Historical archive

Ministerial statement at the pre-summit to the UN Food Systems Summit

Historical archive

Published under: Solberg's Government

Publisher Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Statement (digital) by four Ministers at the pre-summit to the UN Food Systems Summit; Minister of Agriculture and Food Olaug Bollestad, Minister of Fisheries and Seafood Odd E. Ingebrigtsen, Minister of Climate and Environment Sveinung Rotevatn and Minister of International Development Dag-Inge Ulstein.

  • At this pre-summit, we meet to discuss how to transform our food systems. My colleagues and I have eight points to make:
  • First; We have to talk about the importance of food! Food is essential for survival.  And it makes life worth living!
  • We need sustainable value chains for food. The value chains for Norwegian food from the blue and green sectors are based on sustainable management of natural resources. Farmers' cooperatives in the value chains contributes to social sustainability. Low use of medicines and pesticides secures low levels of resistance to antibiotics in humans. This is One Health in practice.
  • Second; We discussed food systems during a national dialogue in June. There was broad agreement for a holistic approach to the food system across sectors and different stakeholders. Norway has a tradition for cross-sectorial cooperation. An example is the Norwegian action plan for sustainable food systems in our international work.
  • This summer, Norway published the white paper “Goals with a purpose”. Here we present a comprehensive plan to reach the Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs are the central framework for our national policies. 
  • Food is culture. Let us appreciate our producers. 
  • Third; We have to talk about fully integrating aquatic foods into the food systems.
  • Increased production and consumption of sustainable, safe and healthy aquatic foods are key to sustainable food systems. It must be based on transparent, science-based advice systems for management, policy and business. To release the potential of aquatic foods a holistic food chain approach is needed - from healthy waters to healthy people.
  • Fourth; Through conversation and cooperation we can share knowledge!  Like we do in the Global Action Network on Foods from the Oceans and Inland Waters for Food Security and Nutrition. The Network has arranged three independent dialogues in the lead up to the Summit. Through dialogue and collaborations across borders we can build a sustainable future – ensuring food security and nutrition, and sustainable management of our marine resources, combating fisheries crime and fully integrate blue and green sectors in the food system.
  • Fifth; We have to talk about the challenges of food systems. They are drivers of biodiversity loss and climate gas emissions both nationally and internationally. We have to work across the value chains to address the conversion of biodiverse and carbon rich habitats to food production, as well as improving the environmental sustainability of production systems. We believe that there are many synergies between increased food security and achieving targets for biodiversity, water, air and climate.
  • Sixth; When talking together, new agreements are reached. In Norway, the government and farmer's organisations have a mutual agreement on greenhouse gas targets and actions. This builds on a common understanding that both the authorities and individual farmers have key roles to play to reduce green house gas emissions. The government also has a similar agreement with the food retailers on reducing food loss and food waste.
  • All actors within the food systems, from indigenous peoples, small scale farmers to the big food chains, have roles to play in ensuring that we establish sustainable food systems nationally as well as internationally. 
  • Seventh; At the pre-summit, we need to walk the talk! Last year close to 700 million people were food insecure. With the ongoing pandemic, another 100 million people do not know where their next meal will come from. The Food Systems Summit must conclude with a set of concrete actions to bend the curve on hunger.
  • And finally, eight; Food is a human right. The UN food systems summit is not only a great opportunity to remind us all about the right to adequate food. It is also a unique chance to reach the most vulnerable and to make sure that we leave no one behind.
  • Norway looks forward to the deliberations at the pre-summit and will work hard towards the summit in September. We hope that there will be renewed ambitions to reach all the SDGs through sustainable food systems.
  • When we convene in September we must move from talk to action!