Leading experts chosen to drive five priority areas for UN Food Systems Summit

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September 16, 2020, New York – Today the United Nations Special Envoy, Agnes Kalibata, announced experts across the fields of food, agriculture, health and climate change who have committed to advance solutions to make food systems more resilient and inclusive through the UN Food Systems Summit in 2021.
“The action tracks will draw on the expertise of actors from across the world’s food systems – both inside and outside of the UN system,” Kalibata said highlighting the fresh approach.
The initial leaders of the action tracks represent actors from across society including farmers, scientists, and youth leaders, as well as representatives from the private sector, government and civil society.
“Together they will ensure that priority areas for action will not sit in silos,” Kalibata said. “They will explore how key cross-cutting levers of change such as governance, finance, data, indigenous knowledge, human rights and law, innovation, and the empowerment of women and young people can be mobilized to meet the Summit’s objectives.”
The announcement comes on the heels of a briefing for Member States on preparations for the Summit where the five action tracks were presented.
“The need is urgent, and our ambition is high. For this reason, this must not be ‘just another conference’. We must act together,” Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed told Member States during the briefing.
The action tracks include (1) ensuring access to safe and nutritious food for all, (2) shifting to sustainable consumption patterns, (3) boosting nature-positive production at scale, (4) advancing equitable livelihoods and (5) building resilience to vulnerabilities, shocks and stresses.
“These experts will bring together knowledge, expertise, broad networks and relevant organizations behind them as they convene the action tracks in a multi-stakeholder and inclusive manner, to address the uniqueness of all regions,” Kalibata said.
Each track, with support from its corresponding chair and vice-chairs, is designed to address synergies as well as possible trade-offs with other tracks, and to identify bold new actions, innovative solutions, and strategies that can deliver wide-reaching benefits across all of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They are to create solutions at local, national, regional, and global levels and to scale up and to accelerate existing initiatives that align to the Summit vision and principles.
UN agencies will provide technical assistance as well as a link into the broader experience and expertise of the entire UN system, and oversee support for Summit follow-up activities. In addition, members of the Scientific Group will engage in each area to ensure the tracks are underpinned by robust evidence and science.
The UN Food Systems Summit was announced by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, on World Food Day last October as a part of the Decade of Action for delivery on the SDGs by 2030.
The aim of the Summit is to deliver progress on all 17 of the SDGs through a food systems approach, leveraging the interconnectedness of food systems to global challenges such as hunger, climate change, poverty and inequality.
The Summit will also be guided by an Advisory Committee representing every region and an independent Scientific Group, which met virtually for the first time in July.
Member States will have until the end of September to express their interest in engaging around the five action tracks before work gets fully under way towards the Summit.
For more information, please contact Katie Taft at katie.taft@un.org.
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More information about the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit and list of Advisory Committee and Scientific Group members can be found online: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/food-systems-summit-2021/
Note to editors:
Action Track 1
Chair:

Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director, GAIN

Vice-chairs:

Godfrey Bahiigwa, Director of Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union Commission
Janya Green, 4-H

UN anchoring agency:

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations

Action Track 2
Chair:

Gunhild Stordalen, Founder and Executive Chair, EAT Foundation

Vice-chairs:

Ajay Vir Jakhar, Chairman, Bharat Krishak Samaj
Lana Weidgenant, Real Food Systems, Deputy Director at Zero Hour International

UN anchoring agency:

World Health Organization (WHO)

Action Track 3
Chair:

Joao Campari, Global Leader Food Practice, WWF International

Vice-chair:

Lavetanalagi Seru, Alliance of Future Generations

UN anchoring agency:

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

Action Track 4
Chair:

Michelle Nunn, President and CEO, CARE USA

Vice-chairs:

Shakuntala Thilsted, Research Program Leader for Value Chains and Nutrition, World Fish
Mai Thin Yu Mon, UN Global Indigenous Youth Caucus – Program Director for the Indigenous Peoples Development Program of Chin Human Rights Organization

UN anchoring agency:

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Action Track 5
Chair:

Saleemul Huq, Director of the International Centre for Climate Change & Development

Vice-chairs:

Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Co-President of the Club of Rome
Mike Khunga, SUN Global Youth Leader for Nutrition, SUN CSN, and Project Officer, Civil Society Organisations Nutrition Alliance

UN anchoring agency:

World Food Programme (WFP)