Building resilient food systems
By Saleemul Huq
One of the vulnerabilities that have been exposed is food production, processing, trade and consumption in practically every country. In light of this vulnerability of the entire food system from local to national to global levels, the United Nations Secretary General has initiated the holding of a UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) in late 2021, which is an innovative approach to holding such Summits.
The second institutional innovation is that the Secretary General of the UN has appointed a high level individual, Rwandan agricultural scientist and policy-maker Agnes Kalibata, to invite experts and academics to chair each of the five Action Tracks under which the UNFSS is organised.
In addition to the widespread consultations being carried out by the five Action Tracks, there is a parallel process of scientific assessments being done by a group of scientists, both on their own and attached to each Action Track. The most far reaching activity is probably the holding of national dialogues on food systems in each country, whose outputs will then feed into the five Action Tracks.
The Action Track chairs will submit the final list of proposed game changing solutions' ideas to the pre-Summit due to be held in Rome, Italy in July 2021. After that the UN Secretary General, in consultation with the member states, will make the final list for the actual Summit to be held in September 2021.