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29.09.2021 |

UNFSS: a People’s Summit or pro-corporate agenda? Outcomes and views

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The UNFSS excluded key food system actors (Photo: CC0)

After months of preparations and controversies, the United Nations Food Systems Summit finally took place on September 23. The aim of the UNFSS was to deliver progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through transforming food systems. “World leaders commit to tackling global hunger, climate change and biodiversity loss at historic UN Food Systems Summit”, was the promising headline of the official press release published on Thursday. The UN proudly announced that more than 150 countries made commitments to transform their food systems, while championing greater participation and equity, especially amongst farmers, women, youth and indigenous groups. And Secretary-General António Guterres said in his ‘Statement of Action’ that the summit “provided an essential boost of energy into the 2030 Agenda and a silver lining in the cloud of the pandemic”. He added that “all stakeholders – especially governments – must now reaffirm a commitment to act with urgency, at scale and in solidarity with one another to keep the promise of the SDGs”. This may all sound good at first sight but many civil society and farmers’ organisations, food and human rights experts, farmers and indigenous peoples across the globe are far from happy with the results. They feel that their criticism and fears voiced over the past months have been proven correct, including concerns over the private sector’s influence on the summit’s agenda and its outcomes. [+] more ...

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