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UN Global Compact Russia




The COVID-19 pandemic, among many other issues, has severely disrupted global food value chains and hampered access to safe and quality food, and has made it increasingly difficult for states to meet their 2030 Agenda commitments, especially the second Sustainable Development Goal (SDG): End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. To draw attention to this problem, within the framework of the Decade of Action to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, at the initiative of the UN FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in conjunction with the High-Level Week of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly, convenes a Summit on Food Systems in 2021.

The Summit will launch new actions aimed at achieving progress on all 17 SDGs, each of which depends to some extent on healthier, more sustainable and fairly functioning food systems. The summit is designed to draw attention to the fact that we all must work to change the world models of food production and consumption and the attitude towards them. It will be a “solutions summit” that will require new action to improve the world's food systems.

As a contribution to the work of the Summit and for the active involvement of all countries of the world in the preparation for the Food Systems Summit, the UN member states are recommended to initiate dialogues on food systems in the period from November 2020 to May 2021.

In this regard, food systems dialogues are being convened in three formats. The main format is national dialogues; the second one is global dialogues that are fueled by the results of national dialogues; the third one is independent dialogues that can be convened within states, between states and representatives of interest groups and parties, consumers, producers, academia, and public organizations.

The UN Global Compact Local Network (the UN Global Compact Network Russia) has joined the dialogues ahead of the 2021 Food Systems Summit. Participants of the UN Global Compact Network Russia, who had assumed responsibility for contributing to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, confirmed their awareness of responsible business operating in all sectors of the economy as directly affecting the formation of effective and sustainable food systems.

In this regard, the UNGC Local Network considers it necessary to develop and disseminate the principles and standards that are common across all business sectors, contributing to shaping of sustainable food systems. The formulation and dissemination of such standards will enable responsible companies, including those not currently associating their responsibilities with the problems of global hunger and food, better understand the boundaries and extent of their positive and negative impacts in this area, and synchronize corporate strategies with tasks of solving problems and introducing new tools for the development and strengthening of food systems.

These standards can be presented to the market in the form of Guidelines or a Code of Sustainable Food Systems Promotion. The Guidelines (the Code) should be developed taking into account the UNGC principles on human rights and labor relations, environment and anti-corruption, as well as the principles of responsible investment and financing, the principles of taking into account the interests of all stakeholders and supporting ambitions to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The UNGC Local Network’s participants, in particular, the Interstate Development Corporation, FosAgro PJSC, X5 GROUP, SAP, the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North and others, have suggested within the dialogues that their best practices, business experience in the area of production and business patterns, sales and retail, green sustainable financing and investment, digital technologies and artificial intelligence, promotion of, informing on and formation of sustainable development values, partnerships, cooperation, and etc. should be taken into account when forming the national strategy.

The UNGC Local Network have marked itself ready to take responsibility for facilitating the further progress of the Russian community in these matters, including by forming an expert group of stakeholders (business, NGOs, business associations, academic segment) to work together, taking into account the decisions and proposals of the Summit, and by developing a catalog of measures (tools) that can be considered or scaled up by different stakeholders.
The Food Systems Summit is expected to achieve the following results:

1. Fostering meaningful action and measurable progress towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Summit will outline possible solutions, identify leaders and provide a call to action at all levels of food systems, including a call to national and local governments, companies and citizens.
2. Raising awareness and public debate on how reforming our food systems can help achieve the SDGs through reforms that benefit people and the planet.
3. Developing principles to guide governments and other stakeholders as they seek to use their food systems to support the achievement of the SDGs. These principles will form the basis of an optimistic and reassuring vision in which food systems will play a crucial role in building a more just and sustainable world.
4. Establishing a follow-up and review system to ensure that the Summit's results continue to drive new action and progress. Such a system would allow sharing of experiences, lessons learned and knowledge; it will also provide an opportunity to analyze the impact of the Summit.

The dialogue discusses the context of the five main objectives of the Summit, which in turn will contribute to the achievement of all 17 interrelated SDGs:

1. Ensuring access to safe and nutritious food for all (enabling all people to be well nourished and healthy, progressive realization to the right of food)
2. Shifting to sustainable consumption patterns (promoting and creating demand for healthy and sustainable diets, reducing waste).
3. Boosting nature-positive production at sufficient scale (acting on climate change, reducing emissions, increasing carbon capture, regenerating and protecting critical ecosystems and reducing food loss and energy without undermining health or nutritious diets).
4. Advancing equitable livelihoods and value distribution (raising incomes, distributing risk, expanding inclusion, promoting full and productive employment and decent work for all).
5. Building resilience to vulnerabilities, shocks and stress (ensuring the continued functionality of healthy and sustainable food systems).

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