Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, participated in the World Food Forum, where she highlighted the UAE’s efforts to enhance youth engagement in strengthening food security through innovation and entrepreneurship.
Running from October 17 to 21 at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, the event has convened governments, youth champions, global influencers, and non-profit organizations to support youth-led transformation of agrifood systems. Held under the theme ‘Healthy Diets, Healthy Planet’, this year’s edition of the Forum focuses on raising youth awareness about the connection between climate change and access to safe and nutritious food and healthy diets with the aim of sparking action.
Her Excellency said: “With food prices skyrocketing worldwide and millions of people going to bed hungry every night, we all have a responsibility to build more resilient, sustainable food systems. We must achieve a complete paradigm shift in the way we produce and consume food to provide adequate nutrition for the global population while preserving our environment for the next generations.”
She added: “Through developing the capacities of our young people and equipping them with the skills to venture into entrepreneurship and innovation, we are empowering them to take charge of the future of our food systems. In addition, we must involve young people in decision- and policy-making and in events such as this one because we should not be designing their future alone – they must be part of the dialogue.”
On the sidelines of the Forum, the Minister held meetings with several high-level FAO officials, including His Excellency Qu Dongyu, Director-General, Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General, Maximo Torero, Chief Economist, and Stefanos Fotiou, Director of the Office of Sustainable Development Goals at FAO and Head of the UN Food Systems Coordination Hub. The talks focused on the UAE’s contribution to tackling global food and nutrition insecurity.
Her Excellency also discussed ways of promoting the adoption of healthy diets from sustainable food systems with His Excellency Gabriel Ferrero y de Loma-Osorio, Chairperson of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS).
The UAE is a thought leader in the food security space. The country is a co-founder of the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate) as well as a member of the Coalition of Action for Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems and the Coalition on Sustainable and Inclusive Urban Food Systems, and has just joined the School Meals Coalition.