Albania shapes a pathway for sustainable food systems of the country - the final Member State Dialogue of the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit.
21 July 2021
Albania has concluded the Member State Dialogue of the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit by holding the final National Dialogue “From food, nutrition, and health, to equitable, resilient and sustainable food systems in Albania.”
Albania has concluded the Member State Dialogue of the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit by holding the final National Dialogue “From food, nutrition, and health, to equitable, resilient and sustainable food systems in Albania.” The final Dialogue has been a meaningful opportunity to involve and engage with key actors of the food systems in the country to consolidate the outputs from the past national and sub-national Dialogues which has been organized in preparation for the 2021 Summit and identify the intentions and commitments to taking action to improve the national food systems.
The Dialogue was held in a hybrid way, combining in-person and online participants, by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in close cooperation with FAO and the United Nations Country Team in Albania and well attended by UN Resident Coordinator in Albania, representatives of UNDP and UN Women in Albania, experts from academia, and relevant Ministries.
Appreciating the opportunity of welcoming the guests and participants at the final National Dialogue, Ms Milva Ekonomi, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, delivered speech focusing on the great weight of the agriculture sector in the gross domestic product, as well as the needs for modernization and digitalization of the sector to improve the food systems of the country.
Ms Ekonomi stated that the Dialogues have been extraordinary opportunity for all to contribute to the definition of the paths that will lead to the "collectively strengthened" Sustainable Food Systems, to make this vision a reality for all. The purpose of the National Dialogues in Albania was set in line with the Food Systems Summit to transform the way the world produces, consumes and thinks about food within the context of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
"In the framework of the UN Summit, we as a country confirm our maximum commitment to meeting Sustainable Development Goals, taking into account climate change and the presence of pandemics such as COVID-19," said the Minister Ekonomi. "To join the UN call for a world where no one should be left hungry, poor and malnourished, the need arise to build systems capable of meeting the challenges of the time, as reflected in the new national strategy for agricultural development. Therefore, the recommendations and outcomes from this roundtable will be of importance to the strategy development of the sector," concluded the Minister Ekonomi.
Praising the successful series of Dialogues with high participation from wide range of sectors, Ms Fiona McCluney, the UN Resident Coordinator in Albania, hoped that the pathway will continue to be developed by and be of use to national stakeholders as further advance in the journey to food systems sustainability of the country. "Important keys of sustainable food systems should be the provision of sufficient, safe, healthy, nutritious and affordable food that meets the nutritional needs of all, including children and adolescents. While providing safe and nutritious food, sustainable food systems should foster inclusive economic development and social equality, and provide adequate incentives and returns to food producers, processors and distributors,” Ms McCluney emphasized. She added that sustainable food systems also should optimize the use of natural resources and protect the environment through sustainable agricultural practices, efficient and safe food value chains and reductions in food loss and waste.
Ms Ermira Gjeci, the National Dialogue Convenor has expressed the willingness to build partnerships with multi-sectoral and multi-level stakeholders and promote education on the sustainable food system, food safety and nutrition to make behaviour change of producers as well as consumers, and to address the real challenges of food systems in Albania.
The consolidated outputs and conclusions presented by the discussants will be presented at the Pre-Summit, where Albania will be represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ms Milva Ekonomi. The Pre-Summit of the UN Food Systems Summit will take place in Rome from 26–28 July 2021.