Ending hunger and achieving food security

Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG2) of the 2030 Agenda aims to “end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture”. Progress has been made over the last couple of decades, however, the slow-down in progress towards hunger reduction and food security since 2015, the persistently high numbers of hungry and those suffering from under-nutrition and the emergence of obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases worldwide are adding complexity and urgency to the challenge. Our food systems are managed in an environmentally unsustainable manner and have become a major contributor to GHG emissions. Landscape degradation is already severe, and the pace of land use change, deforestation, overfishing and environmental degradation is alarming.

Simply scaling up current actions to meet the world needs for food, fibre and energy for a growing and more affluent world population will be incompatible with sustainable utilization of natural resources and will create significant trade-offs within SDG2, but also with other SDGs and targets, including SDG3 and SDG 17, as well as with the Paris Agreement for climate change. In addition, the current COVID-19 pandemic has added to and amplified existing challenges facing food systems, especially in vulnerable countries, as evidenced by the near breakdown of food supply chains, the food shortages in many developing countries and the sharp increase in people suffering from acute food insecurity as a result of COVID 19. Food systems have been unprepared to face such emergencies.

Protecting and preserving biodiversity and natural habitats is essential for protecting health. Putting food systems on a sustainable path will contribute to meeting a large number of SDGs.

Transitioning towards sustainable food systems will take policy action and individual and collective behavioural change throughout the food systems. Policies and actions should promote sustainable agriculture production and consumption, including reducing food loss and waste, providing decent livelihoods for all actors, including women and girls, minimizing the climate and environmental impacts and increasing the resilience of food systems.

Proposed guiding questions:

  • Which areas and socio-economic groups are especially vulnerable to poor nutrition and food insecurity, including women and girls, and what are ways to ensure that food systems transformations leave no one behind?
  • What fundamental changes are needed to make our food systems an engine for inclusive growth and contribute to accelerating progress towards ending hunger and achieving food security for all in the Decade of Action?
  • How might COVID-19 affect the implementation of needed food systems changes?
  • What knowledge and data gaps need to be filled for better analyzing current successes and failures in food systems and the trade-offs and synergies, across SDGs, in implementing food systems changes to fix these failures?
  • What means of implementation, including STI, and partnerships are needed to harness synergies and/or reduce trade-offs in food systems?

Chair:

  • H.E. Ambassador Omar Hilale, Morocco, Vice President of ECOSOC

Moderator:

  • Mr. Jomo Kwame Sundaram, former Assistant Director-General for Economic and Social Development of FAO and former Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development of UNDESA

Resource person:

  • Ms. Endah Murniningtyas, Co-Chair of the Independent Group of Scientists for Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) 2019 and former Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of National Development Planning/National Development Planning Agency (BAPPENAS), Indonesia
  • Mr. Bernard Lehmann, Vice-chairperson of the Steering Committee of the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE), and former Director of the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG), Switzerland

Lead discussant:

  • Ms. Andrea Carmen, Executive Director, International Indian Treaty Council, US (Indigenous Peoples Major Group)

Followed by interactive discussion

Respondents:

  • H.E. Mr. Luis Basterra, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Argentina
  • Mr. Qu Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
  • Mr. Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
  • Ms. Valerie N. Guarnieri, Assistant Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP)
Biographies
H.E. Mr. Luis Basterra
Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Argentina
H.E. Mr. Luis Basterra

Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Argentina

Mr. Luis Basterra has been serving as Argentina’s Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries since December 2019. From 2011 to 2019 he was a member of the Argentine Chamber of Deputies representing Formosa Province; he also served as vice-president of the National Agricultural Technology Institute (INTA) from 2009 to 2011 and as Minister of Production of Formosa Province from 2003 to 2009.

H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale
Vice President of ECOSOC
H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale

Vice President of ECOSOC

H.E. Hilale has been Morocco's Permanent Representative to the UN in New York since April 2014. He is a career diplomat who has served in various posts around the world. Before his appointment in New York, he served as the Permanent Representative of Morocco to the UN in Geneva starting in 2008. From 2005 to 2008, he served as the General Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. From 1996 to 2001, he served in several diplomatic posts. including as Ambassador to Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and Indonesia. Before that he served as a Member of the Cabinet of the Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and a Member of the International Committee of Legal Experts, in charge of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Chemical Weapons. From 1976 to 1991, Ambassador Hilale served in the Moroccan Embassies in Algiers, Monrovia, Addis Ababa and Geneva. Ambassador Hilale graduated from the Mohammed V University in Rabat in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in political science.

H.E. Ms. Endah Murniningtyas
Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of National Development Planning, Indonesia
H.E. Ms. Endah Murniningtyas

Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of National Development Planning, Indonesia

H.E. Ms. Endah Murniningtyas is a Deputy Minister for National Resources and Environment at the Ministry of National Development Planning/National Development Planning Agency (BAPPENAS) of Republic of Indonesia. She graduated with a BSc in Agricultural Economics and Social from Bogor Agricultural Institute in 1984, graduated with an MSc in Agricultural and Resource Economics from Oregon State University in 1989, and was awarded a PhD from Colorado State University in 2000 for studies in Agricultural and Resource Economics. She has been working at BAPPENAS for over 25 years in the area of natural resources, economics, and poverty and has been a frequent lecturer at Bogor Agricultural Institute. She is an active board member of Perhimpunan Ekonomi Pertanian Indonesia (Perhepi) and Indonesian Economists Association (ISEI), and also a member of the Long Term Development Planning Study and Strategic Planning Team of BAPPENAS.

Mr. Bernard Lehmann
Vice-chairperson of the Steering Committee of the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE); Former Director of the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG), Switzerland
Mr. Bernard Lehmann

Vice-chairperson of the Steering Committee of the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE); Former Director of the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG), Switzerland

Mr. Bernard Lehmann is the Vice-chairperson of the Steering Committee of the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE). He is the former Director of the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG), Switzerland and a former Professor at the Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ). He was also the Director of the Institute for Agricultural Sciences, and Head of the Department for Agricultural and Food Sciences.

Mr. Gilbert F. Houngbo
President, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
Mr. Gilbert F. Houngbo

President, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Mr. Gilbert F. Houngbo became the sixth President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on 1 April 2017. Born and raised in rural Togo, Houngbo has spent more than 30 years working to improve the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people, and has extensive experience in political affairs, international development, diplomacy and financial management. Prior to his appointment as IFAD President, Houngbo was the Deputy Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), where he led field operations in more than 100 countries and managed bilateral and multilateral partnerships. From 2008 to 2012, he served as Prime Minister of the Togolese Republic, where he introduced economic reforms and enhanced the rule of law and civil liberties. From 1996 to 2008, he undertook a number of roles at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), including Chief of Staff, Assistant Secretary-General and Africa Regional Director, and led poverty alleviation programmes in 45 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Before this, he spent a decade in the private sector, including at Price Waterhouse, Canada, where he worked in Audit and Financial Advisory Services. Houngbo has a Matrîse en gestion des entreprises from the University of Lomé, Togo, and a Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures Spécialisées in Specialised Accounting from the University of Quebec, Canada. He is a member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants.

Mr. Jomo Kwame Sundaram
former Assistant Director-General for Economic and Social Development of FAO and former Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development of UNDESA
Mr. Jomo Kwame Sundaram

former Assistant Director-General for Economic and Social Development of FAO and former Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development of UNDESA

Jomo Kwame Sundaram Professor and Tun Hussein Onn Chair of International Studies, Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia; former Assistant Director-General for Economic and Social Development, FAO and former Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development at UNDESA Mr. Jomo Kwame Sundaram is Senior Adviser at the Khazanah Research Institute. He is also Visiting Fellow at the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, Columbia University, and Adjunct Professor at the International Islamic University in Malaysia. He was a member of the Economic Action Council, chaired by the seventh Malaysian Prime Minister, and the 5-member Council of Eminent Persons appointed by him; Professor at the University of Malaya (1986-2004); Founder-Chair of International Development Economics Associates (IDEAs); UN Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development (2005-2012); Research Coordinator for the G24 Intergovernmental Group on International Monetary Affairs and Development (2006-2012); Assistant Director General for Economic and Social Development, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (2012-2015); and third Tun Hussein Onn Chair in International Studies at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies, Malaysia (2016-2017). He received the 2007 Wassily Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought.

Mr. Qu Dongyu
Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Mr. Qu Dongyu

Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Mr. Qu Dongyu took office on 1 August 2019 as Director-General of FAO. Before coming to FAO, he served as China’s Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, where one of his achievements was to promote inclusive and innovative development and make sure information and communication technologies (ICT) were available in rural areas. He was also Vice Governor of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. His professional career, dedicated to ensuring that the world is fed, includes periods in central and local government and leading research institutes.

Ms. Andrea Carmen
Executive Director, International Indian Treaty Council (IITC)
Ms. Andrea Carmen

Executive Director, International Indian Treaty Council (IITC)

Ms. Andrea Carmen, Yaqui Nation, began her work with the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) as a student intern in 1976, has been a staff member since 1983 and became its Executive Director in 1992. Andrea was IITC’s team leader for work on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and has many years’ experience as a human rights trainer and observer around the world. In 1997 she was one of two Indigenous representatives invited to formally address the UN General Assembly for the first time in history at the UN Earth Summit +5. She has served on a number of boards and advisory councils. In 2010, she was one of two members from North America on the Global Steering Committee for the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC) which coordinates indigenous peoples’ work with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. In February 2019 Andrea was selected by indigenous peoples, tribes and organizations in North America to serve as their representative on the new Facilitative Working Group for the development of the UNFCCC Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples’ Traditional Knowledge Exchange Platform for its first three years of operation.

Ms. Valerie N. Guarnieri
Assistant Executive Director, World Food Programme (WFP)
Ms. Valerie N. Guarnieri

Assistant Executive Director, World Food Programme (WFP)

Ms. Valerie N. Guarnieri became Assistant Executive Director in January 2018. In this role, she brings together and oversees essential elements of WFP global operations, including emergency preparedness and response, programme and policy, nutrition and supply chain to ensure essential support to vulnerable, food insecure people around the world. Prior to this appointment, Ms Guarnieri served as WFP Regional Director for East and Central Africa providing supervision, strategic guidance and support for country operations throughout the region. Ms Guarnieri began her career with WFP in 2000 as Senior Policy Advisor and has since served as Deputy Country Director in Zimbabwe, Country Director and Representative in the Philippines and Director, Programme Division. In the latter role, she provided global leadership and support for the design and deployment of innovative, high quality programmes to address urgent hunger and nutrition needs. Prior to joining WFP, Ms Guarnieri served within the U.S. Government where she supported humanitarian and development actions which saved lives and helped create conditions for sustainable peace, with particular focus in Africa.

Statements
Statements
Andrea Carmen - International Indian Treaty Council
Bernard Lehmann - High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition
Endah Murniningtyas - GSDR
IFAD Pres Statement HLPF 2020
Qu Dongyu - FAO
Remarks by Mission of Chile
Statement by Indigenous Peoples Major Group
Statement by the Delegation of the Republic of Indonesia
Valerie Guarnieri - WFP
United Nations