Opening remarks delivered by Ambassador Mariangela Zappia, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, at the UN meeting “Group of Friends on Food Security and Nutrition” —
Good morning all. Excellencies, Dear colleagues,
I wish to welcome you all to this meeting today of the Group of Friends of Food Security and Nutrition. This is the fourth meeting of our Group during 2020 and the third that we have decided to open to the participation of the entire membership.
The COVID-19 crisis has indeed dramatically highlighted the centrality and relevance of food security and nutrition on a global scale, And for this reason, together with the UN Secretariat and FAO, we have decided to broaden today’s discussion to all the members since we firmly believe in working together, in a coordinated, inclusive and transparent manner, as the only way to tackle the unprecedented challenges of our time.
I of course welcome you all but most specifically our briefers, the Deputy Director General of FAO, Ms. Beth Bechdol, who will provide us with an overview of the “Food Coalition” initiative, recently presented in Rome by FAO; the Special Envoy for the 2021 Food Systems Summit, Ms. Agnes Kalibata, who will give us an update on the preparatory process of the Food Systems Summit; and Mr. David Nabarro, who will go in depth on the FSS Dialogue initiative launched by the Secretariat.
We will provide an update on some of the most relevant activities related to SDG2, in the run up to the Food Systems Summit in 2021.
I am also happy to announce today the recent inclusion of Switzerland, Morocco, Cote d’Ivoire and Guatemala in our group of friends. A warm welcome to these new members.
In today’s meeting we will present here in New York the Food Coalition, an innovative initiative conceived by FAO based on an Italian proposal. The Food Coalition initiative has already garnered support from a cross regional set of actors and some of the main players in the field of food security and nutrition and represents a tangible example of the capacity of the multilateral system to provide concrete and coordinated responses to the COVID-19 crisis. We look forward to the participation of the entire UN membership in its implementation.
We thought that an effective way to present what is at the core of the Italian idea is not for me to explain but to leave my Prime Minister doing it and so you will see in a minute a recorded message of the Italian Prime Minister at the launch event of the Food Coalition in Rome.