24 Bridging global policy agreements and country achievement of the SDGs: the key role of regions for achieving and reviewing progress on food security and nutrition

Regional Panoramas of Food Security and Nutrition: trends, challenges, successes and obstacles

Organizers: FAO; WHO; Argentina; Bangladesh; Egypt; African Union


Follow-up and review is a key aspect of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Global and regional reporting structures are required to monitor progress in terms of relevant indicators and policy commitments, with evidence-based analysis and evaluation to provide a more comprehensive implementation and accountability mechanisms. Regional frameworks play a crucial role in the follow-up and review process, as well as in supporting countries translate global agreements into context specific national policies and programmes. FAO is collaborating with different regional bodies and other organizations of the UN system (such as WHO, UN ECA) to produce high quality monitoring reports. The regional Panoramas provide an overview of regional progress towards the achievements of SDGs in order to inform discussions at national, regional and global levels.

Key speakers

Mr Rob Vos, Director, Agricultural Development Economics Division (ESA), FAO

Ms Marzella W├╝stefeld, Technical Officer, Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, WHO

His Excellency Ambassador Claudio J. Rozencwaig, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Argentina to FAO

Mr Khaled El Taweel, Alternate Permanent Representative of the Arabic Republic of Egypt to FAO

His Excellency Ambassador Abdus Sobhan Sikder, Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary of Bangladesh to FAO

Mr Haladou Salha, Senior AU-NEPAD Technical Advisor to the Rome-based African Ambassadors and AU-NEPAD Senior Liaison Officer to the Rome-based UN Agencies

Main themes/issues discussed

The side event addressed the key role of regions in the follow-up and review of country-level progress towards achieving food security and nutrition targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Furthermore, the side-event created an opportunity to share and compare regional experiences in improving food security and nutrition, with the aim to point out the differences in regional policy priorities and approaches.

Summary of key points

This event highlighted the major regional differences in the Food and Nutrition security sector:

In Africa, undernourishment and micronutrient deficiencies remain major concerns and are exacerbated by the impacts of climate change, unstable food markets, natural disasters leading to failed crops, and persistent political instability.

Asia has made most progress in reducing the number of undernourished people over the past three decades. Yet, it still is home to most undernourished people.

In Northern Africa and the Near East, in contrast, food insecurity has worsened in a number of countries in the region largely driven by the spreading and intensity of conflicts and protracted crises.

In most of Europe and Central Asia countries, the problem of undernourishment as a lack of food-energy intake has by and large been resolved. However, income growth has changed consumption patterns in ways that have led to increases in micronutrient deficiencies, while consumption of animal protein, sugar, sweeteners, and vegetable oil have increased becoming a cause of stark increases in the prevalence of overweight and obesity.

In Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), much progress has been made towards the goal of eradicating hunger. LAC countries opportunely are implementing several policy measures through the CELAC Hunger Eradication Plan 2025. Despite the progress, challenges remain.

The panel has emphasized on regional dimension in the implementation of 2030 Agenda, it is seen as a vital bridge between global frameworks and national development agendas in relation to the integration, implementation, follow-up, and review of the 2030 Agenda. Some elements considered to be essential for this process: clear and strong political well, reasonable and functioning accountable system and exchange of regional experiences and perspectives; and ensuring policy coherence between national and regional frameworks.

For example, NEPAD stated that it has been supporting countries to develop agricultural policies, formulating national development plans and business plans. Also, emphasized that the adoption of the Malabo Declaration should facilitate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

While in LAC, regional agreements have played an important role in eradicating poverty and hunger regionally. The LAC region features regional integration policies such as CELAC 2025 for the eradication of hunger, poverty and malnutrition plans as one way forward to implement the SDGs.

At national level, for example Egypt has established a national multi-sector commission that aims at monitoring the progress of SDGs, and Vision 2030 has been aligned with the SDGs. While, Bangladesh has adopted Vision 2021, focusing at transforming Bangladesh into a middle-income country by 2021, and putting forward necessary policies to achieve food security to all groups of people.

Key outcomes/take away messages

The side event policy fostered dialogue among global, regional and national stakeholders towards greater coordination in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Echoed on the importance of well-designed follow up mechanisms at national and regional levels, to ensure the delivery of the SDGs targets.