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UN regional commissions launch policy brief on transforming food systems

Food systems

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the world’s fragilities, including the weaknesses of our food systems which exacerbate hunger, obesity, poverty, political instabilities and economic crises. To overcome common and regional challenges, the five UN regional commissions have been working jointly on devising harmonized pathways and proposing game changers that can transform food systems, reverse their current performance and improve their outcomes.

This collaboration resulted in the launch of a joint policy brief entitled “Transforming Food Systems”  for the Food Systems Summit, held on 23 September in New York. The Brief highlights the need to enhance regional engagement in sharing lessons learned for a sustainable food systems transformation, leading to inclusive and resilient food systems that participate in ensuring equitable livelihoods for all, and a healthy and sustainable planet.

“Around one third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted, causing eight per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. In the UNECE region, pandemic disruptions further stressed the need for action. Our blockchain-enhanced tool “FeedUp@UN” can help unlock circular economy opportunities along the supply chain. UNECE’s agricultural quality standards, digital trade norms and policy support can further strengthen countries’ sustainable food systems”, said UNECE Executive Secretary Olga Algayerova. “Let’s take the Food Systems Summit as an opportunity to openly discuss all of the options on the table to rethink and transform our food systems for a sustainable future”.

The Brief pinpoints the challenges faced by the world’s regions based on the outcomes of dialogues organized by the five UN regional commissions in their respective regions (Africa, the Arab region, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and North America, and Latin America and the Caribbean). These dialogues have generated momentum in support of national and independent dialogues and have enabled the identification of issues that require collaboration and partnerships between countries.

The Food Systems Summit marks a ‎‎‎‎milestone to promote immediate action for healthier, more ‎‎‎‎sustainable and inclusive food systems, and to advance progress across all Sustainable Development ‎‎‎Goals (SDGs).

Watch a video on the Brief here:

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