Hunger, Food Security and Nutrition
This page aims to bring together voices from across the globe in a conversation on food security and nutrition. After the initial consultation which drew over 250 contributions, we will be continuing the discussion with more engagements as the post-2015 framework takes greater shape. This consultation is co-led by FAO and WFP in partnership with the governments of Colombia and Spain.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has released proposed targets and indicators for 14 themes the Organization is focusing on in support of the UN-wide process to define global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Following April’s release of common targets and indicators by the Rome-based Agencies (FAO, IFAD and WFP), these 14 themes span FAO’s broader mandate, covering areas related to food security, nutrition, and sustainable agriculture, but also rural poverty, environmental stewardship and the sustainable management of natural resources.
The themes capture interlinkages between food security and priority areas of the new agenda, shining a light on areas for special attention in feeding a world population projected to grow from 7 to 9 billion by 2050.
FAO’s 14 themes are: Food Security and the Right to Food; Nutrition; Poverty Eradication; Resilience; Social Protection; Climate Change; Ecosystems, Biodiversity and Genetics; Energy; Fisheries, Aquaculture, Oceans and Seas; Forests and Mountains; Land and Soils; Sustainable Agriculture; Tenure Rights; and Water.
The themes’ associated targets are aspirational yet realistic and universally relevant, while indicators meet criteria including data availability and adaptability to country contexts.
With the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) reaching their target date at the end of 2015, UN Members are currently discussing goals and targets for a proposal on SDGs to the UN General Assembly in September 2014. Government negotiations will then follow before September 2015 when the successor framework to the MDGs is set to be announced.
FAO has been supporting governments and other stakeholders in the post-2015 development agenda by providing technical expertise in areas related to its mandate.
As the Rome-based Agencies – FAO, IFAD and WFP – release common targets and indicators on food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture, Maria Helena Semedo, FAO’s Deputy Director-General for Natural Resources gives an overview of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s role in the post-2015 process.
Highlighting the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in poverty and hunger, she explains how the world has moved on since the year 2000 and how very different the post-2015 development framework will be.
FAO, along with other UN entities, are providing technical support to member states of the United Nations and other stakeholders as they decide new goals before the MDGs expire at the end of 2015.
Food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture is at the heart of the sustainability agenda, she says, before describing how FAO’s focus – embodied by its 14 themes - is fixed on ensuring long-term harmony between people and the planet.
A “zero draft” on proposed sustainable development goals and targets has been released (2 June) by the Co-Chairs of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Along with changes to the number of targets, the new document adds a goal on “reducing inequality within and among countries” to the 16 focus areas discussed at the 11th session of the OWG held between 5 and 9 May.
In their letter to Permanent Representatives of Member States to the United Nations, OWG Co-Chairs Macharia Kamau (Kenya) and Csaba Kőrösi (Hungary) also announced dates (9 to 11 June) for informal consultations among Member States “to take an initial sounding of delegations' views on the zero draft”.
The Group, which next meets on 16-20 June and finally on 14-18 July, is expected to propose a set of SDGs to the UNGA at its 68th session in September 2014.
Mandated by the Outcome Document (The Future We Want) of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), the report of the OWG to the UNGA is expected to play a significant part in the UN Secretary-General’s synthesis report, the precursor to final Member State negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda.
Targets and indicators on sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition were the subject of discussion among New York delegates of members of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) Bureau and representatives of civil society at meetings hosted by the Rome-based Agencies (RBAs) - FAO, IFAD and WFP, in New York on 5 and 7 May.
The gatherings – held during the week of the eleventh session of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – presented an opportunity for discussion on proposed targets under OWG focus area 2, for which the RBAs, working within the United Nations Technical Support Team, have collaborated to provide input.
New York delegates of CFS Bureau members Armenia, Canada, France, Italy and Switzerland praised the RBAs technical contribution to the process at a first meeting, before officers from FAO, IFAD and WFP sat down with representatives of the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), Biovision, Save the Children, the Millennium Institute, and the Non-communicable Diseases Alliance (NCD) in a separate gathering two days later.
"For the Food and Agriculture Cluster, these kinds of informal meetings and exchanges are extremely valuable,” said Michael Rütimann, representative of Biovision. “The targets and indicators presented by the RBAs in March 2014 proved extremely helpful in building the consensus in focus area 2. We will certainly build on these targets and continue with our efforts to advocate for a shift towards sustainable agriculture and food systems.”
The meetings contributed to RBA efforts to engage diverse actors in the process.
“FAO considers it important that all concerned stakeholders have the chance to express their views, and to be heard by decision makers negotiating the agenda,” said Boubaker Ben-Belhassen, FAO focal point for Post-2015. “For this reason we are collaborating with a wide spectrum of partners, and welcome further discussion in the coming months.”
The Rome-based Agencies now plan to participate in a side-event organized by Biovision, the Millennium Institute and WSPA on small food producers and family farmers at the High Level Political Forum, which takes places in New York between 30 June and 9 July 2014.
As the post-2015 development agenda approaches a defining moment with the negotiation of Sustainable Development Goals, we present some of the innovative tools available for the general public to participate in the process to define new global development goals.
1. My World - What People Want
New ways to analyse the “global conversation” on the post-2015 development agenda have been launched by the World We Want 2015 Policy and Strategy Group. The Trends page includes interactive maps, where users can view top priorities broken down by country, sex, age and education, and a visualization tool aimed at making the platform “more user-friendly and more accessible, inviting people to consume the data”.
Co-owned by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and civil society, the World We Want 2015 had initially launched in 2013 a poll of the world’s citizens on their top priorities for new goals. By April 2014, the MY World survey had gathered more than 1.7 million individual views from 194 countries.
Through crowdsourcing, this initiative seeks engagement of youth in developing specific language to develop targets on youth that will be used as an input to the post-2015 development agenda. Targets should be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Experts from within the UN system and youth-led organizations will help moderate content.
Entitled An Introduction to the Post-2015 Development Agenda, CIFAL Scotland offers an e-learning course dedicated to the post-2015 agenda, and with a particular focus on the intergovernmental process on Sustainable Development Goals. Conducted through the virtual learning platform of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the aim of the course is to enhance the capacity of participants to engage with the international agenda on the Post-2015 Development Framework.
Designed for young people and grassroots youth organizations involved in post-2015 consultations, this guide offers a comprehensive toolkit and provides tips on how to share findings with key influencers in the post-2015 process.
Launched to encourage participation in the discussion on post-2015 framework and targets, this initiative provides platform for Southern think tanks to exchange views on post-2015 global development agenda and beyond.