Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Independent Summit Dialogue: Healthy Food Systems- For people, planet, and prosperity

4 June 2021Independent Summit Dialogue: Healthy Food Systems- For people, planet, and prosperity.

The WHO, EAT, and the Global Alliance for the Future of Food, in support of the UN Food Systems Summit, came together to explore how #FoodSystems can be transformed for human, animal, and planetary health.


In the year of the UN Food Systems Summit, this dialogue convened experts and actors from across the health and food communities to explore how a new narrative about health and food systems can be used to stimulate action and commitments, from policies to investments, that deliver better health outcomes for people, animals, and the planet.

Following on the heels of the Seventy-fourth World Health Assembly (24 May - 1 June), and to start the WHO Health Talks week (4 - 10 June), attendees of this event gained a deeper understanding of the five interdependent pathways across the health-food systems nexus, to identify where targeted, multi-stakeholder action could create a multiplier effect across the Triple Billion Targets and the Sustainable Development Goals, in the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016 – 2025).

Now, more than ever, a systemic narrative about food and health must be reflected in the language of intersecting and aligned global processes - such as the G7, G20, UNFSS, COP26, and Nutrition for Growth. The outcomes of this independent dialogue will be submitted formally as an input to the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit. This event aimed to:
  • Promote health and food systems resilience as critical to COVID-19 recovery and progress on the Sustainable Development Goals in the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition.
  • Communicate why we need new food systems narratives centered around upholding human, ecological, and animal health (i.e., One Health) and why dominant narratives are undermining all three dimensions of health as well as the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Catalyze support for an integrated, holistic approach to policy reform and coordinated action across food and health sectors, exploring opportunities for health and food system actors to work together for policy and practice reform
  • Using case studies from around the world, showcase how government leaders, the health sector and other food system actors have designed policies and practices that have delivered better health and sustainability outcomes for all.


  1. Dr. Francesco Branca, Director, Department of Nutrition and Food Safety, World Health Organization WHO
  2. Dr. Gunhild Stordalen, Executive Chair and Founder of EAT and Chair of Action Track 2 of the Food Systems Summit. 00:07 Food, health, COVID-19 recovery: the urgent need for a narrative shift and integrated policy reform 
  3. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General, World Health Organization 
  4. Dr. Agnes Kalibata, UN Special Envoy to the UN Food Systems Summit 
  5. Guy Ryder, Director General, International Labour Organization ILO
Malnutrition in all its forms— overweight, obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases, undernutrition, and micronutrient deficiencies— impacts on public health and healthcare systems and how they have been exacerbated by COVID-19
  • Dr. Sania Nishtar, Senator/Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety, Government of Pakistan 
  • Michael Sunbola, CEO, Lagos Food Bank - Nigeria 
  • Dr. Juan Ángel Rivera Donmarco, Director General, National Institute of Public Health - Mexico
 Antimicrobial Resistance and Zoonosis – how the increased use of antimicrobials and the emergence of a range of zoonotic diseases are diminishing animal health, exacerbating the human health crisis, and contributing to the ecological crisis, as demonstrated by COVID-19.
  • Dame Sally Davies, UK Special Envoy on Antimicrobial Resistance 
  • Dr. Rajeshwari Sinha, Programme Manager, Food Safety and Toxins Programme, Centre for Science and Environment - India 
  • Dr. Darike Kingnate, Advisor, Office of International Cooperation, Department of Disease Control Ministry of Public Health - Thailand 
High-level reflection
  • Gerda Verburg, Global Coordinator of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement and Assistant UN Secretary-General 
  • Marion Jansen, Director, Trade and Agriculture Directorate, OECD
Systemic action for human, animal, and planetary health 
  • Moderator: Ruth Richardson, Executive Director, Global Alliance for the Future of Food 
  • Johanna Ralston, Chief Executive, World Obesity Federation 
  • Philip Lymbery, CEO, Compassion in World Farming 
  • Juan Lucas Restrepo, Director General, The Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture
Food systems and health: closing reflections on the way forward 
  • Dr. Omnia El Omrani, Liaison Officer for Public Health Issues, International Federation of Medical Students’ Association

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