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Ha Noi, Viet Nam
24-27 April 2023

Objectives and expected outcomes

This conference aims to make a substantial contribution to the UN Food Systems Summit’s follow-up process, in view of the first Stock-Taking Moment that is tentatively scheduled for June/July 2023 (TBC). It will build on the past fruitful collaborations of the SFS Programme with the UN FSS Secretariat and the current Coordination Hub, as well as the expertise and tools of the SFS Programme and the outcomes of the Programme’s previous three global conferences.

Following the recommendations of the SFS Programme’s 3rd conference and building on the momentum and the findings of the UNFSS, the objectives of the 4th global conference are:

  1. To present transformational actions, tools and initiatives that have emerged since the UNFSS with a view to promote their uptake and upscaling in national and local policy-making processes.
  2. To further promote the food systems approach and inclusive governance and collaboration at all levels – including multilateral and particularly Rio Conventions - with a view to foster their uptake for the development of multi-sectoral action plans towards sustainable consumption and production in food systems; and
  3. To provide a space for National Convenors, UNFSS coalitions and other relevant multi-actor initiatives as well as other food systems actors, to build capacities and deepen their collective efforts towards sustainable food systems pathways, in view of the UNFSS 2023 Stock-Taking Moment.

The expected outcomes of the conference are:

  1. Evidence-based recommendations on a range of transformational actions to refine, and achieve integration across National Pathways, climate NDCs, CBD targets and the broader SDGs, and increase implementation with a focus on inclusive governance and collaboration, integrated policies and means of implementation; and
  2. Update of progress/commitments/new processes by countries and other stakeholders on National Pathways and other food systems transformation actions.
  3. Strengthen the UNFSS 'Ecosystem of Support' and its linkages to the SFS Programme.

The conference will enable diverse stakeholders to showcase early signs of success in implementing UN FSS results, including by presenting tools and techniques that deal with interdependencies and trade-offs of the food systems challenges, allowing the sharing of lessons and experiences, with the goal of strengthening alliances and impactful initiatives that can deliver concrete actions in support of National Pathways. The conference will also discuss food system challenges and peer-to-peer learning and sharing of experiences from across the globe, emphasizing Asian region country participation.


Over a third of the Earth’s habitable land supports agriculture, providing livelihoods for nearly half the world’s population. 21–37 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions are traceable to our food systems, driven primarily by deforestation, land use change, and land management activities. According to the United Nations Environment Programme/Chatham House, ‘Agriculture is the single largest cause of land-use change and habitat destruction, accounting for 80 per cent of all land-use change globally’. Global food systems leave approximately 828 million people (one in ten) affected by hunger, and more than 3 billion people cannot afford a healthy diet. About two-thirds of the extremely poor live in rural areas where most food is produced. There is an urgent need to build sustainable food systems that are healthy for people and the planet as put forth by the UN Secretary General’s convening of the first Food Systems Summit in 2021. The UNFSS generated unprecedented awareness and momentum on the pivotal role sustainable food systems play in achieving the SDGs and a 1.5-degree world. Through the UNFSS emphasis on dialogue and multi-sectoral plans, over 100 countries developed ‘Food Systems Transformation National Pathways’, the foundation for the necessary transformative action we need. A few months later, in June 22, and in acknowledgement of the successive multiple interrelated crises (the 4 Cs: COVID-19, high costs, new conflicts, and climate change) that have exacerbated the dire challenges that were already afflicting our society, the Stockholm+50 international meeting stated that a healthy planet may require a review of the way our current economic system works, including through defining and adopting new measures of progress and human well-being, supported by economic and fiscal instruments and multi-sectorial policy action that account for the value of human health and the environment. This unprecedented new background calls for ever more urgent transformative action at scale, requiring countries to deliver on Food Systems Transformation National Pathways and related commitments, which will be accounted for in the first UNFSS Stock-Taking meeting in 2023. The 4th global conference of the SFS Programme will take place before the Stock-taking meeting contributing to its preparations and building momentum by providing early signals of progress towards the transformation we need.

About the SFS Programme

The Sustainable Food Systems (SFS) Programme is a multi-stakeholder partnership with the aim to accelerate the transformation towards sustainable consumption and production patterns in all areas related to food, with a special focus on promoting a holistic food systems approach in policy making.

The SFS Programme is part of the One Planet Network (10YFP), the UN mandated mechanism to foster Sustainable Consumption and Production (SDG12). The SFS Programme currently has over 190 members worldwide, bringing together leading organizations from government, the UN system, civil society, the scientific community, and the private sector. The Co-Leads of the SFS Programme are Costa Rica (Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock), Switzerland (Federal Office for Agriculture), and WWF, and they are supported by a 23-member Multi-stakeholder Advisory Committee (MAC).

The SFS Programme played an active role in the preparatory process of the UN Food Systems Summit (UN FSS) that took place in September 2021. Among other things, it organized the 1st Global Food Systems Summit Dialogue as part of the ‘3rd global conference of the SFS Programme’, and several of its members were chairing the UN FSS’s action tracks as well as the development of the multi-stakeholder action coalitions that came out of the UN FSS.

Now, the SFS Programme aims to support the processes established by the UNFSS’s outcomes, including by making its tools readily available to coalitions and countries in support of the National Pathways for Food Systems Transformation, and by providing a space for co-creation and exchange among the different UN FSS coalitions, other relevant initiatives, National Convenors, and the wide range of actors that share the vision on sustainable food systems.  The newly adopted UN Global SCP Strategy, foresees that the UN One Planet network and the broader ‘SCP community’ support the UNFSS follow-up process, including through the leadership of the SFS Programme.

Conference participants


The conference is open to countries, all SFS Programme members and further One Planet Network partners whose work relates to food systems, and the UN FSS coalitions. In addition, the conference will involve other multi-stakeholder initiatives, thought leaders, donors and food system actors from all stakeholder groups, upon invitation. As in previous conferences of the SFS Programme, we expect up to about 150 in-person participants. While in-person ministerial level participation from the host country will be highly encouraged, other in-person high-level participants are expected to go up to the level of vice-ministers.