The Second Global Parliamentary Summit against Hunger and Malnutrition was held on 15 and 16 June in Chile. A space for exchange and collaboration to promote effective parliamentary actions in the fight against hunger and malnutrition, promoting significant progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The summit comes 5 years after the first successful Madrid summit in 2018, which brought together more than 200 parliamentarians from around the world and explored how parliamentarians can use their legislative powers to promote food security and improve nutrition on a global scale.
At this second summit, organised by FAO, MEP Soraya Rodríguez Ramos spoke online at the session “Transforming food systems to make them more inclusive, sustainable and resilient to climate change”. Rodríguez focused her intervention on the need to strengthen parliamentary dialogue as an effective tool in the fight against hunger worldwide, from her perspective as a member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and Committee on Development and as a strong defender of Parliamentary Alliances against Hunger and Malnutrition.
The MEP started her speech by highlighting the alarming figure of 828 million people suffering from hunger daily, an increase of 150 million since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The global food security situation has worsened due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has exacerbated the unequal distribution of hunger in the world, affecting mainly countries such as Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia and parts of Nigeria, among others.
Rodríguez Ramos stressed that climate change has been one of the drivers of this global food crisis, as it has increased risks to food security by decreasing productivity and reducing the nutritional value of food. In this regard, she emphasised the need to transform food production and distribution systems to make them more sustainable, fair and inclusive and to guarantee the right to food.
In the words of the MEP, “the European Commission has a strong commitment to the European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork Strategy”, which seek to adapt the European Union’s climate, energy, transport and taxation policies with the objective of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions and achieving climate neutrality on the continent. In addition, the European Nature Restoration Act, a proposal led by her within her group, Renew Europe, seeks to restore degraded areas and increase the resilience of food systems to the impacts of climate change.
Soraya Rodriguez has insisted on the importance of women, who make up almost 50 percent of the workforce in rural and agricultural environments. Addressing gender barriers, ensuring equal access between men and women to resources and promoting women’s active participation in decision-making to achieve resilient and sustainable communities can certainly increase agricultural yields and reduce hunger significantly.
In conclusion, parliamentarians play a key role in implementing commitments against food insecurity, climate change and the transformation towards sustainable food systems for the achievement of Zero Hunger in the world. “The importance of continuous dialogue with stakeholders and the empowerment of third-country partners to ensure that no one is left behind in this transition,” she concluded.