The United Nation Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) will be held on 23 September 2021, at the UN General Assembly headquarters in New York. The summit is supposed to help solve the global food crisis, in which 800 million people face hunger and 1.9 billion suffer obesity, by better aligning food systems with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. But it won’t do any of this. The summit was hijacked early on by corporate interests. It is officially sponsored by the World Economic Forum, the private foundation that brings the world’s global elite to Davos, Switzerland, every January. And it is headed by the president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, an outfit created by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to push the industrialisation of food and farming in Africa.
Many social movements and civil society organisations across the world are protesting the summit for being undemocratic, non-transparent and laser-focused on strengthening only one food system: the corporate one. The Civil Society Mechanism of the Committee on Food Security, for instance, is running a massive grassroots boycott of the summit, with a special website dedicated to it. The People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty is doing the same, with counter-mobilisations and a special website as well. Even the scientific community is walking out on this farce of an effort to address the challenge around our food systems. They are especially concerned about the UNFSS creating new scientific expertise to justify its agenda.
As our own form of protest against this dangerous summit, GRAIN will shut down its website and social media platforms that day. We need real solutions to overcome the global food crisis -- based on the needs of small-scale farmers, fisherfolk, pastoralists and indigenous people – and to move us towards food sovereignty. We can’t have the future of the food system dictated by the same corporations that are the very source of the problem, grabbing farmland, undermining local food production, abusing the rights of farmers and food workers, polluting the environment and destroying our climate.
Please join us in loud and defiant action that day, in one form or another. Our shut down signs, if you want to use them, can be downloaded here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1X36Onx6J7FfQpkePmnxusNxCwiytuvnW?usp=sharing