National Food Systems Dialogue calls for collaborative action to transform food systems
07 July 2021
The national dialogues, come in preparation for the United Nations Food Systems Summit, which is convened by the UN Secretary-General to take place in New York later this year.
The Ministry of Agriculture in cooperation with the United Nations on Wednesday, organized a national food summit dialogue which concluded a series of sub-national consultations, with calls for collaborative action to transform to healthier and more sustainable food systems.
Organized under the theme “Transforming to more efficient and sustainable food systems in light of crises”, the National Food Systems Summit Dialogues, come in preparation for the United Nations Food Systems Summit, which is convened by the UN Secretary-General to take place in New York later this year.
The UN Food Systems Summit was announced by the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres on World Food Day in October, 2019 as a part of the Decade of Action for delivery on Agenda 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.
Engineer Mohammad Hiari, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture said: “We will seek to enhance cooperation with all countries and authorities to preserve the diverse and balanced food systems for our people, as well as working regionally to control the unsustainable food systems and promote the transition to food systems that fit and respond to the nutritional needs and the economic and social conditions of our people. This necessarily includes raising awareness and providing training, aligning and amending policies and legislations, as well as working on other needed technical interventions”.
“The UN Summit is a unique opportunity as it offers a timely process for helping policy makers and food system actors to understand better the impacts of alternative courses of action, allows for strengthening partnerships, especially with the private sector, which is a powerful engine of innovation and investment for food systems transformation and offers an opportunity to strengthen our capacity for collective action to develop the food systems we want," Acting UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Ziad Sheikh said.
“The United Nations is glad to collaborate with the government of Jordan in conducting these consultations at the national and local levels to identify challenges and solutions and bring voices of Jordanians to the global conversation on food systems in the global summit”, Sheikh added.
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed extreme inequities and inefficiencies in the food system which depend on thousands of food producers and processors, many of whom are living with very low incomes. The pandemic came at a time when food systems were already under strain from natural disasters such as floods and prolonged periods of drought, climate change, and other shocks.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) Representative in Jordan, Nabil Assaf, confirmed that this event will consolidate the progress made through the Summit's broad process that included diverse public participation, consultations and data-collection activities that began in 2020, paving the way for an ambitious and fruitful Summit in September. He added that the event will bring together young farmers, civil society, researchers, the private sector, policy leaders and ministers of agriculture, environment, health, nutrition and finance. The three-day conference aims to present the latest scientific and evidence-based approaches from around the world and launch a set of new commitments through action coalitions. Mobilizing financing and new partnerships.
“Together with our partners, our goal is to help stakeholders and leaders of transformation initiatives in Jordan understand the various issues affecting food security in the country so they can manage the complex choices that affect the future of food systems and accelerate progress toward the global Sustainable Development Goals. These dialogues are therefore creating pathways for many of the people who work in food systems in Jordan – across the public and private sectors as well as civil society – identify priorities, opportunities and solutions which will benefit the economy, enhance livelihoods and support food access for some the poorest people in the country”, said Alberto Correia Mendes, the World Food Programme’s (WFP) Representative and Country Director in Jordan.
The dialogue organized today in Amman, was the final stage in the national dialogue, that brought together the discussions from the sub-national dialogues held in Balqa, Irbid and Karak governorates, before the international Food Systems Summit.
The dialogues were facilitated by the Jordanian Ministry of Agriculture in close collaboration with the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office, FAO, WFP and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. The different fora offered stakeholders the chance to discuss and express their views on different aspects of the transition to more efficient and sustainable food systems, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic, and support Jordan’s contribution to the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit.
The sub-national dialogues discussed enhancing food systems resilience, promoting equitable livelihoods and access to safe food for all. Stakeholders from across Jordan including civil society, public and private sectors, NGO’s and UN agencies, traders and manufacturers, consumers and academia were invited to attend the events. The Jordanian population was represented by women, men and youth.