Pristina, 13 July: As food systems around the world continue to recover from the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Institute for Development Policy (INDEP), in partnership with the United Nations Kosovo Team (UNKT) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development (MAFRD), today hosted an interactive discussion to provide input to a summit that will take place in New York in September. This milestone event is drawing on the input of people all over the world to identify sustainable solutions for the future of food.
“INDEP has been committed to promoting the Sustainable Development Goals precisely in the areas of reducing pollution, promoting access to quality food for all, and reducing inequalities, and this global conversation on food systems presented the ideal opportunity to discuss how to achieve this in Kosovo,” reflected Burim Ejupi, Executive Director of the Institute for Development Policy and Convenor of today’s event.
The meeting brought together over 50 participants for a lively and constructive discussion.
The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development Imri Demelezi in his opening remarks reminded participants that a well-functioning food system Is vital for the health and well-being of the people of Kosovo.
UN Development Coordinator Ulrika Richardson reflected on food as the building block of life: “Food brings us together as families and communities while supporting jobs. But COVID-19 has reminded us of the clear linkages between inequality, poverty, food and disease. By jointly working towards transforming Kosovo’s food system, we can initiate a shift to a safer, fairer, more sustainable world, “she said.
A diverse array of perspectives was shared by farmers, food producers and processers, restaurant owners, bankers, young environmentalists, and other stakeholders. The discussions centred on supply of and demand for sustainably produced food as well as the circular use of food resources to minimise food waste.
Participants agreed on several ways that the food system in Kosovo can be strengthened. These included the importance of measuring and integrating the “hidden costs” of food production and food waste (such as environmental, ecological and social costs) and the role of quality transport and storage infrastructure, as a necessary element to enhance access to markets and quality food for all.
INDEP together with UNKT will now submit the outcomes of the meeting to the organizers of the Food Systems Summit in New York. “This is our chance to take a seat at the table,” said Dardan Abazi, who moderated a final plenary providing recommendations. “Through our joint feedback, we will be joining a global community of people committed to transforming food systems around the world.”
To learn more about the event, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/331079605326415/?ti=ls
About the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit:
The UN Food Systems Summit was announced by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, on World Food Day in October 2020 as a part of the Decade of Action for delivery on the SDGs by 2030. The aim of the Summit is to deliver progress on all 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals through a food systems approach, leveraging the interconnectedness of food systems to global challenges such as hunger, climate change, poverty and inequality. More information about the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit and list of Advisory Committee and Scientific Group members can be found online: https://www.un.org/foodsystemssummit