The World Food Forum 2024: Good food for all, for today and tomorrow.

WFF attends the ECOSOC Youth Forum Advocating for Youth Engagement in Agrifood Systems Transformation

WFF attends the ECOSOC Youth Forum Advocating for Youth Engagement in Agrifood Systems Transformation

From 25 to 27 April, the ECOSOC Youth Forum was held in New York, offering a platform for young individuals to interact with Member States and other stakeholders, express their opinions and concerns, and mobilize actions towards creating a more equitable, environmentally conscious and sustainable world guided by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The World Food Forum (WFF) was represented at the conference by Tess Hayton, a member of the WFF Youth Policy Board (YPB). During the Forum, the WFF actively engaged in various events and discussions, highlighting the role of agrifood systems in achieving all SDGs, promoting youth engagement in the sector and fostering collaborative partnerships with key stakeholders.

While connecting from New York, WFF representative Tess Hayton spoke at the WFF side event held at the FAO Council, where she launched the new cohort of the YPB  and underscored the importance of WFF's presence at ECOSOC. In addition, she emphasized the integration of agrifood systems into the four SDGs of focus at ECOSOC, namely: SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation, SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy, SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure and SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities.

The WFF representative also contributed to the thematic assembly on SDG11 “Sustainable Cities and Communities”, where she highlighted the role of food security in enabling peace and public health in sustainable cities and communities. She also questioned the rural/urban relationships in the context of agrifood systems and highlighted the role of SDG11 in facilitating a circular agrifood economy. Moreover, the WFF representative attended the regional assembly for Europe and North America, co-led by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY) and the International Coordination Meeting of Youth Organizations (ICMYO). During her intervention, the WFF representative highlighted how recent regional events have exposed the relationship between international security, food security and climate change.

The WFF also supported an event with MGCY and the FAO Office in New York, which provided a space for participants interested in agrifood systems to discuss opportunities and challenges in their regions and share best practices. Tess Hayton gave an overview of the WFF yearly activities, inviting all participants to attend the WFF 2023 flagship event in October. She also engaged in an open dialogue with young delegates, including the founders of the Millennium Movement, who shared their perspectives on agrifood systems challenges in Peru.

In addition to the various events, the WFF representative also held several bilateral meetings with various youth delegates during the conference, presenting the WFF yearly activities, and inviting them to join the WFF flagship event and establish national WFF chapters.

The WFF is delighted to have been a part of the conference and looks forward to seeing agrifood systems feature prominently at the SDG Summit in September 2023. Overall, the event was an excellent opportunity to gain inspiration and insights from youth activists contributing to all the SDGs.