Excellencies, dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, good morning in New York and good afternoon in Rome and Geneva.
Thank you for accepting our invitation to convene for a joint briefing on the upcoming UN Systems Summit+2: the Stocktaking Moment.
Allow me to thank the Deputy Secretary General, Amina Mohammed, for her leadership and key engagement throughout the road towards the Summit in Rome and for her availability to brief the UN membership today.
On the occasion of the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit, in his Chair Summary and Statement of Action, the Secretary-General committed to convene a “global stocktaking meeting every two years to review progress in implementing the outcomes of this process and its contributions to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda”. You will recall that at the Summit and its Rome Pre-Summit, global momentum towards food systems transformation was raised by all Governments and stakeholders with hundreds of national and independent commitments, the establishment of National Pathways for Food Systems Transformations, the Action Coalitions and the 5 Action Tracks.
Two years have already passed since then and, despite that momentum and the commitment to build forward better from the COVID-19 pandemic, the global situation has worsened due to global factors, in particular increased conflicts and their global and localized effects, causing widespread food crises, and the deterioration of territories due to the climate crisis.
The latest SG Report on the SDGs sounded the alarm:
- nearly 1 person every 3 in the world (2.3 billion people) was moderately or severely food insecure in 2021 (an increase of 350 million people since the beginning of the pandemic);
- the number of people facing hunger and food insecurity rose to 768 million in 2021, with projections showing that by 2030 approximately 670 million would still be facing hunger;
- 148 million children under age 5 were affected by stunting last year and we need to double the rate of reduction of in children stunting if we are too meet SDG 2.2. target.
Food crises are ongoing as we speak, from severe famine in the Horn Africa to unprecedented food inflation, with risks of going from a crisis of accessibility to a crisis of availability in the near future, unless systematic and key actions are taken to ensure the resilience of supply chains, the stability of prices, access to finance, the localization of production and the sustainability of food systems. At the same time, we should recall that waging wars is also a direct cause of famine and food insecurity and we are witnessing how widespread the effects could be in today’s interconnected world.
We must increase the intensity of our actions.
It is against this background and with a sense of urgency and action that the Italian Government has decided once again to maximize the leadership and covening power of Rome as the global food security hub and to partner with the UN to convene the Summit+2, with the aim to accelerate actions on implementation through this Stocktaking process.
Last February, on behalf of the Secretary General, the Deputy-Secretary General and the Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister jointly announced the convening of the Summit to take stock and relaunch global action. The Summit, is convened by the UN Secretary General, hosted by the Government of Italy and organized in collaboration with the United Nations Secretariat, the UN Rome-based Agencies (FAO, IFAD, WFP), the UN Food Systems Summit Coordination Hub and the wider United Nations System.
Allow me to thank the Secretary General for having once again entrusted Italy in this endeavor and assure that the Italian Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister and the whole of the Italian Government are fully committed to a successful Summit as well as the Italian Stakeholders – private sector, civil society, academia, rural women and youth – ready to engage and provide contributions and solutions. I am also honoured to announce that Italy is continuing its financial support to the UN Food Systems Summit Coordination Hub and for this Summit, and we call on other Member States to also contribute and provide support to ensure the implementation of the Summit’s commitments.
Italy is working intensively with the UN leadership to ensure an impactful Summit based on highlighting results, accelerating actions and policy-guidance, partnerships and inclusivity, in line with the Stocktaking process. We look forward to receiving in Rome high level delegations for an acceleration Summit. The Deputy Secretary General will provide in her presentation the information and updates on all the relevant aspects of the process.
The Food Systems Summit+2 comes at a crucial time, just 53 days before the SDG Summit and it constitutes a key contribution to that Summit, as without food security and nutrition for all and the achievement of the promise of Zero Hunger, we cannot achieve the 2030 Agenda. You can certainly count on Italy, line with our role of Host of the RBAs and Chair of the Group of Friends of Food Security and Nutrition here in New York, to bring that action from Rome to New York, and we count on many other Member States’ support.
Now, I am honoured to give the floor to the Deputy Secretary-General for her briefing and presentation, after which we will open the floor for the interaction with Member States.
Madame Deputy Secretary-General, the floor is yours.