|Delegates at a panel discussion of SFS Programme on Monday. — VNS Photo Tố Như|
HÀ NỘI — As a responsible nation, Việt Nam is willing to work with other countries to transform sustainable food systems, contributing to protecting the planet, said Deputy Prime Minister Trần Lưu Quang on Monday at the fourth Global Conference of the One Planet Network’s Sustainable Food Systems Programme (SFS Programme).
The conference this year is hosted by Việt Nam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development from Monday until Thursday with the theme ‘The transformation we need: Emerging from global crises by shaping sustainable, resilient, healthy, and inclusive food systems”.
The ministerial-level meeting attracted more than 300 delegates including nearly 200 foreign participants from other countries, UN agencies and international organisations.
Delivering opening remarks at the conference in Hà Nội, Quang said according to Food and Agriculture Organisation reports in 2020 and 2021, hunger is still on the rise and the number of affected people reached 828 million by 2021. The Asia-Pacific region is predicted to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2065, three and a half decades behind schedule.
“The issue has become more urgent than ever and now, not any other time, we must act to protect the planet – the common home for all of us and the generations to come,” he said.
The Vietnamese Government issued the National Action Plan for Transforming the Food System with the ambition for a transparent, responsible and sustainable food system in Việt Nam by 2030, he said.
This aims to help Việt Nam become a transparent, responsible, sustainable food producer and supplier, which was affirmed at the United Nations Summit on Food Systems in 2021, he said.
“Việt Nam is ready to share experience and work with countries in agricultural and rural development sectors, especially through South-South and Triangular Cooperation,” Quang said.
The conference is expected to contribute to the 2023 Stocktaking Moment of the UN Food Systems Summit follow-up process, by focusing on how food systems need to be transformed to overcome the multiple deeply rooted and interlinked crises of climate, biodiversity, conflict, energy, prices, hunger, malnutrition, and health to achieve the SDGs.
Delivering a video message at the opening session of the conference, Qu Dongyu, FAO director general, said the multi-stakeholder partnerships will be vital to address the interlinked and complex global challenges, including the impacts of the climate crisis, ongoing conflicts, food insecurity, malnutrition, and food loss and waste.
“FAO is committed to continue working together with all partners to achieve our common goal of the Four Betters: better production, better nutrition, better environment and a better life for all – leaving no one behind,” he said.
The discussions over the next few days will be a milestone in the preparation for the 2023 UN Food Systems Stocktaking Moment, hosted by FAO and the Government of Italy, in Rome from 24 to 26 July this year, he said.
After the opening session, three ministerial-level talks were held with the participation of agriculture sector leaders from Switzerland, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Rwanda, Kenya, Malawi, and Ghana.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Lê Minh Hoan said: “Việt Nam has taken early action to transform the food system.
“Việt Nam needs to take strong action to ensure that the food system smartly adapts to the increasingly serious impacts of climate change and diseases.”
He also highlighted the importance of efficient and sustainable use of natural resources, improvement and diversification of livelihoods and incomes for farmers along with solutions to ensure social safety and sustainable environment.
Việt Nam’s National Action Plan for Transforming the Food System was launched on March 28, 2023 with an aim to meet food safety and nutrition demand of 100 million Vietnamese people, contributing to global food safety. — VNS