The United Nations and Government of Italy has announced that the Pre-Summit gathering for the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit has been scheduled to be held from 19th – 21st July, 2021 in Rome, Italy.

Under the leadership of UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Prime Minister of Italy Mario Draghi, the Pre-Summit event will amalgamate the efforts and contributions of a global engagement process to shape ambition to re-shape the food systems.

The three-day event will bring together youth, smallholder farmers, policy leaders, indigenous peoples, private sector, researchers, and ministers of agriculture, environment, health, and finance among others to share and discuss the recent evidence-based and scientific approach from around the globe, launch a set of new commitments via coalitions of action, and mobilize new financing and collaborations. The event will be staged in September alongside the UN General Assembly in New York.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated- “The Pre-Summit in Italy will be a key moment for mobilizing the bold commitments we require to build sustainable food systems that work for people, planet, and prosperity. Through accelerated action, we can assist the world to recover from COVID-19 in a better manner, to tackle rising hunger and to deal with the climate crisis.”

Being the hosts of the Pre-Summit, Italian Government will make a national food system commitment to establish the mood and a high ambition prior to the Summit.

Italy’s Prime Minister, Mario Draghi declared- “Italy is prepared to welcome this major appointment of the Food Systems Summit in Rome. We desire to address the issue of food security within our broad agenda as President of the G20. In association with the UN and its agencies based in Rome, Italy will engage with its partners to advocate better agriculture, sustainable value chains and salubrious lifestyles. I look forward for everyone to join us in a global endeavour to safeguard the environment with meaningful actions.”

The Pre-Summit event is anticipated to take place in a ‘hybrid’ virtual format over a stretch of three days, during which a number of people will participate in person at the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) in Rome, while others from around the globe will be engaged on a vast virtual platform. Global leaders will hopefully step up and launch bold new actions, solutions, partnerships, and strategies to ‘recover better’ from COVID-19 and deliver progress on all 17 SDGs, each of which depends to some degree on health-giving, sustainable and equitable food systems.

The Pre-Summit will take place in Rome while Italy is heading the G20 process and co-hosting the COP26 in November. The role of food systems in accomplishing global goals and climate targets is expected to function as a key priority of these other events and continue to carry forward momentum from Food System Summit.

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