Terms of reference
of the World Food Forum
(Last update: 19 July 2022)
1. While we currently produce enough food to feed every man, woman, and child in the world, there still are hundreds of millions of people who are hungry and face food insecurity. This global food crisis is being rapidly exacerbated by the compounding challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, conflicts and wars. Also, growing food loss and waste are greatly adding to a general decline in agricultural production over the next few decades due to increased drought frequency, floods and tropical storms, along with more variable temperatures and erratic rainfall.
2. While the current situation is dire and alarming, the level of global awareness of, and focus on, these issues is not at the requisite level to galvanize the action and change that is needed. To address the unprecedented challenges facing our global agrifood systems, we need to find new, actionable, innovative and inclusive solutions, and engage the youth who will inherit the challenges of today.
3. Launched in 2021, the World Food Forum – Powered by Global Youth (hereinafter “the WFF”) is an independent, youth-led global network of partners facilitated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). It aims to spark a global movement that empowers young people everywhere to actively transform agrifood systems to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and a better food future for all.
4. The WFF serves as the premier global forum to harness the passion and power of youth to identify solutions and incite positive action for agrifood systems transformation. It aligns with the 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit, acts as major youth platform in global food governance, and serves as a global think tank that fosters youth-led solutions in innovation, science, technology and education.
5. The WFF seeks to increase support and action for agrifood systems transformation among FAO Members and resource partners through a range of interactive and youth-led events, networks and content platforms in areas such as policy, innovation, education and culture. Ongoing activities of the WFF cumulate each year in an annual meeting held in October.
6. The WFF gathers major youth groups, influencers, companies, academic institutions, non-profits, governments, media and the public at large to drive awareness, foster engagement and advocacy, and mobilize resources in support of agrifood systems transformation through youth-led action, as a prerequisite for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
C. WFF Network
7. The WFF is composed of associated partners (WFF partners), which form the WFF network. Through their association, the WFF partners commit to actively advance the work of the WFF by driving awareness, engagement and advocacy among youth groups; mobilize resources in support of agrifood systems transformation through youth-led action; and foster youth initiatives that help attain the purpose of the WFF. They are also expected to nominate one or more focal points as main liaison coordination persons.
8. Entities of the United Nations System, government institutions of their Members, and accredited organizations and institutions to their governing bodies can become partners by transmitting a Declaration of Association to the WFF Coordinator.
9. Other public and private institutions can become partners by transmitting a Letter of Association Request to the WFF Coordinator for approval.
10. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is the initial associated partner of the WFF, represented by the FAO Youth Committee. In this capacity, FAO agrees to host the WFF Coordinator and Secretariat, maintain a dedicated multi-donor trust fund, act as facilitator for agreements and partnerships, and to provide the necessary physical and digital infrastructure for the attainment of the WFF’s purpose.
D. WFF Coordination and Management
11. A Vice Chair of the FAO Youth Committee is nominated to act as WFF Coordinator ex officio for the term of one year. This term can be shortened or extended if necessary. The WFF Coordinator manages the overall global coordination of the WFF during the term; proposes strategies, plans and budgets to the WFF Advisory Board for approval; and provides the annual progress/terminal reports.
12. The WFF Coordinator is supported by the WFF Interagency Coordination Group (ICG), WFF Volunteers and WFF Secretariat Staff: (i) WFF ICG is composed of the focal points of UN System partners; (ii) WFF Volunteers are enthusiastic young people, typically but not necessarily from WFF partner institutions, who volunteer part of their time to the management or coordination activities of the WFF; (iii) WFF Secretariat Staff are volunteers who dedicate a significant time to the work of the WFF and typically organize entire events or manage larger geographic or thematic operations.
13. The WFF Advisory Board approves the strategy and operational budget of the WFF Coordinator, and acts as approval body for association requests, partnership agreements, communication plans and changes to the WFF Terms of Reference. It is chaired by the Chair of the FAO Youth Committee (FAO Chief Economist) and comprises (i) FAO Deputy Director-General for Partnerships and Outreach; (ii) Representatives of Member States participating in the WFF network; (iii) Senior (ADG-level / C-level) staff nominated by WFF partners; (iv) Youth representatives nominated by WFF-associated youth groups and institutions.
E. Amendment or Modification
14. The Terms of Reference may be amended or modified after consultation with the WFF Partners and agreement by the WFF Advisory Board.