Food systems transformation is essential – Deputy Secretary-General
02 July 2021
“We have called this a ‘People’s Summit’ and we are seeing that emerge as a reality through the diverse local voices and active engagement in the dialogues."
UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed, has acknowledged that transformation of the food systems was essential to a healthier and prosperous country.
“Science has confirmed that making changes in the food systems are an opportunity to drive progress across all SDGs. Indeed, if we are to address the climate emergency, ensure better health and well-being of people, while also overcoming inequality, we must transform our food systems.” She said at the Nigeria national consolidatory dialogue on the UN Food Systems Summit held recently in Abuja, and declared open by the Vice President, H.E. Prof. Yemi Osinbajo
According to her, transforming the food systems would require all to work together. She disclosed that she remained optimistic that by working together and embracing the needed transformations, we could recover and heal both people and the planet.
Food systems summit is ‘People’s Summit’
She noted that through Food System Summit Dialogues (FSSD), leaders acr
She noted that through Food System Summit Dialogues (FSSD), leaders across government and as well as a diverse range of food system actors were engaged. “We have called this a ‘People’s Summit’ and we are seeing that emerge as a reality through the diverse local voices and active engagement in the National Dialogues.”
It’s obvious that the Dialogues have generated a wealth of inputs and ideas. But, crucially, they have also fostered opportunities for enhanced collaboration with one another.
The Deputy Chief observed that Nigeria had been a leader in this process, as demonstrated by an impressive series of inclusive dialogues at the National, State and Local Government levels across the six geo-political zones of the country.
Ms. Mohammed disclosed that dialogues in Nigeria have thus far reflected a strong recognition of the right to food and the need to strengthen partnerships across all sectors and at all scales. “You have explored the role of the private sector, cities, rural communities, women and young people. Participants have discussed and debated the challenges of Nigeria’s food systems and offered ideas on what should be done to overcome them – and who should lead these efforts.” She said
Government of Nigeria committed to revamping food systems
Vice-President Osinbajo reiterated the commitment of the government of Nigeria to sustainable food systems, as one of the key strategies for eliminating poverty across Nigeria.
“We know that our target of lifting a hundred million Nigerians out of poverty within a decade is only achievable if we focus on substantially improving agriculture and food systems which assure us of not just good food, but also jobs.” He explained, “This perspective on addressing hunger, malnutrition and poverty runs through our policy frameworks, including our recently launched National Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy, and our Nutrition Policy that addresses the issues of sustainable and nutrition-sensitive food systems.”
Prof. Osinbajo described the call by the United Nations Secretary-General on the food systems summit dialogue, as apt and timely as it provided the opportunity to holistically re-examine all the elements of the Food Systems in Nigeria.
“I have no doubt that the 39 dialogues held nationally and sub-nationally have been accessible to all stakeholders and able to identify those challenges that still clog our wheel of progress especially in the relevant sectors.” He assured.
“Today’s consolidatory dialogue”, he continued, “is for us to carefully examine all the critical issues identified at the various dialogues, make inputs and suggestions to improve on the Report of the various dialogues that have been synthesized into three (3) and Ten (10) years implementation plans as well as agree on a roadmap for the revolutionary food system we want for our nation.”
Food Systems Summit Dialogue is a movement
In his remarks, Senior Adviser on Food Systems Summit Dialogues, David Nabarro, described the food system summit dialogue as a movement.
“You are part of an extraordinary movement that is building up all over the world, and led by Amina Mohammed and Dr Agnes Kalibata, UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to the 2021 Food Systems Summit.” He said, “This is the movement when we are looking at the food systems from a very wide angle, looking at the whole dimensions of the food systems.
He thanked the Government of Nigeria; the UN Resident Coordinator, Edward Kallon and the UN Country Team for leading development partners in support of the UNFSSD in Nigeria.
From 26–28 July 2021, Pre-Summit of the UN Food Systems Summit will take place in Rome, to set the stage for the culminating global event in September by bringing together diverse actors from around the world to leverage the power of food systems to deliver progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The UN Secretary-General has convened a Food Systems Summit (FSS) for September 2021, to launch bold new actions to transform the way the world produces and consumes food, and to deliver progress across the Sustainable Development Goals. Preparatory to this Summit, the Deputy Secretary-General and Chair of the Advisory Committee of the Food Systems Summit, Amina J. Mohammed, in November 2020, invited all Member States to engage in the preparation of the Summit through encouraging action-oriented Dialogues, discussing ways to achieve sustainable food systems by 2030.