Foreign Minister Felipe Solá participated virtually in the ministerial segment of the UN Food Systems Pre-Summit that began last Monday at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome. The meeting included the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, the FAO Director-General, QU Dongyu, the Prime Minister of Italy, and ministers and representatives of the participating countries.
The Pre-Summit is an important meeting to set the stage for the UN Food Systems Summit, which will take place in September on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York, and during which the participants will discuss topics related to healthy diets, hunger and malnutrition relief and productive aspects of health systems.
Argentina has taken on an active and constructive role since the beginning of the Summit’s preparatory process over a year ago, understanding the importance of food systems and the role of the country in this field, during times when there is much work to do to relieve hunger and malnutrition in the world, issues that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Argentina, together with 12 other countries, is part of the Summit’s Advisory Committee and has joined Action Track 2 “Shift to sustainable consumption patterns”, one of the topics to be thoroughly discussed during the Summit.
As part of the process, the Foreign Minister convened three dialogues that were attended by many actors that are part of the Argentine food systems, including producers, organizations of civil society, representatives of family agriculture, women, etc. Some 500 similar dialogues were held by the Member States in different parts of the world for the purpose of gathering inputs and opinions to serve as the basis for the discussions in the Summit, with a view to achieving socially, economically and environmentally sustainable food systems.
During his address, Solá noted that “food systems are particularly important for Argentina, given that we are one of the main producers and exporters of healthy and nutritious food.” He stated that “the sad truth is that the global indicators of hunger and malnutrition have worsened due to the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic has also widened the enormous development gaps, affecting developing countries more severely. This situation requires that we devote all our efforts towards the promotion of policies aimed at fighting hunger and poverty and maintaining normal operation of agri-food value chains.”
Solá also reaffirmed Argentina’s commitment “to continue producing healthy, safe and nutritious food in a sustainable manner, respecting the balance between the three pillars of sustainability, in order to contribute to the end of poverty, to hunger eradication and to progressive income distribution; efficient and sustainable use of natural resources and national development, leaving no one behind.”
Finally, the Foreign Minister stated that Argentina hopes the Summit will serve as an important boost to fulfil the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda.