Operationalizing the Convergence Initiative

Following its launch at COP28, the Convergence Initiative gathers momentum as National Convenors and stakeholders contribute innovative ideas to drive forward the synergistic transformation of food systems and climate action.

©FAO/Victor Sokolowicz


Following the launch of the Convergence Initiative by the UN Deputy Secretary-General at COP28, the Hub has intensified consultations with Food Systems National Convenors and stakeholders to operationalize the work under this initiative. During all regional meetings with Convenors to review progress on food systems transformation, a distinctive agenda item of the meetings was dedicated to the Convergence Initiative.

National Convenors and stakeholders provided a wealth of inputs, innovative ideas, and specific suggestions towards the operationalization of the Initiative. Some of the highlights of these inputs include but are not limited to the following:

  • There is a strong demand and appetite from the National Convenors to strengthen their engagement with national climate action processes and work towards synergetic activities between the teams implementing the national Food Systems Transformations (FST) and Climate Action (CA) agendas.
  • Many countries have already established links and there are opportunities for greater convergence through the facilitation of dialogues and the establishment of joint working groups. It was emphasized that the Hub should use the expertise of FAO, WFP, IFAD as well as other UN Agencies that support countries in the areas of food systems transformations and climate action.
  • Countries have highlighted that the implementation of the Initiative at the national level should respect national policies and operational modalities and will be based on a modular approach that will lead to bespoke and demand-driven support at the country level.
  • Countries and stakeholder have emphasized the need to link also to the Convergence Initiative the biodiversity and nature conservation agenda and create complementarities.
  • Countries have requested the Hub to continue supporting efforts that will increase their operational capacity to advance the alignment of FST and CA processes through multi-sectoral co-design processes and peer-learning.
  • The importance of regional level coordination has also been highlighted alongside the benefits that can be derived from the participation of National Convenors to relevant regional or global climate action fora and peer-learning events to enhance their capacity and links with the climate action ecosystems.
  • There is a benefit from establishing a voluntary monitoring framework to review work under the initiative, identify progress, bottlenecks and opportunities for further action. The 2025 UNFSS+4 could serve as a first milestone to review relevant progress.

Based on this and other ideas the Hub has developed an updated framework of the Convergence Initiative that can be downloaded here.

The Hub will continue to work the National Convenors, stakeholders and partners to continue fine-tuning the framework and start supporting country level work.