Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

EU Explanation of Position – United Nations 2nd Committee: International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste

New York, 26/11/2019 - 21:06, UNIQUE ID: 191202_16
Statements on behalf of the EU

26 November 2019, New York – European Union Explanation of Position delivered by Peggy Vissers, European Union Delegation, on behalf of the European Union and its Member States at the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the resolution on an International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste

Mr. Chair,


I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.


The Candidate Countries, Turkey, the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Albania, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.

Mr. Chairman,

 Allow me to start my intervention by thanking the Ambassadors of Andorra and San Marino for their work and constructive engagement with the UN membership to bring this resolution to a positive conclusion. The fact that this room could approve this resolution by consensus is a clear tribute to their efforts.


Fighting food waste and loss is a priority for the European Union and its Member States. Prevention of food waste and loss is an integral part of the EU’s Strategy towards a circular economy which boosts global competitiveness, fosters sustainable growth and generates new jobs, while conserving natural resources for future generations and reducing emissions.


Our world consumes annually over 1.5 times the natural resources of the planet. Hunger, after decades of recession, is on the rise again. Under Sustainable Development Goal 12, all UN Member States committed to promote resource efficiency, reduce waste and mainstream sustainability practices across all sectors of the economy. They also agreed to address over-extraction of resources and environmental degradation. To ensure sustainable development and economic growth, governments agreed to minimize the natural resources and toxic materials used, and the waste and pollutants generated, throughout the entire production and consumption process. 


Every day around the world, both in countries and cities, we produce, sell and prepare more food than we actually consume, and lose huge amounts of food in the production and distribution process. The production and transport of unconsumed food creates greenhouse gas emissions. The disposal of unconsumed food, when it is not recycled, incurs additional burdens to economies and the environment to manage disposal. For these reasons, the EU and its Member States support an increased awareness and public dialogue on SDG 12 commitments.


The EU and its Member States also attach great importance to the revitalisation process which we deem crucial for making the Second Committee more efficient and more relevant for the most daunting task ahead of us, the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is in this context that we assess all new initiatives, their impact and relevance. We do not necessarily believe that the proliferation of international anniversaries brings us closer to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. This issue might benefit from consideration in the context of revitalization-related discussions. 


As we have previously expressed, we would support a future 2nd Committee resolution focussed entirely on SDG 12, sustainable consumption and production, to address these issues in greater depth, after this first positive step of unanimously adoption the current resolution.


Thank you Mr. Chairman.

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