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A fruit vendor's stall in Kabul, Afghanistan. A fruit vendor's stall in Kabul, Afghanistan.  (AFP or licensors)

Holy See launching 3 webinars ahead of UN Food Systems Summit

In Autumn this year, the United Nations will convene a Food Systems Summit to raise global awareness and coordinate initiatives aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 2 of Zero Hunger (SDG2), by 2030.

By Lisa Zengarini

In view of the UN's Food Systems Summit in the context of the implementation of the UN’s 2030 Agenda and of the Covid-19 crisis, the Holy See is launching a three-part webinar series entitled “Food for Life, Food Justice, Food for All

The first webinar during Laudato si' Week

The series is organized by the Secretariat of State of the Holy See, the Vatican’s Permanent Mission to FAO, IFAD & WFP, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, and the Vatican COVID-19 Commission alongside its partners working in food security and will kick off on May 17 ‘Laudato si’ Week’ (May 16th - 24th).

Integral ecology to transform food systems 

Inspired by Pope Francis’ Encyclical letter on care for our common home, the three online seminars will showcase how an integral ecology - a paradigm that considers the interconnections, among others, between social systems and ecosystems - can inspire the regeneration of food systems in the post-Covid future. They will highlight how Church and other actors can contribute to this transformation of food systems towards the care for our common home, the eradication of hunger, the respect of human dignity and the service of the common good, so that no one is left behind.

Aims of the webinars

Guided by the values of Catholic Social Teaching, the daily experience of local Church actors and the moral imperative to eliminate hunger, three-part webinar series aims to: listen and nurture dialogues within and beyond the Church; connect best practices across the world that promote sustainable food systems and; elevate traditionally excluded voices to inspire a call for food justice. It will therefore privilege the voices of women, indigenous communities, people living in crisis settings, small-scale farmers, and others - in order to learn from their experiences and traditional wisdom and to inspire global debates and action plans.

Role of women, food justice and conflicts

The first webinar will take place on May 17 on the theme “Food for Life: The role of women in the promotion of integral human development” and will feature a dialogue about the unique role of women in development, with emphasis on how to support their leadership in shaping resilient food systems across the globe. The second webinar, on May 26, is entitled “Food Justice: Jobs, innovation, and finance at the service of food justice” and will emphasize the importance of dignified work, finance and innovation in rebuilding sustainable food systems, particularly in the post-Covid-19 future. The last webinar will meet on May 31 and will focus on the theme “Food for All: Food conflicts and the future of food systems” exploring different responses to food conflicts, and how the Church can best contribute and collaborate to address hunger and food inequality around the world.

Outcome to be shared with UN

The series will take place ahead of the UN Food Systems Pre-Summit gathering in Rome from 19-21, 2021 and its outcome will be shared as part of the Summit process to help guide individual and collective action towards a future of food that is sustainable, equitable and secure.

The UN Food Systems Summit convened as part of the Decade of Action to achieve the SDGs by 2030

The UN Food Systems Summit was announced by UN Secretary-General António Guterres in 2019 as part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 and has been jointly requested by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Economic Forum (WEF)

The Summit will launch bold new actions to deliver progress on all 17 SDGs, each of which relies to some degree on healthier, more sustainable and equitable food systems. The Summit will awaken the world to the fact that we all must work together to transform the way the world produces, consumes and thinks about food. It is a summit for everyone everywhere – a people’s summit. It is also a solutions summit that will require everyone to take action to transform the world’s food systems.

12 May 2021, 16:24