Ahead of UN Food Systems Summit, Agency Approves Resolution to Enrich Talks

The United Nations Commission on Population and Development (CPD) approved a resolution likely to enrich and intensify discussions at the upcoming UN Food Systems Summit.

This is a clear sign that food security and nutrition are increasingly seen as key vectors for sustainable development.

The agreement, as well as the UN Secretary-General’s report to the Commission to which FAO made substantial contributions, span a vast array of themes – from the need to make healthy diets affordable to all and the importance of assuring income opportunities for all even as capital-intensive industry transformations may reduce the need for existing types of jobs and labor, to stopping illicit cross-border financial flows and the need for governance and ownership of big-data to make sure its benefits are available to all, including smallholders and marginalized people.

The breadth of topics illustrates just how complex a task the shift to sustainable agri-food systems will be.

“Agri-food systems lie at the heart of sustainable development,” QU Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO) told commission delegates through a video-message.

Even before the world population has reached an expected 10 billion in 2050, “food systems are already exceeding planetary boundaries for key resources,” he said, pointing to other problems including unbalanced dietary patterns that are leading to both chronic and infectious diseases and the scale of inequalities that make access to affordable healthy diets a challenge.

Qu called on the international community “to focus on actions that favor responsible consumption and production patterns to ease pressure on ecosystems, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change” as well as to “apply policies that create income-earning opportunities, build human capacity and provide revenue supplements where needed.
FAO’s technical experts provided a large share of the inputs to the resolution and the UN Secretary-General’s Report on Population, food security, nutrition and sustainable development.

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