SDG 2 Events Highlight Climate Links, Food Security
UN Photo/Gill Fickling
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The UN General Assembly's (UNGA) Second Committee (Economic and Financial) held its annual debate on Agriculture Development, Food Security and Nutrition.

Other international meetings and publications addressing SDG 2 in October included: World Food Day; the Second Mayors’ Summit; the 43rd session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS 43); and the launch of the report 'Ending Hunger: What Would it cost?'.

24 October 2016: October was an active month for the international community with regard to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 on ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture. As one group of UN Member States noted, the ambition of “leaving no one behind,” which lies at the center of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, is unlikely to be achieved without agricultural development, food security and nutrition.

Most recently, the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) Second Committee (Economic and Financial) held its annual debate on Agriculture Development, Food Security and Nutrition, on 24 October 2016. Introducing the UN Secretary-General’s report on the topic (A/71/283), Shantanu Mukherjee, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), noted that shifting to more sustainable agriculture and food systems will be increasingly necessary to strengthen resilience to the effects of climate change while ensuring food security. He said maintaining agricultural genetic diversity is also essential due to changing environmental conditions.

In order to address challenges faced by developing countries with regard to SDG 2, Thailand for the Group of the 77/ China (G-77/ China) called for the international community to work towards eliminating all forms of protectionism and enhance commitments to improve market access, reduce trade-distorting national support and eliminate export subsidies and disciplines. She also stressed the need to promote the transfer, dissemination and diffusion of environmentally sound technology to developing countries. Indonesia for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) noted the importance of integrated actions in finance, trade, climate adaptation, agriculture, health and nutrition, infrastructure, energy and other relevant sectors.

Delegates stressed the importance of improving agricultural productivity while pursuing sustainable agricultural practices, at an affordable cost.

Bangladesh for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) said it is necessary to empower women, particularly in rural areas, as well to improve rural infrastructure and provide access to innovative financing for farmers. Other issues highlighted by Member States included: the need to integrate developing countries into world markets; the need for increased support to smallholders, rural women, fisherfolk and indigenous communities; and the need to provide support for developing nations and countries in special situations, particularly those suffering from soil degradation and desertification. Delegates also stressed the importance of improving agricultural productivity while pursuing sustainable agricultural practices, at an affordable cost.

Other international meetings and publications addressing SDG 2 in October 2016 included: World Food Day; the Second Mayors’ Summit, focused on the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact; the 43rd session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS 43); and the launch of the report ‘Ending Hunger: What Would it cost?’.

On 16 October, events in more than 150 countries marked World Food Day 2016, held under the theme ‘Climate is changing, food and agriculture must too,’ and emphasized actions to strengthen smallholder farmers’ resilience. A ceremony at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) focused on the links between SDG 1 (ending poverty in all forms everywhere), SDG 2, and SDG 13 (taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts). High-level speakers like Pope Francis, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Italian Prime Minster Matteo Renzi, and the UN Special Envoy on El Niño and Climate, Macharia Kamau, highlighted: the need for more collaboration to reduce food waste; the role of traditional knowledge in the search for solutions; the need to improve partnerships to address hunger and ensure climate change does not threaten food security; and taking a holistic and integrated approach to climate change, food security and equitable social and economic development.

World Food Day 2016 coincided with the Second Mayors’ Summit, held on 14 October. Participating mayors discussed collaborative efforts and shared experiences and best practices in developing sustainable food systems, with a focus on the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact.

CFS 43 convened from 17-21 October, in Rome, Italy. It addressed: sustainable food systems, nutrition and climate change; CFS engagement in advancing the 2030 Agenda; the State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI) and the 2030 Agenda; and the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition. CFS 43 adopted sets of recommendations on: the role of livestock in sustainable agricultural development for food security and nutrition; and promoting smallholders’ access to markets. The Committee decided that intersessional activities will continue on engagement in advancing the 2030 Agenda and on nutrition, as follows: CFS’ Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) on the SDGs is tasked with elaborating the Committee’s contribution to the 2017 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF); the OEWG on Nutrition will identify CFS’ contributions to the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition work programme; and the OEWG on Urbanization and Rural Transformation will agree on a process to compile experiences and policy approaches for addressing food security and nutrition in the context of changing rural-urban dynamics.

On 18 October, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) released estimates of the cost to end hunger, as well as the contribution needed from donors to achieve SDG target 2.1. According to the study, titled ‘Ending Hunger: What Would it cost?’, ending hunger globally will cost, on average, an additional US$11 billion per year in public spending between now and 2030. Of this additional spending, US$4 billion must come from donors, the authors find, while the remaining US$7 billion must come from national governments. [Meeting Summary of Second Committee Debate] [IISD RS Story on World Food Day] [IISD RS Meeting Coverage of CFS 43] [IISD RS Story on ‘Ending Hunger: What Would it cost?’]


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