Facing the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit

March 25th 2021. 17:00 to 18:30

Facing the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit
Thursday, March 25, 2021 via Zoom. 
Time: 5-6:30 pm eastern (US/CAN)


Free/RSVP required

The first ever United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS), to be held in September 2021, was launched by the UN Secretary General to bring attention to how food systems transformation is instrumental for achieving the UN Sustainable Development goals by 2030. The UNFSS occurs in the context of interrelated global phenomena including the Covid-19 pandemic, ongoing struggles for racial equity and human rights, climate crises, food insecurity, economic inequality, and evolutions in policy and governance, among many others. 

The UNFSS has also generated controversy among many actors regarding the ways that governance of the Summit has been organized, and the how issues of political economy, human rights, food sovereignty, agroecology have been approached. One such critique has come from the Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples Mechanism (CSM), an official body of the UN’s Committee on World Food Security.

Many outside of national governments and larger agro-industrial actors have engaged with the UNFSS through Summit action tracks, national and independent dialogues, and additional convenings. These include small and family farm organizations, city networks engaged with food systems, UN agencies, and non-governmental organizations that support regenerative agriculture, agroecology, food sovereignty and city region/urban food systems. 

This event on March 25th will present a big-picture view of these quickly-evolving processes, important for both governmental and non-governmental food systems action from city to global scales.  Join us as speakers present brief overviews of the UNFSS process and critiques, followed by audience questions and comments. The event will also provide grounding for a related event in April focused on urban and regional food policy and governance in the context of the UNFSS.


Speakers include: Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights (video address; invited), Christine Campeau, CARE International, and Sherpa to UNFSS Action Track 4 - Advancing Equitable Livelihoods, Michael Fakhri, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Jordan Treakle, National Family Farm Coalition/Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples Mechanism of the UN Committee on World Food Security,Onika Abraham, Farm School NYC, Melanie Allen, Black Farmer Fund, Molly Anderson, Middlebury College, and International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food), Anne Bellows, Food Studies Program, Syracuse University and board member, FIAN International. The discussions will be moderated by Thomas Forster and Kristin Reynolds, lecturers in the Food Studies and Environmental Studies programs at The New School.


Hosted by The Food Studies Program at The New School


Co-Sponsored by: Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, New York University; CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute; Food Studies Program, Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, Falk College of Sports and Human Dynamics, Syracuse University; Farm School NYC; Food Studies Program, Middlebury College; Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy, Program in Nutrition, Teachers College, Columbia University; Food Studies Program, The New School; School of Design Strategies, Parsons, The New School; Tishman Environment and Design Center, The New School