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Food Systems Summit, Prime Minister Draghi’s speech

Thursday, 23 September 2021

Dear Secretary General, 
Dear Colleagues,

When Secretary General Guterres launched the idea of this Summit in 2019, malnutrition was already on the rise.
Today, this plight has become even more dramatic. 
According to the latest data, almost one in ten people in the world is undernourished. 
The pandemic and the global downturn have pushed nearly 100 million people into extreme poverty, bringing the total to 730 million.
Climate change has increased the risk of droughts, floods and extreme weather events, which affect the agricultural sector disproportionately.
Changes in precipitation patterns and heat waves have reduced crop yields and land productivity. 
The combined effect of health crises, economic instability, and climate change has the potential to undermine our collective efforts to fight hunger globally.

Italy is fully committed to promoting sustainable and resilient food systems, both at the national level and as G20 Presidency.
At the G20 Ministerial Meeting in Matera in June, we signed the Matera Declaration'. 
It calls upon the international community to ensure adequate nutrition for all and set up resilient food chains, to reach the goal of zero hunger in 2030.
The Food Coalition that Italy and the Food and Agriculture Organisation promoted last year has exactly that same goal.
We want to trigger coordinated action globally on food security and nutrition in response to Covid-19.

At the Pre-Summit in Rome two months ago, we engaged academics, practitioners, as well as communities and policy leaders to discuss how to make food systems more resilient.
Today, we expect to agree on a set of concrete actions that involve everyone.
We must promote healthy diets that safeguard traditional food cultures and be aware that there are no ‘one size fits all’ solutions, as we concluded at the Pre-Summit.

Italy strongly supports the role that the UN system and its Rome-based agencies play in the fight against global hunger.
I wish you a productive Summit and I look forward to its conclusions.