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Youth Tackling Water and Food Challenges Head-On: The World Food Forum Attends the 2023 UN Water Conference in NYC

Youth Tackling Water and Food Challenges Head-On

The World Food Forum (WFF) recently attended the 2023 UN Water Conference, co-organizing several events and participating in various meetings to discuss the ongoing global water crisis and the role of youth in addressing it. As the premier global platform for youth engagement and action in agrifood systems, the WFF highlighted the importance of youth engagement in sustainable water management.

One of the key events co-organized by the WFF team was a special open dialogue on “The Economics of Water: transforming governance to secure a sustainable, just and prosperous future”. The event was chaired by the Global Commission on the Economics of Water (GCEW) and featured UN Major Groups, including the Major Group on Children and Youth, and partnering organizations. It highlighted the urgent actions needed to address the global water crisis and discussed ways to transform governance to secure a sustainable, just and prosperous future.

Another event co-organized by the WFF was a side event on the “Generational challenge in agriculture: Addressing the complexity of the water-food-energy-ecosystem nexus in the MENA region”. The event focused on the MENA region with two case studies, shedding light on the complexity of global water challenges with a holistic water-food-energy-ecosystem perspective. The WFF team intervened during the event to emphasize the importance of youth engagement and promote the WFF as the premier global platform for youth engagement and action in agrifood systems. The event concluded with the launch of the WFF TRC Special Prize on Water and closing remarks from FAO's Chief Economist Máximo Torero, inviting the audience to attend the 2023 flagship event.

The WFF team also held several bilateral meetings with various youth groups and organizations, including the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the FAO Liaison Office, the US Youth Observer to the UN, US climate advocates, Indigenous Youth and the UN Youth Delegate for Slovenia. During these meetings, the WFF discussed plans for this year’s cycle of the Forum and identified possible areas of engagement going forward. The WFF emphasized the need to enhance collaboration with youth groups around the world and increase its presence in the global youth environment.

In addition to these meetings and events, the WFF shared social media coverage of the conference throughout the week and attended several partner youth side events, engaging with multiple youth stakeholders and actively promoting the WFF activities and flagship event.