Last week, speaking on World Food Day, October 16, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged a global commitment to food insecurity, calling hunger an issue of human rights.
“Hunger is more than a lack of food — it is a terrible injustice,” Ban said in a message that outlined a list of 17 goals for world leaders, in adherence to the UN’s adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a plan of action to reduce extreme poverty and engage nations in the task of ensuring the health of the planet.
“The world has achieved important progress; since 2000, the proportion of undernourished people has declined by nearly half,” Ban wrote. “At the same time, in a world where nearly a third of all food produced is lost or wasted, and where we produce enough food to feed everyone, almost 800 million people still suffer from hunger. The path out of poverty is proving to be too slow for too many.”
Pointing to one of the agenda’s key goals, Ban stressed the need for a collaborative effort on the reduction of food waste and elimination of hunger. “Ending hunger is everyone’s responsibility,” he continued. “Farmers, scientists, international organizations, activists, businesses, and consumers all have a role to play. Building inclusive, resilient and sustainable food systems also demands that we empower women farmers, provide opportunities for young people and invest in smallholder farmers.”