Cow in farm

FOUR PAWS statement on the first UN Food Systems Summit on 23.09 in New York 

FOUR PAWS welcomes the inaugural summit, but sees the discussion as too one-sided on large corporations


23 September 2021 - Today, for the first time, the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) takes place at the UN General Assembly in New York. The Summit was launched by the UN Secretary-General on World Food Day last year to advance the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. One of these goals addresses global nutrition and how future food systems must be designed to be sustainable for the planet as well as the people. 

Topics such as school meals for children, the avoidance of food waste or climate protection in agriculture, keyword: methane emissions, are currently on the agenda. The global animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS welcomes the summit, but sees the discussion as too one-sided: The agenda of the summit is largely determined by representatives of global food corporations. Scientists and civil society organisations, however, are given little presence.

Dr Martina Stephany, Director of Farm Animals and Nutrition at FOUR PAWS, sees the discussion as important, but critical due to the focus on large corporations:

"Compliance with the 1.5°C limit on global warming, which was signed in the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, is directly related to global food systems. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) states that the keeping of farm animals alone is responsible for 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. 

There is an urgent need for action here. Reducing meat and fish consumption and shifting towards plant-based and innovative alternatives must be at the centre of the discussion here. Instead, the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) convened by the United Nations is largely dominated by meat and dairy industry agendas.  The United Nations needs to listen more to expertise from the scientific community and break up the one-sided discussion of profit-driven actors in favour of sensible and ethical measures against a climate catastrophe.”

Dr Martina Stephany, Director of Farm Animals and Nutrition at FOUR PAWS

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Elise Burgess

Elise Burgess

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M: 0423 873 382

FOUR PAWS Australia
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FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them.

Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler and friends, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. The sustainable campaigns and projects of FOUR PAWS focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, animals in fashion, farm animals, and wild animals – such as bears, big cats, and orangutans – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones.

With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA, and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in eleven countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions.

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