FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Uzbekistan gears up for UN Food Systems Summit through dialogue events

Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Agriculture, together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), organised a national dialogue to prepare for the UN Food Systems Summit, a major global event which is planned for September.

In over 100 countries around the world, national dialogues and consultations are taking place to exchange information, views, and ideas on how to transform our food systems. The first such dialogue, held recently in Tashkent, was attended by members of related ministries and government departments, as well as representatives of international and public organizations.

The upcoming global summit aims to kickstart action on the Sustainable Development Goals, each of which contributes to some degree to healthier, more sustainable, and equitable food systems. The summit has five goals: ensuring access to safe and nutritious food for all; establishing a transition to reasonable consumption; encouraging sustainable production; promoting a level playing field; and providing resistance to vulnerability, shocks, and stress.

“UN Secretary General António Guterres came up with an initiative to hold the Global Food Systems Summit in 2021, and the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, was among the first world leaders to support it at the 75th session of the UN General Assembly,” said the Deputy Minister for Agriculture for Accelerated Digitalization of the Agrarian Sector, Kakhramon Yuldashev.

“Climate change, which is of global importance today, and food security of the population in the context of the pandemic over the past two years, have shown that this is a strategic issue for any country,” added Yuldashev. “As with all other states, food security plays an important role in ensuring an independent economy, and socio-economic and political stability in our country. In this regard, the Republic of Uzbekistan is taking the necessary organizational, legal, economic and social decisions, as well as systematic measures to implement them.”

“The national dialogue in preparation for the UN Food Systems Summit seeks to respect different opinions and views, encourage collective research, and identify new means of collaboration," said Sherzod Umarov, Deputy FAO Representative for Uzbekistan. “This dialogue brought together partners on one platform to take action that will lead to a better future, as well as provided an opportunity for those whose voices are rarely heard to take part in negotiations. Indeed, according to the goals of the upcoming summit, we must all work together to change the patterns of production and consumption of food products used in the world, and our attitudes towards them.”

The results of the regional and national dialogues will be included in a report on the UN Food Systems Summit.

“Such dialogues, conducted by UN member states, are the main component of the 2021 Food Systems Summit process and an effective format for involving all stakeholders including legislators, producers, distributors, farmers' associations, the private sector and consumers,” remarked the UN Resident Coordinator in Uzbekistan, Helena Fraser. “It is important that everyone redefines their role in food systems for transformative action towards a healthier and sustainable planet. As a contribution to the work of the summit, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Uzbekistan, as an authorised body on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan, with the support of UNDP and FAO, will hold a number of national dialogues on food systems in the cities of Nukus and Namangan, in order to formulate a national strategy aimed at ensuring sustainable food systems.”

UNDP Resident Representative in Uzbekistan, Matilda Dimovska, added at the Tashkent dialogue: “Consistent with the course of the Government of Uzbekistan, which has committed itself to increasing productivity and creating jobs in the agricultural sector, the UNDP office also prioritizes the development of sustainable agriculture through promoting new technologies, green financing and the creation of an enabling environment, paying particular attention to the management of water resources upon which all crops depend.”

The national event was preceded by a regional dialogue for countries in Europe and Central Asia, with Uzbekistan represented by the Minister for Agriculture, Jamshid Khodjaev.

9 June 2021, Tashkent, Uzbekistan