Entries by UNSCN Secretariat

In Memory of Arne Oshaug 

We were saddened to hear about the passing of Arne Oshaug, a celebrated expert in the international nutrition community and forefather in the right to food agenda.

Arne was a strong supporter of multilateral processes in food, nutrition and health, having served for many years as a Norwegian representative to the CFS as well as chair of the bilateral partners group of the UNSCN. Arne has also been a member of the Norwegian Delegations to FAO, IFAD and WHO.
Lamentably for global nutrition, his deteriorating health prevented him from being fully active in the ongoing global debates on sustainable food systems, human rights, urban nutrition and the triple burden of malnutrition. His voice was missed as we know he would have much enriched the dialogue.

Food Systems Dialogue on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment for Food Security and Nutrition

Tuesday, 16 June
10:00am - 12:00pm EDT / 16:00 - 18:00 CEST

Register here

FAO North America and CARE invite you to an interactive dialogue on the key role of women in food systems, and the urgent need to further promote women’s empowerment for improved food security and nutrition. Rising food and nutrition insecurity in the face of COVID-19 will be a defining challenge of the 21st century. Women are a key - and yet often invisible - part of our food systems. Women account for 43% of farmers in developing countries. More than 60% of employed women in sub-Saharan Africa are working in agriculture - for half the wages men make. Women are leaders, innovators, farmers, caretakers, and business owners who are key agents of change to  transform our food systems. 

Food System Dialogues provide an inclusive platform for discussions to identify joint priorities and actions to transform food systems for sustainable development. Food systems should be sustainable, and produce diets that are affordable, safe and nourish people. The outcomes of the Dialogue will be featured in a report on the Food Systems Dialogues website, and will contribute to related initiatives at the global level, such as the work of the Committee on World Food Security and the UN Food Systems Summit.

Discussions at this Food Systems Dialogue will range from access to decent work and markets, women’s leadership and control over productive resources, gender-based violence, women’s role in nutrition, indigenous women, and enabling policies and institutional environments, among others. 

Please note that this is an invitation-only event. Registration will be closed on Sunday June 14th at 6pm EDT, or when capacity is reached. To request an invitation for somebody else, please fill out this form before June 11th: https://forms.gle/H5P8tJquXFtU62en6

IFPRI Policy seminar: Social Safety Nets and COVID-19: Can we protect food security and nutrition?

Thursday, June 11, 2020 - 09:30 am to 10:45 am (EDT)

Register here


COVID-19 has led to an unprecedented global response through expanded social safety nets, as countries struggle to mitigate the health and economic risks related to the virus and accompanying lockdowns. Gains made in the fight against poverty, food insecurity, and malnutrition in the last decade are threatened, requiring a vigorous policy response. Social safety nets hold promise to minimize further harm, particularly among vulnerable populations. But the expansion of safety nets during the pandemic faces significant challenges. This seminar presents evidence on how social safety nets have been used to respond to COVID-19, how well this response has addressed food security and nutrition, and opportunities and challenges going forward. Speakers will provide a global overview, and profile the experience and research evidence from Bangladesh and Ethiopia. These two countries have welcomed IFPRI and partners to carry out research aimed at improving the effectiveness of their extensive social safety net systems.

UNSG Policy Brief: The Impact of COVID-19 on Food Security and Nutrition

The COVID-19 pandemic is a health and human crisis threatening the food security and nutrition of millions of people around the world. Hundreds of millions of people were already suffering from hunger and malnutrition before the virus hit and, unless immediate action is taken, we could see a global food emergency. In the longer term, the combined effects of COVID-19 itself, as well as corresponding mitigation measures and the emerging global recession could, without large-scale coordinated action, disrupt the functioning of food systems. Such disruption can result in consequences for health and nutrition of a severity and scale unseen for more than half a century.

Launch of the Policy Brief

Webinar: “Climate-Resilient Development & Transformative Food Systems in the Covid19 era: The Solutions Space”

9 June 2020, 18:30 pm-20pm CET
The session will be livestreamed at bit.ly/foodsystemsolutions and will be recorded

These series of webinars aim to create a ‘solutions space’ for stakeholders to share lessons learned from the Covid19 crisis, in a world challenged by the compounded impacts of Climate Change on Health, Malnutrition and Equity. Experts, innovators and visionaries will help to identify short and long term Climate Resilient Development Pathways, for transformative, sustainable and equitable food systems and healthy diets, that can contribute to One|Planetary Health, Resilience and Just Transitions. 

The series is co-organized by UNFCCC observers including: Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, ProVeg International, Loyola Marymount University, Sustainability Health Education (SHE) Foundation, the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) and UN Environment Program (UNEP).

You can send questions in advance, send comments and share materials by writing to climatefoodhealth@gmail.com  


Planned webinars over the summer include:

  • Climate Change, Food Security and Covid19: challenges and opportunities (June 16t)
  • Food systems Resilience: lessons learned from COVID-19  
  • Transformative and Equitable food systems: towards One Health & Planetary health
  • Transitioning into Sustainable and Healthy Diets
  • Growth after Covid19: A Just Transition.


Food Systems Dashboard Webinar

5 June 2020 - 9AM EDT/1PM UTC/GMT

Register here

The Food Systems Dashboard is a unique holistic resource intended for policymakers, non-governmental organisations, businesses, civil society leaders, and other actors to enable timely visualisation of national food systems, understand the interconnections across multiple sectors, perform comparisons with other countries, identify key challenges, and prioritise actions.

Join the webinar to learn more about the Dashboard and how it can help inform your work.

Speakers include:

  • Jessica Fanzo (Johns Hopkins University)
  • Lawrence Haddad (Global Alliance for Improved Nutrtion)
  • Maximo Torero (Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N.)
  • Dave Tschirley (Michigan State University)
  • Anna Herforth (Harvard University)
  • Ty Beal (Global Alliance for Improved Nutrtion)
  • Quinn Marshall (Johns Hopkins University)
  • Rebecca McLaren (Johns Hopkins University)
  • Andy Jones (University of Michigan)

Webinar link to follow.

WEBINAR: COVID-19 and Sustainable Food Systems – Responses and innovations to tackle vulnerabilities and build back better

3rd June at 2:30 PM CEST
Register here

What critical measures are required to both combat the #COVID19 crisis and to build sustainable food systems? Can responses to the #COVID19 crisis catalyse transformation toward sustainable food systems?

The COVID-19 pandemic poses unprecedented challenges for food systems worldwide - but also enormous opportunities. It is a wakeup call that has highlighted the need for holistic approaches to both address the shock brought by the pandemic, but also to address the vulnerabilities of our unsustainable food systems. To build sustainable food systems we will need more coordinated, more integrated measures – a food systems approach.

Join us for a discussion with key experts and policymakers who will provide insights on key measures to both combat the pandemic’s impact and to build sustainable food systems.

A keynote speech by the WHO Special Envoy for COVID-19, Dr. David Nabarro, will be preceded by the presentation of findings from two pieces of research from INRAe and UNSCN. Following, we will hear from practical response examples from Costa Rica and Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul state.

Vice-minister Ana Cristina Quirós Soto of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock of Costa Rica will explain how the country has implemented a battery of measures in coordination with a range of food systems actors to guarantee workplace safety, access and availability to healthy food and financial support to livelihoods all while emphasizing the need for urgent progress on climate and environmental targets.

In Brazil, the main advisory bodies on food related matters, known as Councils of Food Security and Nutrition (CONSEAs), were created in the 2000s with an innovative multi-stakeholder architecture. The CONSEA of Rio Grande do Sul state has been responding to the food and nutrition security crisis brought on by COVID-19 through four areas of action. With closed schools, children’s access to food has been compromised. We will learn how CONSEA’s structure has facilitated a coordinated, agile response.

To close, practitioners from FAO, IFAD, UNEP and WWF will kick off a discussion highlighting why a systems-based, collaborative response is essential to both counter the vulnerabilities highlighted by COVID-19 as well as to build sustainable food systems.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Vice-minister Ana Cristina Quirós Soto, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Costa Rica
  • Dr. David Nabarro, WHO Director-General's Special Envoy on COVID-19
  • Potira V. Preiss, counselor of the Council of Food Security and Nutrition (CONSEA) of Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil
  • Dr. Yuna Chiffoleau, Research Director, INRAe
  • Dr. Stieneke Oenema, Coordinator, UNSCN
  • Margarita Astrálaga, Director of the Environment, Climate, Gender and Social Inclusion Division (ECG), IFAD
  • Fatima Hachem, Senior Nutrition Officer, FAO
  • Martina Otto, Head of Cities Unit, UNEP

Moderator: Brent Loken, Food Science Lead, WWF

Aimed primarily at regional and national decision-makers focusing on food or elements of the food system, the webinar is open to anyone with an interest in building sustainable food systems as a response to COVID-19 through a systems approach, and the role of inter-sectoral coordination and collaboration.

Register and submit your own answers in this participatory webinar here: https://bit.ly/3c2W4aE

The webinar is part of a Series of webinars on the Food Systems Approach in Practice promoted by members of the One Planet Network Sustainable Food Systems Programme (SFS Programme), a global multi-stakeholder platform to support countries in the transition towards sustainable food systems.


Joint questionnaire on COVID-19 and human rights

Deadline for submission: 19 June 2020



Several Special Procedure mandate holders will focus their forthcoming thematic reports to the United Nations Human Rights Council or the General Assembly on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the enjoyment of human rights. The questionnaire is meant to assist the human rights experts to obtain information and elaborate comprehensive recommendations on the measures taken by national, federal and local governments to protect their population and ensure the enjoyment of human rights, including particular groups at risk of discrimination or social exclusion, such as older persons, persons in situation of homelessness, women, children, persons with disabilities people of African Descent, domestic and migrant workers, LGBT persons, persons subjected to contemporary forms of slavery, and people living in poverty or experiencing poverty as a consequence of the crisis, as well as indigenous peoples1.

In order to facilitate responding to questions by Special Procedures, a joint questionnaire has been developed including a list of common questions and specific thematic questions responding to information required by participating mandates.

Who should respond to the questionnaire/call for contributions?

The mandate holders invite States, regional and local governments, international and regional organizations, National Human Rights Institutions, equality bodies, and civil society organizations, UN agencies, funds and programmes and other interested stakeholders to share relevant information for their respective reports.

What can be sent?

The mandate holders welcome all relevant contributions and submissions which can be drafted in response to the questions. Reports which have already been drafted on relevant topics may also be submitted for consideration.

How and where to submit inputs

You can download the joint questionnaire here:
WORD: English | French | Spanish

Responses and submissions should be sent to registry@ohchr.org by 19 June 2020. When responding please use the heading: Response to joint questionnaire of special procedures.

In order to facilitate processing and ensure accessibility, submissions in Word format in English, French or Spanish are appreciated. It is kindly requested to limit responses and submissions to 4,500 words and to include hyperlinks to relevant documents, statistical data, public regulations and legislation providing more detailed information.

How inputs will be used

All responses and submissions received in accessible format will be published on the webpages of participating Special Procedures, except if confidentiality of the submission is explicitly requested. Submissions received in non-accessible PDF format will not be published, but will be made available upon request.

#WorldFoodSafetyDay Twitter chat

Tuesday 2 June 2020, 15:00 CEST

On Tuesday 2 June 2020, the UN Food Systems Summit and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will host a Twitter chat in observance of World Food Safety Day. Anyone with a Twitter account can join the conversation, which will be led by @FoodSystems around the hashtags #WorldFoodSafetyDay and #WFSDchat.

In view of next year’s UN Food Systems Summit, the online chat will look at how food safety fits into food systems, as ensuring food is safe requires a whole-of-food-systems approach, involving everyone in the supply chain and the consumer. Questions pertinent to current global issues will be raised, allowing Twitter users to share their views and experiences to ensure food is safe amid new challenges. The discussion will also delve into the importance of food safety in promoting food and nutrition security.


Tune in to Twitter on June 2 at 15:00 CEST to take part.

  1. Why is food safety everyone’s business?
  2. How is food safety affected by emerging global challenges? (COVID-19, climate change, migration etc)?
  3. How can we ensure that food safety remains a priority in times of COVID-19?
  4. Why is food safety important to achieve food and nutrition security?
  5. How can consumers make sure that food is safe?
  6. How does food safety fit into food systems?

Use the hashtag #WFSDchat in your answers.

Useful links:

World Food Safety Day: http://www.fao.org/fao-who-codexalimentarius/world-food-safety-day/about/en/

IFAD: https://www.ifad.org/en/

UN Food Systems Summit: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/food-systems-summit-2021/


1-4 June 2020

Register here


NUTRITION 2020 LIVE ONLINE is a rich, interactive experience that you can join from anywhere in the world, offering great content in the form of lectures, scientific sessions, satellite programs, virtual abstract presentations, virtual exhibits, and more. Connect with a global audience through panel discussions, live Q& A and interaction for selected sessions.  Put on your comfiest clothes, grab your favorite beverage and healthy snacks, and find your seat (you’re guaranteed the best seat in the house!), and settle in for 4 days of nutrition learning and collaboration like you’ve never experienced before!

NUTRITION 2020 LIVE ONLINE is completely free and supported by the ASN Foundation.