ITALY – As the world grapples with the critical issue of food insecurity and its implications on public health and the environment, the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS+2) is set to kick off in Rome from 24th to 26th July 2023. 

Convened by the UN Secretary-General and hosted by the Government of Italy, this historic summit seeks to build on the momentum of the 2021 Food Systems Summit and foster international collaboration in achieving sustainable, equitable, healthy, and resilient food systems.

With over 1,100 participants representing 161 countries, including 19 Heads of State, 102 Minister-level delegates, high-level officials, and food system national convenors, the UNFSS+2 promises to be a monumental event. 

The summit’s primary objective is to review the progress made on food systems transformation since the last summit in 2021. 

The advanced, unedited draft of the UNSG’s Report, “Progress on Food Systems Transformation since the UN Food Systems Summit 2021,” is already generating significant interest and will be officially launched during the summit.

According to the report, since 2021, 122 countries adopted national pathways and 155 appointed food systems national convenors, demonstrating their sustained interest and commitment to transforming food systems. 

The preparations towards UNFSS+2 witnessed significant global participation and engagement, with 101 countries submitting voluntary country progress reports. 

These reports provided insights into the progress and efforts being made to transform food systems worldwide. In addition, inputs from the UN System and the Food Systems Ecosystem of Support and the stakeholders have been sought out. 

Unlocking the power of sustainable food systems

As an urgent call to action, the UNFSS+2 will focus on socializing the profound impact of sustainable food systems as critical accelerators of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

 Experts have revealed that well-functioning food systems are not only crucial for feeding the world’s population but also play a pivotal role in fostering global prosperity and preserving the planet for future generations. 

The evidence has shown that sustainable food systems can contribute to better and more equitable outcomes for people, the planet, and prosperity, leaving no one behind.

The World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with UNICEF, FAO, and WFP, will lead the High-level Leadership Dialogue on Food Systems for People’s Nutrition and Health during the summit. 

This dialogue aims to address the pressing issue of malnutrition and its grave consequences on global health. 

By bringing together key stakeholders and decision-makers, this dialogue seeks to devise effective strategies to ensure that sustainable food systems prioritize nutrition and health, especially for vulnerable populations.

A chance to identify successes, enduring bottlenecks

The UNFSS+2 Summit provides a unique platform for countries to share their achievements in transforming their food systems while also identifying the persistent challenges hindering progress. 

Through open discussions, countries can learn from each other’s experiences and forge partnerships to overcome common obstacles. By fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange, the summit aims to create a collective effort in tackling food system challenges on a global scale.

As the world faces growing threats from climate change, population growth, and resource depletion, the urgency to create sustainable food systems has never been greater.

The UNFSS+2 Summit serves as a clarion call for nations to unite and take decisive action in building resilient, equitable, and healthy food systems that can withstand future challenges.

All in all, the UNFSS+2 Summit represents a significant opportunity to address the global food crisis, reshape the way we produce, distribute, and consume food, and ultimately improve the lives of billions while preserving our planet’s future. 

As the international community comes together in Rome, the world will be watching closely to see how this transformative event shapes the future of food systems for generations to come.

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