UN: Voices of millions of rural people to be heard in Food Systems Summit



Fri, 19 Feb 2021 - 09:51 GMT


Fri, 19 Feb 2021 - 09:51 GMT

Rural people- CC via pixnio

Rural people- CC via pixnio

CAIRO – 19 February 2021: For the first time, voices and opinions of millions of the world’s most remote rural people will be heard at the United Nations Food Systems Summit due in September 2021, according to a joint statement by UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy Agnes Kalibata and President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Gilbert F. Houngbo on Thursday.


IFAD works in the world’s poorest rural areas and has pledged to mobilise its network of country offices and partners to reach millions of family farmers, indigenous communities, producers, rural women and youth to ensure they have the chance to share their experiences and insights, the statement said.


An estimated 63 percent of the world’s poor people work in agriculture, the overwhelming majority on rural small farms. While they produce much of the world’s food, they remain vulnerable to hunger and often struggle to make a decent living. 


“No one is more qualified to contribute to this discussion on how to transform our food systems than the rural people who produce so much of our food. Yet they seldom have a seat at the table,” said Houngbo.


“I urge rural people to seize this opportunity and feed into this important discussion with their own ideas and solutions.”


As a part of its commitment to be a “People’s and Solutions Summit”, a 10-step guide has been unveiled for anyone wanting to host a dialogue, including tips to encourage the broadest possible variety of voices and perspectives, and training sessions for convening a session.


The results will be shared with those leading the five priority areas, or Action Tracks, of the Summit to help inform strategies for food systems that provide for all without exhausting natural resources.


“If you have ever wanted to share your views with heads of state at the UN, this is your chance,” said Kalibata, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Food Systems Summit.


“The success of the Summit hinges on the actions of people all over the world, which is why IFAD’s commitment to involve as many rural people as possible is so important. We need all of your stories, ideas and solutions to transform food systems for the better and feed the world without starving the planet. Now is your chance to take a seat at the table.”


The Food Systems Summit Community, a platform for sharing and discussions, is also open to everyone with an interest in following developments and contributing to the Summit.


Anyone interested in hosting a dialogue can register on the Dialogue Gateway, where convenors can commit to the principles of the Summit, announce their dialogue and submit their feedback. Independent Dialogues, which can take any form from online webinars to town hall meetings, will take place alongside official Dialogues hosted by governments, and others that track international talks and events. In addition to IFAD’s leadership, the Summit is working closely with more than 30 other UN institutions through a UN Task Force, more than 75 networks in all parts of the world through its Champions Network, and several other constituency groups to ensure as many actors engage in independent dialogues as possible.


On December 16, 2019, United Nations Secretary-General António appointed Agnes Kalibata of Rwanda as his Special Envoy for the 2021 Food Systems Summit. The Secretary-General will host a Food Systems Summit with the aim of maximizing the co-benefits of a food systems approach across the entire 2030 Agenda and meet the challenges of climate change.


Press release by IFAD



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