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UN Food Systems Summit + 2 Stocktaking, closing statement

By Alvaro Lario, President of IFAD

Location: Rome, Italy

26 July 2023

I would like to thank all participants for engaging in these three fruitful days of discussion.

This week has confirmed that collectively we know the solutions to transform food systems. But a big takeaway is that we need a lot more action, and a lot more financing to back it up.

This was also clear to me when I joined several of you around Prime Minister Mottley of Barbados and President Macron of France in Paris a few weeks ago to discuss a New Global Financial Pact.

Simply stated, without adequate funding for food systems transformation, the Sustainable Development Goals, the global Climate Agreements, and our objective of a world without hunger, will not be reached.

Transforming our food systems is essential for all of us. We must all work together to make it happen, because the cost of inaction is simply too high.

Over the past three days the message has been loud and clear on the need to assemble more financing for food systems transformation. And this financing needs to reach the poorest rural people – small-scale farmers and others doing crucial work in our food systems.

With a mandate to bring investment to some of the most remote and under-resourced areas of the world, this is part of our DNA at IFAD. I am proud to say that, in partnership with the World Bank, IFAD is taking a leading role in shaping the new financing agenda for food systems transformation. Together, we are working to fast-track the development of the Financial Flows to Food Systems (3FS) prototype so that decision-makers have the data they need to inform their investments across food systems.

Of course, IFAD will also continue to support the UN Food Systems Coordination Hub, and to mobilize resources for initiatives that prioritize sustainability, equity, and resilience. 

We have also been actively advocating for change in the global financial architecture.

We understand that developing countries facing debt distress and other shocks still need to be able to invest in transforming their food systems. We must continue moving forward to bring together policies, financing and technical assistance to make this happen.

Through our current IFAD 13 replenishment process, we are discussing with our member states how IFAD can do even more to respond to current crises and transform food systems.

And we have committed to go further to assemble the finance needed to transform food systems, including through approaches such as engaging private capital.

This is part of IFAD’s updated strategy for working with the private sector -- along with a focus on climate finance, and deepening our work in fragile contexts.

No agency can achieve this agenda alone. In particular, the partnership between the Rome-based Agencies is pivotal for building much-needed resilience of our food systems and paving the way towards a world free of hunger. Collectively, the RBAs have the tools to deliver transformative change but lack the resources to fully maximize our impact.

We are proud to be working on other initiatives with valued partners across this agenda. This includes the coalitions on School Meals and Decent Work for Equitable Food Systems coalitions and a platform Public Development Banks under the Finance In Common initiative

Food systems are not just about food. They are about the environment. They are about coping with global warming and climate change. And they are critical to reducing inequality, and to improving nutrition. This is about the kind of world we want the next generation to inherit. 

Let us seize this moment. Together, we can create a future of food and nutrition security for all, while safeguarding the environment and creating prosperous livelihoods for the women and men who produce our food.

Thank you.