The UN Food Systems Summit+2 Stocktaking Moment (UNFSS+2) reviewed progress in implementing the outcomes of the 2021 Food Systems Summit to support global action towards zero hunger, food security, and nutrition (SDG 2) as drivers to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. UNFSS+2 also launched the UN Secretary-General’s call for accelerated food systems transformation that will inform the SDG Summit, UNFCCC COP 28, and the 2024 Summit of the Future.

Addressing participants, UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned that “global food systems are broken and billions of people are paying the price.” While almost one-third of all food produced is lost or wasted, more than 780 million people experience hunger, over 3 billion cannot afford healthy diets, 462 million are underweight, and 2 billion are overweight or obese.

At the same time, he noted, unsustainable food production, packaging, and consumption generate one-third of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, contributing to the climate crisis, use 70% of the world’s freshwater, and drive biodiversity loss.

In his Call to Action, the Secretary-General highlights progress countries have made since 2021 in addressing the broken food systems, including by supporting more than 155 National Food Systems Convenors, adopting 126 national pathways for food systems transformation, and submitting 107 voluntary reports that provide “a vivid account of their food systems journey.” 

Despite countries’ “leadership and ownership for progress,” projections show that by 2030, some 600 million people, or 7% of the world’s population, will suffer hunger. This, the Secretary-General notes, is the same proportion as in 2015, meaning “there will be no progress on SDG 2.”

The Call to Action summarizes UNFSS+2’s main message as follows:

  • There is no shortage of ambition for food systems that combine the right to food with delivering the SDGs for everyone;
  • There is tangible progress albeit much more remains to be done; and
  • Concerted and urgent action is needed to achieve the potential of food systems.

The Secretary-General calls on governments, international financial institutions (IFIs), farmers, and other stakeholders to prioritize implementation of future food systems around six areas:

  • Incorporating food systems strategies into all national policies for sustainable development while leaving no one behind;
  • Establishing food systems governance that engages all sectors and stakeholders for a whole-of-society approach;
  • Investing in research, data, innovation, and technology;
  • Deepening joined-up participatory design and implementation inclusive of women, young people, and Indigenous Peoples;
  • Promoting increased engagement of businesses, including through public-private partnerships (PPPs), to shape the sustainability of food systems and strengthen accountability mechanisms; and
  • Ensuring access to short- and long-term concessional finance, investments, budget support, and debt restructuring.

Speaking at the Stocktaking Moment, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed identified ongoing and interlinked crises and the lack of funding among the main reasons for limited progress. Responding to the need for longer-term financial investments, the Joint SDG Fund’s Window on Food Systems, launched at UNFSS+2, “will provide catalytic funding for the implementation of national food systems pathways.” 

‘Food system pathways’ is one of twelve high-impact initiatives that the Secretary-General has identified to anchor SDG acceleration going forward.

The UN Food Systems Summit +2 Stocktaking Moment convened in Rome, Italy, from 24-26 July 2023. It was hosted by Italy, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Food Systems Coordination Hub, and the wider UN system. [UN Food Systems Summit +2 Stocktaking Moment] [UN News Story]