The United Nations Food Systems Summit

Excellencies and delegates, dear friends, I send you sincere greetings from Norway. As Prime Minister I am proud to say that my government is fully committed to transform the current food systems into more inclusive and sustainable ones. We have to do that. And in doing so we must work with the Indigenous Peoples all over the globe. Because they serve as guardians of vital parts of the world’s remaining biodiversity, which is crucial for the sustainability of our planet.

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Therefore, I am glad that the role of the Indigenous Peoples and their contribution to sustainable food systems globally have been put on the agenda. Food systems are the basis of existence and our economic and social and cultural development.

Today, we celebrate the Stocktaking Moment of the United Nations Food Systems Summit. We acknowledge the commitments made towards more sustainable food systems.

And as a founding member of the Coalition on Indigenous Peoples' Food Systems, Norway is actively engaged in these efforts. Our coalition is centred on achieving zero hunger, safeguarding biodiversity, promoting inclusivity and recognizing Indigenous Peoples as important contributors for a healthier planet. The coalition has my full support.

So, this occasion is an opportunity to underscore the lessons imparted by Indigenous Peoples. Their resilience, their adaptability, and their commitment to biodiversity preservation make them invaluable sources of knowledge. In fact, Indigenous Peoples have developed food systems that coexist with diverse ecosystems by employing their time-tested knowledge and experience. Learning by doing, through the centuries.

Take my country. In Norway, the reindeer husbandry makes effective use of local resources, and it adapts to the changing seasons. The varying diet of the reindeers throughout the year results in healthy meat, contributing to food security in my country.

Furthermore, reindeer husbandry is vital both as a means of livelihood and as bearer of tradition for the reindeer herders and their families. Good management of the resource base is necessary in order to achieve production and profitability.

Every year since 1976, the Norwegian state administration and the Sámi reindeer herder’s organization negotiate an annual agreement on economic measures for the reindeer husbandry sector. These negotiations are very important, they have long traditions, as I said, they have contributed to the development of close cooperation between the state and the reindeer husbandry industry. Our collaboration was able to deal with the difficult winter conditions on reindeer pastureland, both in 2020 and two years after. Cooperation and dialogue are necessary to find good solutions when several societal interests – sometimes conflicting interests – have to be balanced. And these may, for example, apply to the use of pastureland in some regions in my country. So, there are lessons learned throughout history and we need to take every benefit of that.

And in closing, I want to say that Norway also recognizes the vital role that indigenous youth play in ensuring the survival of these food and knowledge systems. The new generation must be heard, involved and listened to.

So, through the Coalition and Boaššu Food Lab, Norway proudly supports the Second Global UN Indigenous Youth Forum to be held during the World Food Forum in October at the FAO Headquarters.

Norway also endorses the “My food vision is” – campaign. It seeks to support indigenous youth in biodiversity protection, climate change mitigation, and food systems transformation.

Norway remains committed to creating a sustainable world and achieving zero hunger while protecting biodiversity. We know we are not there yet; we know it is probably going in the wrong direction; that’s why we really have to mobilize for change.

This commitment has led us to become one of the founding members of the Coalition on Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems.

So – now, I extend my invitation to all of you to join us in these collective efforts and to support Indigenous Peoples.

Thank you so much for your attention.