The Food Systems Summit held on September 23 climaxed the long-standing debate on food systems transformation. The wide-ranging and inclusive process leading to the Summit and the discussions were clear: transforming food systems was the best response to addressing food insecurity, food affordability, and food accessibility.
The 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly High-Level week was held over the period September 21 – 27, 2021 at United Nations Headquarters in New York. Following the maiden virtual High-Level week, held in 2020 due to the COVID19 pandemic, this 76th session saw a return to in-person diplomacy, albeit on a much smaller scale. While the General Assembly opened up for Member States delegations at reduced numbers, some Member States opted to have video messages sent to the General Debate and a number of additional meetings were held virtually or in a hybrid format.
It will be an honour to moderate a roundtable on nutrition during the World Food Prize. So, it couldn’t be more fitting to see a client collaborate with a past winner.
In arid regions in Africa, smallholder sweet potato farmers often struggle to store planting material for the next season. In response to this challenge, researchers of the International Potato Centre (CIP) developed the Triple S technique. Adopting this technique helped farmers have vines available to plant in the rainy season and led to increased yields. In order to propagate this information, Scientific Animation Without Borders partnered with CIP Principal Scientist and 2016 World Food Prize winner Dr Jan Low to animate this technique.
On 16 October the world will celebrate the 40th Annual World Food Day. This is a day meant to raise awareness to the growing number of hungry around the world, as well as celebrate the transformation of agri-food systems and positive steps to achieving SDG2, Zero Hunger. With more than 150 nations celebrating each year, World Food Day is one of the most popular UN holidays.
The global authority on the status of the natural world, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), hosted the World Conservation Congress from September 3-11 in Marseille (France) to assess the state of the world’s natural resources and to discuss strategies and policies to promote nature conservation.
According to the IPBES Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, the sixth mass extinction is accelerating, with more than one million species of animals and plants at risk of disappearing. Thousands of initiatives have been established globally to preserve many endangered species but more needs to be done to avoid a global disaster.
The evening of Friday, 10th September 2021 marked the culmination of an exciting week of intense conversations about creating resilient and sustainable food systems in Africa. With over 8300 participants including 150 in-person delegates in Nairobi and 4500 participants in the Deal Room, it was clear that building resilient food systems in Africa is a matter of urgency.
On July 6, the World Trade Organization Secretariat in collaboration with the United Nations Food Systems Summit organised a Global Summit Dialogue on Trade. During this event, WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala highlighted the vital role trade plays in food security.
In light of this, on July 26th at the United Nations Pre-Summit, the Government of Brazil and The International Agri-Food Network organised an Affiliated Session with the support of private sector members such as the International Chamber of Commerce and the International Grain Trade Coalition.
From September 6 – 10, actors in the agricultural sector will gather to dialogue on how to change the status quo for Africa at the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) 2021 Summit. All around the world, global leaders, researchers, heads of state, and several other stakeholders have noted with great concern the importance of food systems. This year also marks a period of recovery for the world after extensive lockdowns, high numbers in COVID-related deaths, and economic regression. In reflection of these key pathways, the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) has selected the theme “Pathways to recovery and resilient food systems”. Just like previous years, sessions and dialogues will be based on ten thematic areas including agri-investment & SME finance, youth employment in agriculture, and ag-tech & digitalization.
In October 2019, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced formally the holding of a Food Systems Summit (FSS) and a Pre-Summit by the United Nations. It was prescient as hunger continues to rise and global food stocks have been suffering from uneven supplies. Heading toward the Summit and beyond, there is much reason to be concerned that food prices will continue to rise and poverty is becoming more entrenched. These will exacerbate global inequities and insecurities. All countries are feeling the effects in some way, and the most vulnerable that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out to protect are more at risk.
Every September the world looks towards New York City where the annual High-Level General Debate at the United Nations is held, with optimism and hope that this global body can solve the many challenges humanity faces.
This year, once again, we look to the United Nations in September, with not just hope, but also with ambition; an ambition that is bold, an ambition inspired by the realization that the way we produce and consume food is unsustainable, and unless we act, and act now, we are certain to doom future generations to increased hunger and want. This is an ambition to create immediate change, that is transformative, resulting in a renewed food system that is equitable, sustainable, resilient, respects human rights, and ensures that everyone in the food and agriculture value chain will have a decent job with a dignified living income or wage. We nurture an ambition for a system where producers will receive their fair share and will no longer be among the world’s poorest people, and, where no one, anywhere in the world is left hungry.