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Food Systems Pre-Summit: Draghi calls for “ambitious” plan to achieve ZeroHunger

ROME, JULY 26 – The UN has warned that “the world is off course,” and its therefore imperative to act towards the Zero Hunger goal with the same “ambition” that was mobilized to achieve the Covid 19 vaccination plans. 

Drawing parallels between the COVID-19 pandemic and global hunger crisis, the Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi called on delegates, who came from more than 100 countries, to commit to ending hunger for 811 million people amidst a changing climate. “The current health crisis has generated a food crisis. As with vaccines, we must act with determination to improve access to an adequate amount of food supplies,” stressed Draghi at the UN Food Systems Pre-Summit. This event, co-organized by the United Nations and the Italian government, was hosted in Rome–the city often cited as “the UN food hub” as it hosts the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the World Food Programme (WFP).

“Fighting all forms of malnutrition goes hand in hand with the protection of traditional diets and food diversity,” said Draghi. He referred to the Matera Declaration, a G20 call to action concerning the global effects of the pandemic, and remarked that the observations and recommendations cited in the document played a vital role in paving the way for the Food Systems Summit. “This Pre-Summit is an opportunity to transform the way we think, produce and consume food, on a global level,” Draghi added, later referencing Italy’s commitment to vaccine access in poor countries.

The Rome event will pave the way for the Food Systems Summit convened by Secretary General Antonio Guterres, an global meeting scheduled to take place on World Food Day. Nigerian Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed stated that with proper resource allocation, the Pre-Summit will motivate world leaders in New York to commit to the UN’s vision of a recovering, post-covid world.

“Food unites us all, as families, as communities, as cultures and as humanity,” said Mohammed. “Now let’s use it to unite around the urgency and the actions that are needed to transform our world by 2030.”

Two years ago, Guterres’s urgency rang clear as he emphasized legitimate concerns over threats to food security, including climate change, infectious diseases, and disruptions to supply chains. “The COVID-19 pandemic has made these even more urgent concerns,” Draghi said today. In remarks delivered by Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States, Vatican, Pope Francis said that eliminating hunger alone was not enough, urging the world to commit to “designing food systems that protect the Earth and keep the dignity of the human person at the center.”

The Pre-Summit is a fundamental step to relaunch the international community’s commitment to food security and sustainability. At the Pre-Summit, world leaders are discussing and systematizing approximately 2,000 proposals from all over the world in anticipation of the international meeting in New York, which will take place on the margins of the next General Assembly. It was also the first major event promoted by the UN that took place in a hybrid format; five hundred delegates connected from all over the world to listen, in addition to Draghi and Guterres.

“Covid has highlighted the link between inequality, poverty, food, disease and our planet,” said Guterres, noting that the Pre-Summit launches “a message of hope” in the face of tragedy. “Our war against nature includes a food system that generates a third of polluting emissions, and at the same time the food system itself is responsible for the loss of 80 percent of biodiversity.” (@BrittanyBryantF)

Alessandra Baldini
Alessandra Baldinihttps://onuitalia.com
Alessandra Baldini e’ stata la prima donna giornalista parlamentare per l’Ansa, poi corrispondente a Washington e responsabile degli uffici Ansa di New York e Londra. Dirige OnuItalia.

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