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Global food security challenges and drivers

Nordic Statement 174 session of the FAO Council (4-8 December 2023)

Mr Chair, 

1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic Countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, and my own country Norway). (We fully align ourselves with the EU statement).

2. The Nordic countries are very concerned about the lack of progress in combating global food insecurity and recognise that conflicts, climate extremes and economic downturns and slowdowns are the main drivers.

3. Hunger affects around 9.2 percent of the world’s population, and nearly 20 percent of the population in Africa which is extremely concerning. 

4. The humanitarian needs are consuming a large part of international development assistance. The funding gap is increasing. Increased food security and local food production as well as open and predictable global value chains are vital to alleviate humanitarian needs.  

5. There is need for strengthened efforts at local, national, regional, and global levels, and to prioritise the countries and hotspots of highest concern.

6. Armed violence, in particular increased targeting of civilians, underpins food insecurity and the ongoing upward trajectory in global displacement.


7. The Nordic countries emphasise that prevention and resilience building are crucial to improve global food security, and that a food systems approach is of utmost importance. 

8. To do so: 

9. We must ensure food security within planetary boundaries. The challenges of development and climate change are highly interlinked.

10. We have to transform our food systems to reach the goals of the Paris agreement, as well as the Kunming-Montreal Biological Diversity Framework. 

11. We must cultivate the synergies between the efforts to achieve the sustainable development goals. One good example is the well documented synergy between food security and gender equality: A food secure world requires gender equality and women’s empowerment.

12. As referenced in the document, food insecurity disproportionally affects women in every region of the world which underlines that women must have equal access to productive resources, services, markets, and institutions to reach full potential. 

13. To do it right the gender gap must be analysed and addressed.

14. We emphasise the need for a rights-based approach, in particular the right to food. Human rights and the right to food is not just a moral obligation, but also gives concrete guidance to realise our commitment to leaving no one behind.

15. It is also important to include fisheries, aquaculture, and forestry interventions in our strategies. This is in line with the CFS policy recommendations on sustainable fisheries and aquaculture and on sustainable forestry for food security and nutrition. 


16. We encourage FAO to continue monitoring the rising levels of global food insecurity, and to provide regular updates, recommendations, and technical advice to support countries’ efforts towards achieving sustainable food systems transformation. 

17. We underline that FAO has an important role to play, within humanitarian-development-climate-peace nexus, through collaborative action with the RBAs and the wider UN system. 

18. Leveraging comparative advantages to ensure complementarity is essential for successfully delivering results and impact on the ground, as One UN. 

19. In this regard we encourage FAO to continue its work on agriculture in emergencies and we encourage other member states to make financial contributions to the Special Fund for Emergency Activities (SFERA).


20. Thank you, Mr Chair, for giving us the floor on this very important topic and for giving us the opportunity to convey our appreciation for FAO’s vital contribution to combat global food insecurity.


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