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Food systems approach gains momentum: Information toolkit

News - 24.09.2021

23 January 2021, Rome - The 2030 Agenda has heightened awareness of the key role that future food systems will play in meeting the global challenges of malnutrition, poverty, use of biodiversity and ecosystems services and climate change. Member States and stakeholders are beginning to take actions and to change behaviour.

There is an increased recognition that the right to food should remain at the core of food systems transformation. The recent report and interim issue paper by the High-Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE), as well as publications by FAO, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and World Bank, among others, call to build more sustainable food systems and to ensure the right to food.

The pandemic COVID-19 sheds light on the indivisible linkages between the right to health and the right to food, and the importance of multisectoral and multistakeholder approaches such as the human rights-based and One Health as the way ahead.

This selection of events, policy tools, articles and publications have emerged in support of these objectives, particularly in connection with the right to food. Resources will be updated regularly. 


CompendiumAn overview of the engagement process and the findings, knowledge and results generated in the lead up to the UN Food Systems Summit. 

Policy tools

CFS- Voluntary Guidelines in support of Food Systems and Nutrition

In the media: Opinion

The UN Food Systems Summit: How not to respond to the urgency of reform. By Michael Fakhri, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food; Hilal Elver, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food from 2014-2020; and Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food from 2008-2014, and current UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, and co-chair of IPES-Food).

Three UN Special Rapporteurs on the Right to Food reflect upon concerns by different stakeholders about the Food Systems Summit: "to make this a people’s summit, the table needs to be urgently re-set".

Hungry for change: an open letter to national governments . By Dr. Agnes Kalibata, Special Envoy for the 2021 Food Systems Summit)

The right to food, cornerstone towards sustainable systems . By Juan Carlos García y Cebolla, FAO Right to Food Team. Briefly discussed are some of the objectives of the Food Systems Summit. Also explained are the current gender inequalities in food systems amongst other challenges. The Food Systems Summit will be a starting point in addressing some of these issues and hearing from a vast number of voices. 

A lack of basic agricultural data is holding African countries back. By Agnes Kalibata and El Iza Mohamedou

FAO: Transforming our Agri-Food Systems Togeher. By Qu Dongyu, Director-General of the FAO

Five changes of mindset for a true food systems transformation. By Gerda Verburg.

Land rights for small producers: a critical solution to the world's food systems. By Agnes Kalibata and Mike Taylor.

The Race to Sustainable Abundance. By Michael Bloomberg, Saleemul Huq and Agnes Kalibata.

How the G7 can safeguard our future. By Sandrine Dixson-Decléve and Saleemul Huq.

Women are the nucleus of our global food system – but their value is undermined by the patriarchy. By Jemimah Njuki

Covid has left millions in need but we have the power to end hunger once and for all. By Kanayo Nwanze and Ertharin Cousin.

Will our food break the climate or save it?. By Martin Frick, Ryan Hobert

Policy briefs and reports

Last chance to make the Food Systems Summit truly a “people’s summit”. The Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Michael Fakhri, shares his critical observations on areas for improvements with regard to the upcoming UN Food Systems Summit, with a view to making it a truly transformative, rights-based and multilateral event. It provides guidance to States in their deliberations at the Summit.

Interim report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Michael Fakhri, to the General Assembly

Even though the 2021 Food System Summit has elevated public discussion concerning food systems reform, sufficient attention has not been paid to structural challenges facing the world’s food systems. The Special Rapporteur warns against building new forms of governance from the Summit’s outcomes and recommends a set of questions for assessing the outcomes through a human rights framework.


Food security and nutrition: building a global narrative towards 2030

Press releases

UN Food Systems Summit marginalizes human rights and disappoints, say experts (written by Mr. Michael Fakhri,  Special Rapporteur on Right to Food, Mr. David Boyd, Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment; and Mr. Olivier de Schutter,  Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights).

Declarations and statements

Business Declaration for Food Systems Transformation

Consumers call for action at the United Nations Food Systems Summit

CSM response to the invitation to join the UN Food Systems pre-Summit Synthesis Plenary

Evidence -based approach- Scientific papers


Sustainable food systems: An introduction


More information can be found at the website of the UN Food systems Summit, the Pre-Summit and FAO Food Systems.

**Last update on 24 September 2021**

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