I was just sitting there, reading “in partnership with the government of Italy” and the first thing I want to tell you is how proud I am of this partnership. Thank you.
Deputy Secretary General,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to welcome you to Rome.
Secretary General Guterres launched the idea of this Summit in October 2019, on World Food Day.
He was worried about the many threats to food security - including climate change, infectious diseases and disruptions to supply chains.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made these concerns all the more urgent.
The global downturn has pushed millions of people below the poverty line.
Uncertain weather conditions and supply disruptions have contributed to soaring food prices.
The Agricultural Commodity Price Index has increased by 30% compared to January 2020 and is near its highest level in eight years.
As a result, the plight of malnutrition is spreading.
Malnutrition in all its forms has become the leading cause of ill health and death.
In 2019, around 690 million people suffered from hunger globally.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the pandemic will increase the number of undernourished people by up to 130 million, bringing the total to more than 800 million.
The health crisis has led to a food crisis.
We have taken commitments to ensure vaccines are available to the world’s poorest.
We must act just as forcefully to improve access to adequate food supplies.
At the end of last year, Italy promoted a “Food Coalition” here in this room, which has been joined by more than 40 countries.
The coalition has the objective of achieving “Food Security for all”, fighting extreme poverty and food insecurity in the wake of the pandemic.
We need more funding from governments and development banks, to reduce risks for investors in the agricultural sector and improve access to credit, especially for smaller farmers.
This is the subject of the Finance in Common Summit that Italy will host in Rome in October.
Under the Italian Presidency, the G20 has identified the main priorities for improving food security globally.
The Matera declaration, signed last month at the Foreign Affairs Ministers’ Meeting (thank you, Minister Di Maio) emphasised the importance of international trade and climate change adaptation policies.
Productivity in agriculture is 21% lower than it would be without climate change.
The negative impact of changing rainfall patters, droughts and floods is likely to grow exponentially, unless we adopt appropriate mitigation and adaptation policies.
This will be at the heart of COP26 – that Italy co-chairs with the United Kingdom.
This autumn in Glasgow we want to reach an ambitious climate deal, that includes both rich and emerging economies.
Here, for all of you who know about these issues, ambition is the key word.
Combating all forms of malnutrition goes hand in hand with preserving traditional diets and food diversity.
Nearly 3 billion people around the world do not have access to healthy diets.
In Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia, almost 60 percent of the population cannot afford one.
We must promote healthy eating habits while preserving traditional food cultures built through the centuries.
Il G20 ha aperto la strada per il summit di settembre. Questo Pre-Summit è l’occasione per trasformare il modo in cui noi pensiamo, produciamo e consumiamo il cibo globalmente. Sono certo che le vostre proposte susciteranno un grande interesse e vi auguro grande successo.