07 September 2021
National Dialogues Workshop on Sustainable Food Systems held in Turkey
A National Dialogues Workshop on Sustainable Food Systems towards the Achievement of Sustainable Development Goals was held in Turkey today. More than 130 participants representing the public sector, private sector, academia, civil society, and business organizations attended the virtual workshop organized by National Dialogue Convenor Office in Turkey with the support of the UN Turkey Resident Coordinator’s Office and UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) Secretariat. Speaking at the opening of the workhop UN Turkey Officer in Charge Alvaro Rodriguez said he is confident that the workshop’s dialogue will present an excellent platform to exchange experiences and create synergies on how Turkey can transform its food systems in a sustainable way. “The UN Food Systems Summit has an ambitious vision” stated Rodriguez and continued: “It aims to launch bold new actions, solutions, and strategies to deliver progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), each of which relies on healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable food systems. The Summit aims to re-orient the world to the fact that we all must work together to transform the way the world produces and consumes food.” “Sustainable food systems don’t just help to end hunger. If planned strategically, they can help the world achieve significant progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. In COVID-19 era, the role of the sustainable food systems in building back better efforts is also critical” emphasized UN Turkey Officer in Charge. Aylin Çağlayan Özcan who has been managing Turkey’s national dialog process emphasized that Turkey started work on transforming and improving food systems early on. The first report on the matter was prepared in 2019 she said. Özcan stated that Turkey also participated in the UNFSS pre-summit held in July. Özcan said the Workshop is important since it would contribute to the National Road Map of Turkey for transforming the food systems. Speaking at the opening Viorel Gutu Sub-Regional Coordinator for Central Asia and FAO Representative in Turkey reminded that even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the global community was not on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. “Since the crisis, the situation has worsened; the achievement of global nutrition targets under the SDGs to curb the rise of hunger and malnutrition is not presently within our grasp” he said. Gutu gave the latest statistics on hunger, malnutrition and food security. In 2020, 811 million people were hungry, nearly 2.37 billion people were unable to access adequate food, and around 3 billion people were unable to access healthy diets. Gutu emphasized the importance of stakeholder engagement. “I believe that our dialogue with different stakeholders of the agri-food sector will contribute to achieving resilient, climate smart, environment friendly and egalitarian agri-food systems in the future” he concluded. Dr. David Nabarro, who oversees the ambitious Food Systems Summit Dialogues process also spoke at the opening of the Workshop. Emphasizing the importance of dialogues for food systems transformation Nabarro said Turkey has done remarkably well in getting strong involvement of different stakeholders in the dialogue process. “Turkey is one of the most inspiring countries in preparation of the UNFSS” he said. Under the leadership of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the UN Food Systems Summit will take place on Thursday, 23 September 2021. It will be a completely virtual event during the UN General Assembly High-level Week.