United Nations Food Systems Summit
New York, September 24, 2021
The Holy See is pleased to participate in this first-ever United Nations Food Systems Summit and thanks the Secretary-General for launching this important and timely initiative.
There is a pressing need to intensify international action towards transforming food systems and combating food insecurity and malnutrition. Pope Francis has stressed that, in the twenty-first century, hunger is not only a tragedy for humanity, but also a real cause for shame. For this reason, it is time to move from declarations and the formulation of strategies to effective and urgent action.
The critical question is how to transform food systems so that they advance the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, support regeneration of social systems after the COVID-19 pandemic, and promote the integral development of every person, while protecting our planet’s integrity. As Pope Francis said in his Pre-Summit message last July, we must strive to “increase resilience, strengthen local economies, improve nutrition, reduce food waste, provide healthy diets accessible to all, reach environmental sustainability, and respect local cultures”.
Access to food is a fundamental human right and essential for a dignified life. Food for all is a moral duty. Feeding the hungry, however, is not enough. We also need to provide the poor and those in vulnerable situations with the necessary resources to support themselves and their families in the long-term.
One response is to provide them with greater opportunities for land use and ownership, financial resources, and training. This is particularly important for agricultural workers, including family farmers.
Sustainable food systems should provide nutritious food for all, support equitable and just livelihoods and promote circular models of production and consumption. We must replace the “throwaway culture” with a “culture of care” that protects the inherent dignity of every person and preserves our common home.
While it is essential to make use of the best science and advanced technology available, such an approach must be guided by ethical principles, aimed at promoting integral human development and pursuing the common good.
To be successful, there is the need to implement a vision of food systems that integrates the human, economic, environmental, and technological components. The international community can count on the Holy See to help make that vision a reality, through the many initiatives of the Catholic Church on the ground worldwide.
Thank you, Mr. President.
 Cf. Pope Francis, Message for the World Food Day, 16 October 2020.
 Pope Francis, Message to the Pre-Summit for the United Nations Food Systems Summit, 26 July 2021.
 Pope Francis, Message to the Minister of Climate and Environment of Poland, Chairperson of the XLII Session of the FAO Conference, 14 June 2021.