Following are UN Deputy Secretary‑General Amina Mohammed’s remarks, at the annual fourth informal joint meeting of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Executive Board and the World Food Programme (WFP) Board, today:
It is a pleasure to join you, once again, in this configuration. Let me start off by congratulating the World Food Programme for their – “our” – Nobel Peace Prize. This honour is an important moment for all the Rome‑based agencies, for the dedicated staff we have around the globe and for multilateralism itself.
It is also encouragement for all of us to do even more, at a time when the COVID‑19 pandemic continues to upend lives all around the world. Together, we must raise our ambition – to avoid a backslide on poverty and hunger, and to accelerate action towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
A few critical milestones ahead of us can help us leapfrog. The Food Systems Summit that the Secretary‑General will convene is one of these opportunities. Taking place on the margins of General Assembly in New York in September 2021, this will be a “People’s Summit”, inclusive and focused on solutions and action.
The Secretary‑General announced this morning that the pre‑Summit meeting will be held here in Rome next summer. Taking full advantage of the invaluable expertise that sits here in Rome, we will seek to take stock and define bold actions for inclusive and sustainable food systems.
Our multi-stakeholder advisory committee for the Summit met last Friday. I was encouraged by the energy and obvious momentum that transpired. Many have pointed to the World Food Week here in Rome as an inflection point in the Summit process.
Much of the real work of action tracks, country dialogues, and broad public engagement will begin in earnest. Resource mobilization for the Summit is moving full speed. Several Member States are expressing interest in joining the Summit’s action tracks and presenting nominations for the champions network. We expect them to be fully operational by early November. And to ensure that we are tailored to country realities, Special Envoy [Agnes] Kalibata will be working with national Governments and United Nations country teams to make the most of this opportunity.
There is significant work ahead. But I am sure that you are as excited as I am with the possibilities in front of us. Through this inclusive Summit process, we can ensure not only that we leave no one behind; but that we give the opportunities and the tools for everyone to assert their place in their food systems to make a positive change, for planet and people. Thank you.