FAO Liaison Office in New York

2019 World Food Day: FAO Liaison Office with the United Nations in New York remarks

17/10/2019

 


World Food Day 2019
Our actions are our future: Healthy diets for a #ZeroHunger world

Carla Mucavi, Director, FAO Liaison Office with the United Nations in New York

 

Your Excellency Ambassador Tijjani Muhammad Bande, President of the 74 Session of UN General Assembly, 

Your Excellency Ambassador Lazarous Kapambwe, Permanent Representative of Zambia, Chair of the African Group for the current month, 

Your Excellency Ambassador Yasuhisa Kawamura, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the UN,   

Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

  • Thank you very much for joining us here today to commemorate this year’s World Food Day, celebrated worldwide yesterday, under the topic of healthy diets for a Zero Hunger world.
  • World Food Day provides an important opportunity to reflect on how to tackle hunger and malnutrition, considered one of the challenges of our time, as the number of hungry people in the world continues to increase, reaching over 820 million people, according to this year’s report on the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI), released in July by FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO.
  • We are also facing a global epidemic of overweight and obesity. And while seemingly unrelated, poor diets are responsible for the double burden of malnutrition where obesity and different forms of undernutrition coexist.
  • Such global problems require wholistic and multistakeholder approaches. It is critical that bolder and better targeted actions are put in place to renew progress toward ending hunger and all forms of malnutrition.
  • Availability and affordability of diverse and nutritious foods for healthy diets is critical in making this happen.
  • And this begins with fixing our food systems. That’s why the Secretary-General announced yesterday the convening of a Food Systems Summit in 2021, which would be part of the Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Transforming our food systems is essential in delivering, safe, affordable and sustainable diets, and will result in better production, better nutrition, better environment and better livelihoods.  
  • The Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR), recognized building sustainable food systems and healthy nutrition patterns as one of the six key entry points for achieving structural transformation at the necessary scale and speed. To achieve progress towards the SDGs.
  • This is not an insurmountable task, but it will require our collective action and greater efforts from all of us:  
  • This includes the need for governments to address malnutrition at its roots and to increase the availability and affordability of diverse and nutritious foods for healthy diets by setting, enforcing and regularly updating national food-based dietary guidelines and nutrition standards.
  • It will also require the private sector to positively influence the food environment by introducing more nutritious foods and adhering to nutrition-related laws and regulations.
  • And it will require action from all of us to be more health conscious and informed on our food choices.
  • FAO is ready to work with all of you – to make  Zero Hunger a reality.

 

 I thank you.