a keynote speech in the leadership dialogue on Food Systems for People’s Nutrition and Health to reinforce the evidence that sustainable food systems contribute to better and more sustainable outcomes for people, planet and prosperity. He made the following key points; Food system transformation is needed to improve people’s health, nutrition, jobs, and incomes; transformation will require tradeoffs and costs, but the benefits are potentially huge; and people-centric transition steps focused on universal access to healthy diets with 100% good nutrition as a goal should be a top-level political priority of NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions).