Opening Statement by Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at the event “Sustainable food systems, central to our common agenda: climate, health, environment and the fight against inequalities” in the margins of the Paris Peace Forum

13.11.2021 - Speech

For a long time, the global reduction of hunger was among the success stories of our age. But for some years now, the number of people suffering from hunger has been on the rise again. Instead of closing in on our common goal of zero hunger by 2030, we are moving further away from it.

We, the international community, must act to reverse this trend. The United Nations Food Systems Summit in September aimed to transform global food systems in order to fight hunger and malnutrition. Now, we must keep up the momentum gained from this summit:

By developing an inclusive approach which mobilises the entire United Nations system and which recognises that hunger is interconnected with other global challenges.

And by facilitating contact between all relevant stakeholders and experts.

This is where the Alliance for Multilateralism comes in – with its expertise in addressing interrelated global issues, its multi-stakeholder approach and its ability to put its weight behind United Nations processes.

I am very pleased to welcome today’s speakers representing the many friends who support our Alliance – governments, international organisations and research institutions. We look forward to hearing from you about the links between food systems, climate change, biodiversity, health and equality.

Germany is already part of this discussion. We are contributing to the global fight against hunger on many fronts:

Germany is among the largest donors to United Nations agencies and non-governmental organisations working to improve food security – and the second-largest donor of humanitarian assistance.

We have helped to put climate change and biodiversity loss firmly on the international agenda. Both are causing instability and conflict – and are affecting food security worldwide.

And Germany has also been advocating the One Health approach. Addressing the links between human health, animal health and human interference in the environment is key to stopping diseases.

And therefore, ladies and gentlemen, friends: Ending global hunger, mitigating climate change, improving global health: for all of these tasks multilateralism matters. In fact, it is our only chance. No single country can tackle the major challenges of our time alone. We have to work together.

That is what the Alliance stands for – and that is why it is so great to have you all here today.

Thank you.


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