Twenty-twenty brought many challenges to and opportunities for working in the Decade of Action towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Communities worldwide faced unprecedented barriers to meeting food security needs with at least 20 countries on the brink of famine, highlighting the importance of global collective action. As we continue to move forward in this decade of action towards the UN Food Systems Summit and other global convenings, we have the opportunity to gain momentum as never before. We recognize that we cannot ‘reboot’ the system, but must transform food systems to right inequitable structures.
Solutions must be innovative, commitments must be bold and collective action must be systematic
This pivotal year offers milestones for international collaboration. The International Borlaug Dialogue follows the UN Food Systems Summit (FSS) and the 49th Plenary Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) while building forward for COP26 and the Nutrition for Growth Summit, to gain momentum in the Decade of Action. Country commitments and Coalitions of Action adopted during the UN FSS will be highlighted during the Borlaug Dialogue, reaching additional audiences and widening opportunities for partnership.
Given the momentum being built in the Decade of Action, this year’s International Borlaug Dialogue will spotlight several critical areas in food systems transformation. These subjects provide framing themes for the Borlaug Dialogue, but other topics and critical issues will be explored.
Research & Innovation
Transforming food systems requires a strong evidence base for policy action, alongside great strides in accessible innovations. Through Research and Innovation, we must prioritize the affordability of safe, nutritious diets, which remain out of reach for a huge swath of the global population. Research advancements must continue to improve agricultural production dramatically, while innovation expands the capacity to enhance all aspects of food systems.
Gender Equity & Equitable Livelihoods
Achieving gender equity requires building momentum for further action. One of the most significant ways to uplift all genders is through equitable access to the resources needed due to the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19. Transformed food systems will promote the agency of historically disenfranchised populations and advancing Equitable Livelihoods.
Nutrition-Sensitive Food Systems
The commitment to build safe, affordable, nutrition-sensitive food systems remain central to global food security deliberations. The link between nutrition and health has been magnified during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nutrition must be elevated within food production priorities to achieve multiple wins in food security, including gender equity, natural resource conservation, diverse cultural contexts and poverty alleviation.
With the UN Food Systems Summit, 49th Committee on World Food Security plenary session, Nutrition For Growth Summit and numerous other dialogues and summits taking place, we can now build momentum as never before in the Decade of Action to attain the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. We can transform food systems to sustainability meet the needs and differences of all, if we can develop effective governance to guide transformation and move to systematic action and implementation.