FAO Liaison Office in Brussels

Coordination Hub to support countries in transforming their agrifood systems

29/03/2022

The Director of FAO's Office of Sustainable Development Goals (OSG) Stefanos Fotiou addressed the European Parliament Committee on Development (DEVE) and Members of the European Economic and Social Committee on the follow-up to the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS). Fotiou briefed them on the Coordination Hub created to maintain the momentum of the Summit, and its first actions.

At the European Parliament, Fotiou was joined by Ambassador and Chairperson of the Committee on World Food Security Gabriel Ferrero, Senior Advisor on food security and nutrition at the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD Boitshepo Bibi Giyose, and Head of Unit at the European Commission Directorate-General for International Partnerships Leonard Mizzi.

Highlighting the urgent need to turn commitments into action in order to implement the Sustainable Development Goals, Fotiou mentioned the promising outcomes of the UNFSS, before going ahead and explaining that the Hub, hosted by FAO and staffed by a nimble team, largely comprised of UN system entities, will support national governments and local actors to accelerate, monitor and evaluate agrifood system transformation and the implementation of Agenda 2030. The aim of the Hub is to provide science-based solutions that support national pathways in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The briefing took stock of the commitments from the Food Systems Summit and the Nutrition for Growth Summit, held in September 2021 and December 2021, respectively, and analysed areas requiring the focus of the European Union, as a matter of priority. 

The event will feed into the drafting of a DEVE report on addressing food security in developing countries, to which FAO has made a substantial contribution.

Also this month, Fotiou participated in a joint meeting of the Sustainable Development Observatory and the Thematic Study Group on Sustainable Food Systems in a discussion organized by the European Economic and Social Committee. The discussion focused on the contribution of sustainable agrifood systems to climate neutrality and biodiversity protection. Fotiou set the scene for the dialogue by introducing FAO’s Climate Change, Biodiversity and Nutrition nexus, highlighting the need for a stronger multisectoral approach. “At this point, we need to do what I call business as unusual: meaning to include the environmental and social component in decision- and policy-making, not only the economic dimension,” he said. “We need a change in the way we conceive the organization of our systems, which requires a focus on human development as a whole, not only on economic growth.” the Director added.