Mr. Chairman, thank you for this opportunity to make a brief intervention on behalf of the International Agri-Food Network (IAFN) on SDG 2.
As noted by previous speakers we have, over the past two days, engaged in a rich discussion, in the context of the Expert Group Meeting, on all aspects of this Goal which we consider pivotal to the overall achievement of the 2030 Agenda. We thank DESA, the FAO, IFAD and the WFP for their collaborative efforts that made this possible.
Mr. Chairman, it is indisputable that agriculture constitutes the basis of the livelihoods of many of the most vulnerable populations and the backbone of rural economies – some 1 billion smallholder farmers, many of whom are women. The role of rural development in livelihoods is too often overlooked or under-appreciated. It is also widely accepted that food security and nutrition security are achieved when all people have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food for a healthy balanced diet which is critical to economic growth and social progress. Ensuring adequate and reliable access to diverse, affordable, safe, and nutritious diets is a key component of Goal 2, but is also relevant for many broader development aims, including the eradication of poverty, gender equality, and improving public health, to name just a few. We must be vigilant in ensuring that these vital components of SDG 2 be accorded due recognition and treatment for the central role they play in our common quest, as outlined in the 2030 Agenda.
The HLPF can play an extremely important part in achieving the SDGs, by emphasizing and underscoring the significance of agriculture, food security and nutrition. In this vein, the Ministerial Declaration issuing from the HLPF must adequately reflect the critical importance of SDG 2. This cannot be done in the single sentence now included in the zero draft of the Declaration, and we look forward to further elaboration and emphasis, as this document evolves in the weeks ahead.