Season's Greetings and a Happy New Year!
Dear Convenors, partners and colleagues,
As 2022 comes to a close, we want to take a moment to pause and reflect on what we have accomplished together this past year, as well as appreciate you, for the solid partnership we have co-created.
Despite an exceptionally challenging year, given the unprecedented food and cost-of-living crisis, we have taken great strides together towards keeping food systems transformation high on the global agenda.
Over the past year, the UN System has come together to bring the UN Food Systems Coordination Hub into existence. We are now fully operational and actively working to provide coordinated, country-driven, customized support to countries in translating their national pathways into concrete action, that can ultimately transform our current food systems into more sustainable, equitable, healthier and resilient food systems that work for People, Planet and Prosperity.
It has been an intense year of learning and growth. Looking back, we are proud of the foundations we have been able to lay together in just a few months.
Since its establishment, the Hub has liaised with food systems National Convenors to plan concrete support for the early and effective implementation of their national pathways. Multifaceted and tailored assistance has started in several countries through the mobilization of the existing UN presence in each country, under the leadership of the UN Resident Coordinators (RCs), as well as by engaging the Ecosystem of Support - such as food system coalitions, IFIs, development partners, think tanks and the private sector.
Since April 2022, we have organized monthly “Food Systems Solutions Dialogues” and Regional Touchpoints, on a wide range of topics. These sessions have enabled continued peer-exchange, peer-learning and capacity development within the Convenors networks.
Since its inception, the Hub has also worked on establishing tight links with the coalitions that emerged from the Food Systems Summit, through briefings, brainstorming sessions, a dedicated Solutions Dialogue, as well as one-on-one engagements. A Coalitions Compendium and FAQ have been developed and shared widely in order to facilitate countries’ engagement and strategic use of coalitions.
Together, we have also witnessed the appointment of focal points from Youth and Indigenous People in the Hub’s Stakeholders Engagement, Networking and Advisory (SENA) Group and the launch of a Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) introduced at a plenary session during the World Food Forum in October 2022 in Rome.
Since financing came up as the highest area of support sought by countries, the Means of Implementation Finance has been prioritized for the biennium 2022-2023. IFAD and the World Bank, as co-lead of this stream of work within the Hub, have been active in mobilizing a broad range of partners to leverage financing for food systems transformation, including through the development of a Country Food Systems Budgeting Tool and of a methodology to measure ODA flows to food systems transformation.
Finally, the Hub has leveraged every opportunity to connect the Food Systems Transformation Agenda and other relevant global processes, including the UNCCD COP15, Stockholm+50, the HLPF, CFS50 and UNGA among others. Specific references to the food systems, the Food Systems Summit follow-up and the Hub have been included in the Ministerial Declaration of the 2022 HLPF.
While we get ready for next year, we are acutely aware and greatly humbled by the realization that great challenges lay ahead and that 2023 will be a pivotal year to push forward, with unrelenting resolution, to make change happen. Piece-meal approaches will not yield the results at the scale that is needed. What is required is a comprehensive systems approach that connects the emergency response with development action, delivering immediate relief without compromising but rather accelerating long-term structural changes.
We are confident that together, working in a coordinated and integrated manner, National Convenors, United Nations, Ecosystem of Support, Stakeholders and all other food systems actors, we can make a difference. We want to extend our sincere gratitude to you for your continued commitment and support on this journey. We are looking forward to great partnerships and accomplishments together, leading to the UN Food Systems Summit +2 Stocktaking Moment.
Season’s greetings and best wishes from our entire team. We wish you a restful holiday season full of love, peace, and good health!
The UN Food Systems Coordination Hub