The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, today delivered Ireland’s National Statement at the Pre-Summit of the UN Food Systems Summit, taking place at the headquarters of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome.
Minister McConalogue said, “The UN Food Systems Summit provides us with a unique opportunity to come together, to share our experiences, listen and learn from each other, and champion new solutions and build shared pathways towards more sustainable food systems. Ireland believes that sustainable food systems are crucial to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030; and therefore, has been strongly supportive of the Summit objectives. Ireland’s four National Food Systems Summit Dialogues, which attracted over 8,000 participants, generated valuable insights and understanding from across our food system”.
The Minister added that Ireland is responding to the food systems challenge: “Over the past two years, stakeholders in our agri-food sector have worked together on a National Agri-food strategy, which I brought before Government last week. Food Vision 2030 – A World Leader in Sustainable Food Systems envisages a transformational pathway to a position of world leadership by dealing with the three pillars of sustainability: economic, environmental and social. It was developed using a food systems approach which recognises the interconnections between policies for food, health, environment and climate. I believe Ireland’s experience of stakeholder involvement in strategy formation will to be of interest internationally.”
Minister McConalogue also took the opportunity to highlight Ireland’s global leadership on food systems transformation. He said, “The Summit must also address the important question of how we transform our food systems. The farmers, fishers and food producers who are the bedrock of our sector are central to this transformation, and their voices and concerns must be heard. For this reason, Ireland has been leading the development of a food systems transformation support facility that will assist countries in building inclusive, sustainable, and equitable food systems for the future. We will continue to develop this coalition over the coming months as we prepare for the Summit in September”.
Minister for Overseas Development and Diaspora, Colm Brophy T.D., also addressed the Pre-Summit today. Taking part online in an event on wasting - which is defined as the rapid deterioration in nutritional status over a short period of time – Minister Brophy outlined Ireland’s commitment to a zero hunger world.
“45 million children around the world suffer from wasting and nearly half of all deaths of children under-five are attributable to undernutrition. That is simply unacceptable.”
“The Irish experience of famine casts a long shadow in our national psyche. It is wholly unacceptable that millions of people around the world continue to live under the threat of famine. An investment in nutrition is an investment in the future. Through Irish Aid, my department supports people around the world to grow food.
“This UN initiative is a vital one. We must build momentum to deliver zero hunger.”