Committee on World Food Security

Making a difference in food security and nutrition

Remarks by CFS Chair at the event "Lessons Learned and Good Practices of Parliamentary Alliances for SDG 2 supported by FAO and Spanish Cooperation"

24 Nov 2022

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Honourable Ander Gil, President of the Senate of Spain

Anton Leis, Director of the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development

Hon Members of Parliament and Senate

Excellencies, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

It gives me immense pleasure, as the Chairperson of the UN Committee on Word Food Security (CFS),  to speak with you today.

Just over a week ago, the human population hit the 8th billion mark. This milestone comes at a time when the world is experiencing a cost-of-living crisis that has devastated economies, lives and livelihood.

The recent UN State of Food Security and Nutrition (SOFI) report painted a worrying picture of the situation we are in:

  • World hunger rose again in 2022, reflecting growing inequalities across and within countries.
  • 828 million people were affected by hunger in 2021, an increase of 46 million from 2020, and 150 million more from 2019, before the COVID 19 pandemic.
  • Around 2.3 billion people in the world were moderately or severely food insecure in 2021 - this is 350 million more people compared to 2019.
  • Food price inflation due to the economic downturns left 112 million more people unable to afford a healthy diet – this means a total of 3.1 billion people worldwide.

The  interlinked shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, worsening effects of climate change, armed conflicts including the war in Ukraine and economic downturns have worsened an already dire situation.

At the same time, food and agriculture account for around one third of GHG emissions and are the main drivers of biodiversity loss and soil degradation.

We are at a crossroad. Development gains made over the last few decades are getting lost. Reaching the 2030 Agenda looks more difficult.


The millions of people around the world that are suffering are not mere statistics. These are parents going through the torment of watching their children going hungry. Infants whose opportunities along their whole life are compromised by lack of access to nutritious food today. Family farmers that are faced with the difficult decision to sell their productive assets and migrate, because they cannot afford the inputs to produce. 

You role as parliamentarians, is more critical now, probably more than any other time before if we are to address these challenges.

These are your constituencies. They are counting on you for  public policy changes that will improve their lives. You are the architects of societies  wellbeing. You are the change makers!

As the First Parliamentary Summit held in Madrid in 2018 clearly stated, “Parliamentary alliances are key to positioning the fight against hunger and malnutrition at the highest level of political agendas”.

You have the power and mandate ranging from representation to legislation, budget and oversight. 

Placing sustainable food systems and healthy diets top of national and local agendas is in your hands.

The UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) stands ready to support you.

CFS serves as the global food governance body of the United Nations where 135 Members States of the UN - including most of your countries - are joined by civil society, private sector, research and academia, UN agencies and programmes, international financial institutions, foundations and others, to deliberate upon and drive convergence on global policies to address systemic and structural causes of hunger and malnutrition in support of the efforts led by countries. 

The CFS policy guidelines that are negotiated and endorsed by our, your, governments, together with all stakeholders including  parliamentarians are common goods, useful resources in your work.

These tools include the Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrittion endorsed in February 2021.  They highlight the key role of  Parliamentarians and their sub-national, national and regional alliances play in promoting the adoption of policies, legislative and regulatory frameworks, raising awareness and promoting dialogue among relevant stakeholders, and allocating resources for the implementation of policies and programmes to achieve healthy diets through sustainable food systems.

They are a resource to guide our efforts in transforming food systems to deliver food security, adequate nutrition and healthy diets for all people, while providing decent jobs and incomes to farmers and food producers, are carbon neutral, reverse biodiversity loss and restore ecosystems.

Food systems that ensure the achievement of SDG 2 while contributing substantively to all the other SDGs.

Excellencies, we must work together to end hunger and malnutrition. For a start, I offer you the CFS partnership. Let’s build a long term partnership between CFS and parliamentarian alliances across the world for food security and nutrition.

You can count on us. We are counting on you! Thank you.