PM attends UN Food Systems Summit

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is joining the three-day UN Food Systems Summit+2 Stocktaking Moment (UNFSS+2) at the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) headquarters commencing this afternoon.

The prime minister, who arrived here on Sunday afternoon, will also address the official opening of the conference as the special guest speaker.
Around 2000 participants from over 160 countries, including over 20 heads of state and government, are attending the summit to be held on 24-26 July in Rome.

The event, convened by the United Nations Secretariat, and hosted by Italy, in collaboration with the Rome-based UN Agencies (FAO, IFAD, WFP), will be officially inaugurated  at 02:30 local time as UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, and Prime Minister of Italy, Giorgia Meloni will lead the high-level opening.

The opening segment will also have the participation of FAO Director-General QU Dongyu, and several heads of government, including the Prime Ministers of Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Samoa and Nepal.

The high-level meeting aims to create a conducive space for countries to review progress of the commitments made at the first Food Systems Summit in 2021, and identify successes, end bottlenecks and establish priorities.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will have a busy day today here. After the opening ceremony, she will participate in the plenary session titled “Food Systems and Climate Action”.

On the evening of the same day, she will also join the inaugural ceremony of Bangladesh-Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Room in FAO headquarters.

She will, as well, have bilateral meeting with her Nepalese counterpart Pushpa Kamal Dahal on the sidelines of the conference.

In addition, Italian Agriculture Minister Francesco Lollobrigida, FAO Director General Qu Dongyu, Executive Director of World Food Program Cindy Hensley McCain, President of International Fund of Agricultural Development (IFAD) Alvaro Lario, will also pay courtesy call on the Bangladesh premier.

According to FAO statement, the UNFSS+2 stocktaking meeting will be an important occasion to further strengthen political commitment and pathways for implementation at global, national and sub-national levels.

“The historic task we are facing is clear: defining a holistic, coordinated and science based approach to make agrifood systems more efficient, more inclusive, more resilient and more sustainable, for better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life, leaving no one behind,” the FAO Director-General said.

The event will also be an opportunity for countries to outline the work required to address some of the challenges they face to transform their agrifood systems. These include the impacts of conflicts and climate change as well as access to finance and other resources.

The Summit comes at a time when up to 783 million people are facing hunger in the world, 122 million more since 2019 due to the pandemic and repeated climate shocks and conflicts, according to the latest state of food security and nutrition in the world report.

The capacity of people to access healthy diets has also deteriorated across the globe: more than 3.1 billion people in the world or 42 percent were unable to afford a healthy diet in 2021.

“If we project that to the future, we will have 600 million people chronically undernourished by 2030, far from the goal of Zero Hunger,” FAO Chief Economist, Máximo Torero, warned during a recent media briefing on the UNFSS+2.

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