Equity and expertise in the un Food Systems Summit

Nicholas Nisbett, Sharon Friel, Richmond Aryeetey, Fabio da Silva Gomes, Jody Harris, Kathryn Backholer, Phillip Baker, Valarie Jernigan, Sirinya Phulkerd

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    The UN Food Systems Summit is expected to launch bold new actions, solutions and strategies to deliver progress on all 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs), each of which requires a transformation in the way the world produces, consumes and thinks about food. However, the summit preparations have started controversially, with claims of corporate capture by prominent civil society groups, who, alongside the current and two former UN Special Rapporteurs on the Right to Food,2 have also noted insufficient attention paid to human rights and to rebalancing power in the food system itself. The issue of corporate capture is an important one for the summit. Early decisions to implement a clear set of rules on corporate participation and transparency were missed and need rectifying urgently for the summit to continue with any legitimacy, as the UN Special Rapporteurs and the scientists of a new boycott have pointed out. The summit has embraced the (contested, some would argue failed) principle of ‘multistakeholder inclusivity’ as essential for the summit to be a ‘safe space’ for all actors, but with little regards to how power asymmetries between stakeholders within the summit itself must be acknowledged, addressed and accounted for transparently; not a helpful precedent for a global architecture to address those same power asymmetries.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalBMJ Global Health
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


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