WBCSD to represent global business voice in Advisory Committee for 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit

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01 July, 2020


Insights from the CEO


The United Nations published the composition of the Advisory Committee for the 2021 Food Systems Summit on 29 June 2020. WBCSD President and CEO Peter Bakker has been invited to join the group chaired by UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed and consisting of 26 Member State representatives and leading experts in food systems.

Geneva, 1 July 2020: The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, in collaboration with the United Nations Rome-based Agencies, will convene the Food Systems Summit in 2021, as a critical contribution to the Decade of Action to deliver the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Summit will raise global awareness to understand the food systems challenges we must solve, build a global conversation on the way in which we produce, process and consume food, and galvanize global actions and commitments to improve our food systems to provide safe, nutritious food for all within our planetary boundaries.

Business leadership for food systems transformation 

WBCSD President and CEO Peter Bakker will be joining the Advisory Committee of the Summit, together with 25 Member State representatives and leading experts in food systems. “I am honored to join the Advisory Committee and look forward to serve with the other Members to represent and provide business input into the process and the success of the Summit. The Food Systems Summit will be imperative in transforming food systems for the better and to help achieve the SDGs”, Peter Bakker said.

“We should take a moment to recognize the many stakeholders, ranging from farmers to processors to store-front clerks, who have enabled many of us to have access to nutritious food during these unprecedented times of COVID-19. The pandemic has also exacerbated some of the challenges and weaknesses of our food systems, many of which existed before. We need to work together to improve our food system to provide safe, nutritious food for all within our planetary boundaries”, he added.

Business is stepping up to take a leadership role in positive transformation. The Summit presents a unique opportunity to focus existing private sector efforts for transforming the food system. Business plays a pivotal role in driving action on the ground, and WBCSD will be working with its members and partners to mobilize business action, drive forward game-changing business-led solutions, and share examples on how we are working towards shifting finance decision making for food, climate and nature.

The road to an inclusive Food Systems Summit

To create a truly catalytic moment, the inclusive Summit process led by the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy, Agnes Kalibata, will be informed by “all of society” conversations to extract the best evidence, ideas, initiatives and alliances from around the world. It also builds on the many existing global events, agreements, collaborations and platforms, such as the Committee on World Food Security, that are already supporting the transformation of our food systems.

United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed will chair the Advisory Committee. It will comprise Member State representatives, as well as senior officials of relevant United Nations agencies, other international organizations and individual experts across different sectors, including farmers, indigenous peoples, civil society, researchers, academics, young people and business leaders. There is strong gender parity among the expert members and representation from all regions of the world.

The Advisory Committee will convene its first meeting in July and it will meet quarterly leading up to the Summit.Some of the members of the Advisory Committee Members include: 

  • Qu Dongyu, Director-General, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization; 
  • Gilbert Houngbo, President, International Fund for Agricultural Development;
  • David Beasley, Executive Director, World Food Programme (WFP); 
  • Peter Bakker, President and CEO, World Business Council for Sustainable Development; 
  • Gerda Verburg, Coordinator, Scaling Up Nutrition Movement; 
  • Shamshad Akhtar, former United Nations Under-Secretary General, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP);
  • Esther Penunia, SecretaryGeneral, Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development; 
  • Elizabeth Nsimadala, President, Pan-African Farmers Organization; 
  • Joachim von Braun, University of Bonn; 
  • Inger Andersen, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme; 
  • David Nabarro, Strategic Director, 4SD; 
  • Myrna Cunningham Kain, President, Fund for Development of Indigenous Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean; 
  • Christine Gould, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Thought for Food; 
  • Chavannes Casseus, Coordinator of MP3K; 

For the complete list of Advisory Committee Members, as well as the list of Scientific Group Members, please consult the press release by the United Nations Secretary-General’s office.

WBCSD’s Food & Nature Program leads business efforts towards accelerating the food system transformation. We do this by bringing strong policy signals, leadership frameworks and projects across the value chain – from production to consumption – which deliver impact at scale where the urgent agendas of climate, nature and food systems intersect.