Prime Minister Prachanda Heads to Italy for UN Food Summit

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Kathmandu :

On Saturday evening, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda embarked on a journey to Italy to participate in the much-anticipated United Nations Food Systems Summit +2 Stocktaking Moment (UNFSS+2) scheduled to take place from July 24 to 26 in Rome.

Italy, in collaboration with the Rome-based UN Agencies, including FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation), IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development), and WFP (World Food Programme), alongside the UN Food Systems Coordination Hub and the broader UN system, will host the summit.

Accompanying Prime Minister Prachanda on this important endeavor are his daughter Ganga Dahal, Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development Dr. Beduram Bhusal, Member of National Planning Commission Dr. Jay Kant Raut, and several other senior members of the government.

In his capacity as the Chair of LDC Group (Least Developed Countries), the Prime Minister is slated to address the official opening session of UNFSS+2 on July 24. He will also be a key participant in the Plenary Sessions focusing on School Meals and Food System Transformation in Practice, which are scheduled for July 24 and July 25, respectively. Nepal currently holds the chairmanship of the LDC Group, representing the Global Coordination Bureau of the Least Developed Countries.

During the event, Prime Minister Prachanda is set to hold bilateral meetings with high-level dignitaries of the UN system, including the Director General of FAO, the Executive Director of WFP, and the President of IFAD, among other influential figures.

Additionally, he will engage with the Nepali community in Italy through a special program organized by the Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA). The Prime Minister's schedule also includes meetings with the prime minister and leaders of Italy. His return to Nepal is expected on July 28.

The UN Food Systems Summit +2 Stocktaking Moment aims to build on the achievements of the 2021 Food Systems Summit and provide a platform for countries to review progress on commitments to action. Participants will identify successes, persisting bottlenecks, and priorities to effectively close the implementation gap through the efficient utilization of Means of Implementation for food systems transformation.

Moreover, the summit will advocate for urgent action at scale, emphasizing the essential role of sustainable, equitable, healthy, and resilient food systems as critical accelerators for achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These sustainable food systems have been proven to contribute positively to the well-being of people, the planet, and prosperity, leaving no one behind.

The organizers state that this high-level meeting serves as the first global follow-up to the 2021 Food Systems Summit, where leaders from 193 countries, including 77 Heads of State and Government, gathered and committed to harnessing the transformative power of food systems in achieving all 17 SDGs.

Italy, which previously hosted the Pre-Food Systems Summit in July 2021, will once again play a central role in highlighting the importance of food systems transformations in advancing the SDGs, leading up to the Sustainable Development Goals Summit in September 2023. The three-day summit will provide countries with an opportunity to share successful stories and early signs of transformation, maintaining momentum for bold action in enhancing the resilience of food systems.

In Prime Minister Prachanda's absence, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Purna Bahadur Khadka, will assume the responsibilities of the Prime Minister, as assigned by President Ramchandra Paudel, following the recommendation of Prime Minister Prachanda himself, as announced by the Office of the President on Saturday.