WFF shines at ECOSOC Partnership Forum

WFF shines at ECOSOC Partnership Forum

The World Food Forum (WFF) kicked off 2024 by co-hosting a virtual side event at the ECOSOC Partnership Forum, where a WFF Youth Policy Board (YPB) member actively participated in the Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG 2) Action Segment at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York.

The side event, named “The road to zero hunger: a review of youth engagement in food systems transformation towards achieving SDG 2 targets zoomed in on intergenerational dialogue about reviewing youth engagement in food systems transformation. This conversation delved into the challenges leading up to the High-Level Political Forum and the Summit of the Future later this year. The session was a collaborative effort with Welthungerhilfe, Africa Climate and Environment Foundation, ProVeg International and Major Group for Children and Youth.

Stefanos Fotiou, Director of the Office of Sustainable Development Goals at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and UN Food Systems Coordination Hub, kicked off the session with a keynote speech, recognizing the potential of youth as advocates for transitioning to more sustainable food systems. He applauded the crucial role played by the WFF and its national chapters in incorporating youth as part of the solutions.

The session included an engaging introductory video showcasing how food systems impact the choices, opportunities and challenges faced by young people in various contexts. The intergenerational panel dialogue, moderated by Lana Weidgenant, Senior UN Policy Manager at ProVeg International, featured diverse panelists who brought their unique backgrounds and experiences to the table. Among the panelists were Ghanashyam Bhattarai, WFF Nepal National Chapter representative, Herwig Ranner, EU agriculture negotiator at UNFCCC process, Daniela Paz Piña Benítez, Representative from Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY) and Dr. Sanjo Faniran, Director of Social Development Department, Ministry of Budget and National Planning and national convenor for UNFSS process, Nigeria.

The event explored the pivotal role youth can play in shaping a better food future, aligning closely with the forum’s theme of effective and innovative solutions amidst multiple crises. Panelists shared insights on current challenges and key recommendations to involve young people in achieving the targets of SDG 2 – Zero Hunger. Ghanshyam Bhattarai, WFF Nepal chapter representative, stressed the importance of local youth action, stating, "In a world of plenty, millions suffer from hunger. But we have a plan, a promise - SDG 2. By 2030, we will achieve Zero Hunger. How? The only answer is by fostering youth actions in transforming food systems from the local level."

Assessing previous progress, current challenges and re-emphasizing recommendations, the side event underscored the significance of intergenerational collaboration and partnership at both local and global levels to achieve the SDGs.

Additionally, WFF YPB representative Shreyaa Venkat represented the WFF at the SDG Action Segment for Goal 2 during the 2024 ECOSOC Partnership Forum in New York. In the session titled “Leveraging Partnerships for Sustainable Agrifood Systems, Shreyaa highlighted the vital partnership work done by her non-profit Nest4Us and the WFF in pursuit of the SDGs. Specifically addressing innovative approaches to partnerships in implementing thematic SDGs, she emphasized the need to create an enabling environment for change that facilitates a policy cycle driven by versatile bottom-up decision-making, considering diverse sociocultural contexts.

Watch the segment