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Emerging from global crises by shaping sustainable, resilient, healthy, and inclusive food systems


Ha Noi, Viet Nam
24-27 April 2023

Session 5: Promoting the transformation through science, finance, human rights & innovation


25 April
11:00-12:30 (GMT+7)

This session will explore the key enablers for sustainable food systems from the perspective of science, finance and investments, human rights and innovation in all its forms, acknowledging that evidence alone is necessary but not sufficient to make transformation processes happen. Therefore, this session will assess the political economy that shapes decision-making in the face of trade-offs and relations and showcase concrete country/local examples that have dealt with such obstacles to unleash their local key enablers. [agenda / sequence]




H.E. Saboto Caesar

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation, Industry & Labour, St. Vincent and the Grenadines 

Hon. Saboto Scofield Caesar is a former Island Scholar, an attorney at law, and a member of Parliament of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. He currently serves as the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation, Industry, and Labour in the Dr. Hon. Ralph Gonsalves', Unity Labour Party-led administration. Over the past twelve years as Minister, he has championed with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations a sub-regional Zero Hunger Initiative. The Minister is well-known throughout the region as an agriculture activist and was recently recognized by the Inter-American Institution for Cooperation on Agriculture for his dedication to maintaining food security and resilience in the agriculture sector. He is a former Minister of Tourism and Minister of Housing, Lands and Surveys, Local Government, and Informal Human Settlement. He holds a Master of Laws degree from the University of London, with a specialization in Banking and Finance Law, and a Bachelor of Laws degree, from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus. He was a student at the UWI Law Faculty from the year 2000-2003. He was the Class Representative for the first-year students at the faculty. He continued in student government at the Hugh Wooding Law School, where he served as the President of the Student Representative Council from 2004-2005. Minister Caesar went on to successfully contest three (3) general elections in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in 2010, 2015, and 2020. He is forty-three (43) years old. He is called to the Bar in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and served as a Crown Counsel in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions; and Attorney General's Chambers; before taking up the role of Acting Registrar of the High Court of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. 



H.E. Meles Mekonen

State Minister for Agriculture, Ethiopia 

Dr. Meles Mekonen Yimer graduated with a PhD degree in Crop physiology and Agronomy from Haramaya University and has extensive experiences in various fields as being Lecturer, Department Head, College Dean for College of Agriculture and Vice-President of Wollo University. And also served as Head and Vice-head of Administration Board for different universities; and Business & Development Enterprises of Amhara National Regional State. 

Beyond serving as Mayor of Dessie city administration (a metropolitan city), his long years rich experiences as Bureau Head of Agriculture and Natural Resource Development Sector of Amhara Regional State made him to lead the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the 10-year agriculture sector plan both at regional and national levels. 

Dr. Meles Mekonen is currently working at the Capacity of a State Minister for the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Sector. To this end, the significant contribution to directly involve in leading the Agriculture and Horticulture Development sector would have a far reaching impact towards the attainment of the strategic objectives of the Ministry (i.e., achieving food and nutrition security at household and national level, enhancing export promotion and diversification, promoting import substitution and increasing the supply side for agro-processing industries; and creating job opportunity to rural youth and women).    




Nadine Gbossa

Director Food Systems Coordination, IFAD

Chief Means of Implementation, UN Food Systems Coordination Hub



Joe Phelan,

Executive Director, Asia Pacific

World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Joe is Executive Director, Asia Pacific for the World Business Council for  

Sustainable   Development, the global, CEO-led community of the world’s  

leading sustainable  businesses working together to realize a net-zero,  

nature-positive, more equitable future.  


Joe is responsible for the engagement of ambitious companies from  

across Asia and Australasia in the World Business Council. He has  

supported collective action projects by business with demonstrable  

outcomes in areas such as climate change, energy transition, water  

risk, mobility and more resilient agriculture. 


Prior to joining WBCSD, Joe held senior roles with the Prince of Wales  

Business Leaders Forum. Highlights included a series of special reports  

with the Financial Times on business and sustainable development, the  

development of the World Business & Development awards with the  

United Nations and International Chambers of Commerce, and delivery  

of programs in skills, inclusive business, and anti-corruption.  


Born and educated in the UK, Joe has worked in Asia since 2009. He  

plays cricket and lives in Singapore with his wife, a writer, and their  




Christine Campeau

Global Advocacy Director - Food Systems | CARE

Christine Campeau is the Global Advocacy Director for Food Systems at CARE, where she leads the execution of CARE's global policy and advocacy on food and water systems at global, regional, and national levels.  

Most relevant to the SFS conference, Christine was the Deputy Chair of the UNFSS’s Action Track 4 to advance equitable livelihoods. Christine continues to guide the work of CARE country offices to support the implementation of national food systems pathways and established the Decent Work and Living Incomes and Wages Coalitions alongside ILO and IFAD. As a contributor to the Food Systems Countdown Initiative, she helps measure, assess, and track the performance of global food systems toward 2030. 

Prior to this, Christine worked for intergovernmental agencies, such as UN Nutrition; for global support systems, such as the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement Secretariat; and with civil society organizations, including Caritas Internationalis. 

Christine holds a Master of International Relations from Webster University, Geneva, Switzerland, with a combined focus on international diplomacy and climate-induced migration. Born and raised on a farm in Southern Ontario, she has spent countless hours volunteering on organic farms across Canada and working with farmers in developing countries. Her personal goal is to work with committed farmers, entrepreneurs, social movements, academics, and decision makers to build resilient food systems that ensure global food and nutrition security. 



Gunther Beger

Managing Director, UNIDO 



Dr. Hildegard Lingnau,

Executive Secretary, Global Forum on Agricultural Research and Innovation (GFAR)



Mansi Shah

Programme Manager for the Future of Work Activities, Self Employed Women's Association



Adam Gerstenmier

Executive Director, Food Action Alliance

Adam Gerstenmier serves as Executive Director of the Food Action Alliance, a multi-stakeholder platform initiated by the World Economic Forum, IFAD, and Rabobank to support a transition to more sustainable, inclusive, nutritious, and resilient food systems. He works with institutions, companies, and countries around the world to mobilize partnerships and investments that advance food systems action and impact at scale towards national food systems agendas. Gerstenmier previously served as Chief of Staff in the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit Secretariat, Chief of Staff to the President of AGRA, and a Chief of Staff in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.