Committee on World Food Security

Making a difference in food security and nutrition

Remarks by CFS Chair at the 7th United Cities and Local Government World Congress

14 Oct 2022

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Honourable mayors,

Emilia Saiz, United Cities and Local Governments Secretary General

Excellencies, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

I am delighted to address you today as the Chairperson of the UN Committee on Word Food Security (CFS).

We convene at a critical time for people, cities, territories and the planet.

Hunger and malnutrition are major challenges that all countries and all people are facing.

The interlinked shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and of conflicts including the war in Ukraine, are worsening an already dire situation.

As a result, people’s right to food is in jeopardy and we are not on track to achieving the 2030 development goals including SDG 2 on Zero Hunger.

Addressing these challenges calls for a transformation of our food system, to one that is sustainable and that delivers food security, adequate nutrition and healthy diets for all people, while providing decent jobs and incomes to family farmers and food producers.

This will require policies, programmes and interventions that take into account all relevant actors and sectors.

Importantly, it will require policies that address the specific food security and nutrition challenges and opportunities arising from urbanization and rural transformation - a policy gap not currently being addressed.

However, achieving this ambitious target will only be possible if we work together with you mayors, presidents of associations, and local elected officers.

I commend the work you are doing to help deconstruct the rural-urban dichotomy. To reframe the policy environment around a more holistic and integrated approach. 

A lot more still needs to be done.

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 137 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.

Over the years, CFS has negotiated and endorsed policy products that can guide you cities and urban leaders to design programmes, policies and investments for sustainable food systems.

For example, the CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition that were adopted in 2021, urge governments to integrate urban and peri-urban agriculture into national and local food systems and nutrition strategies.

In addition, at the CFS Plenary held last week, our members requested the High-Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition – HLPE-FSN, the scientific arm of the CFS – to produce a report in 2024 on “Strengthening urban and peri-urban food systems in the context of urbanization and rural transformation”.

This report will inform and shape a policy convergence process at CFS resulting in policy guidance for your use.

I offer you CFS’s support and partnership and look forward to strengthening our partnership with UCLG and with you all as we work together for a food secure, nutritious and prosperous society.

I wish you fruitful discussions and look forward to the outcomes of this edition of UCLG world summit and congress

Thank you!