Investments aimed at transforming global agri-food systems can stimulate economic and social recovery in the post-Covid-19 pandemic and put humanity back on track to achieve the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the next nine years, said the UN Deputy Secretary General, Amina J. Mohammed, in a message to the Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas.
The statement was made at the Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas, in which the Inter-American Board of Agriculture (JIA), the main governing body of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), also meets and whose theme this year is “Sustainable Agri-Food Systems, Engine of Development of the Americas”.
No single solution
“There is no single solution that meets all the challenges posed by food systems. But in all contexts there are opportunities to innovate and to accelerate the path towards the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda”, said Mohammed.
The diplomat referred to preparations for the United Nations Food Systems Summit, which will take place on September 23 in New York. The American continent will be the only one that will attend this meeting with a convergent position, defined by a document of 16 messages that was agreed upon by the 34 Member States of IICA, with the coordination of the Institute.
“We are in the final preparations for the Food Systems Summit, under pressure that has no precedent, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has taken lives and sources of income and has reversed the progress that had been made in the Agenda 2030 and the achievement of the SDGs,” said Mohammed.
“However, the Pre-Summit, held in July in Rome, demonstrated that governments and other actors are ready to work together on this issue. More than 500 leaders met staff with more than 2000 delegates from 191 countries. Together, we discuss how we can accelerate action on food systems, in order to achieve benefits for people, planet and prosperity,” he added.
Effective multilateralism in action
Mohammed defined the next Summit as an exercise in “effective multilateralism in action” and considered it to be “a reason to have hope during this Covid-19 crisis”. “Transformative investments in our food systems,” he said, “can stimulate our post-pandemic recovery and put us back on track to achieve the SDGs in the next 9 years.”
During his message to the ministers of the Americas, he also revealed that more than 1,000 preparatory dialogues for the Summit throughout 145 countries have demonstrated that transformative solutions and actions must be tailored to local realities.
“The Summit will be an opportunity to consolidate the enormous progress that has been made and to set the right tone for the decade ahead. As countries and regions define their paths, people will be essential to create and maintain a multisectoral and collaborative dialogue, ”he said.
Finally, Mohammed pointed out that “small producers and indigenous peoples, in particular, must be valued and heard. The inclusive view will complement and expand the scientific approach and evidence-based policies and processes. This Conference, which will include representatives from civil society, academia and more, is therefore an important contribution to our common effort”.