European Union External Action

Statement on behalf of the European Union and its 27 Member States: CFS High-Level Special Event on Strengthening Global Governance of Food Security and Nutrition

Rome, 15/10/2020 - 12:23, UNIQUE ID: 201020_6
Statements on behalf of the EU

Plenary 2: COVID-19 and its Impacts on Global Food Security and Nutrition

Madam/Mr Chair,

  1. I am honoured to speak on behalf of the European Union and its 27 Member States.
  2. With global hunger and malnutrition in all its forms on the rise even before the COVID19 pandemic, this crisis has further evidenced the need to make our food systems more resilient and sustainable.
  3. We welcome the continued work the CFS and the High Level Panel of Experts have done to analyse the impact of COVID-19 on food security and nutrition. We appreciate the six recommendations and specific actions included in the recently updated HLPE issues paper which gives due guidance on developing effective policy responses to address the worldwide effects of the pandemic on hunger and malnutrition.
  4. We reiterate the United Nations’ call for ‘building back better’ to avert a COVID-19 food crisis and stress the need to strengthen the interlinkages between food systems, health, biodiversity and environment as well as food security and nutrition in our policy responses.
  5. The COVID-19 crisis and its economic and social fallout clearly require a global, inclusive and coordinated approach. We share the view that health protection systems and social protection programmes need to be strengthened and that humanitarian crises, including food crises, need to be addressed urgently. In this context, we appreciate the recent review of experiences and good practices related to the implementation of the CFS Framework for Action in Protracted Crises.
  6. Response to COVID includes ensuring that smallholders and family farmers have access to markets, inputs and credits, and adequately protecting workers in the food supply chain. The EU and its Member States have provided a significant global COVID-19 response package for international cooperation that is currently above 36 billion Euros. This package mainly supports health care and general socio-economic recovery, but it also supports family farmers and vulnerable people.
  7. The COVID-19 pandemic shows the clear need to strengthen food safety in all parts of the food systems and the key importance of implementing the 'One Health' approach, including combatting AMR, in addressing the threat of current and emerging zoonotic diseases. Therefore, we strongly support the collaboration between FAO, OIE, WHO in the Global Tripartite, but also the UNEP.
  8. We recognise and value the leading role played by the CFS, including the HLPE, in the policy response to the effects of COVID-19 on food security and nutrition and welcome the inclusion of pandemic- or zoonosis-related aspects in the ongoing policy convergence processes to appropriately reflect the need to take urgent concerted action in addressing this increasing global threat.
  9. To conclude, let me reiterate the strong commitment of the EU and its Member States to working together to make our food systems more resilient and sustainable.

Thank you, Madam/Mr Chair.