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Virtual parliamentary dialogues: food security and nutrition in the time of COVID-19

March-September 2021











FAO. 2021. Virtual parliamentary dialogues: food security and nutrition in the time of COVID-19 – March-September 2021. Rome. 



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    Responsible investments in agriculture and food systems – A practical handbook for parliamentarians and parliamentary advisors 2020
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    This Practical Handbook is directed to Members of Parliament and Parliamentary Advisors, who are considered “change agents”. It provides a comprehensive and systematic overview of the role that Parliamentarians can play in the creation of reliable, coherent, and transparent “enabling environments” in the range of areas related to investment in agriculture and food systems. The Handbook does so, not through a catalog of prescriptions, but through guidance notes, examples of good practices, and very practical indications. It does not aim to provide a blueprint to be implemented by each Parliament but rather it sets out key stages of processes and mechanisms for MPs and advisors to consider while promoting responsible investment in agriculture and food systems. Part 1 of the Handbook presents the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems and explains:
    • why there is an urgent need to enhance responsible investment in agriculture and food systems: high levels of malnutrition and poverty (exacerbated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic), population growth and urbanization, increasing demand for more resource-intensive diets, climate change, and its severe impacts;
    • what is responsible investment in agriculture and food systems: “Responsible investment in agriculture and food systems contributes to sustainable development by generating positive socio-economic and environmental impacts, enhancing food security and nutrition. It requires progressively respecting, protecting and fulfilling human rights”;
    • and how can it contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and national development plans - scaling up support to small scale farmers, engaging and empowering youth, closing the gender gap, and improving access to infrastructure, public services, and agricultural finance, and, in general, investing in the sustainable production of safe and nutritious food while contributing to improving inclusion in the food system, prioritizing vulnerable populations and adopting a human rights-based approach to food security, in line with the SDGs spirit of addressing inequalities and ensuring that no one is left behind.
    In Part 2, through specific Guidance Notes, Parliamentarians and advisors are guided through concrete actions they can implement in their countries to improve and increase investments, actions such as: executing a national policy, legislative, and institutional frameworks assessment; ensuring consistency in the legal and policy framework; advocating to reform existing laws and/or adopt new laws; ensuring adequate financing for the implementation of laws related to responsible investments in agriculture and food systems and ensuring effective parliamentary oversight are detailed throughout.
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    Legislative developments and challenges in the time of COVID-19
    The parliamentary sector as a key stakeholder in building a new normal
    2022
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    Evidence shows that the improvement in food and nutrition security is mostly due to policies, programs and frameworks that are anchored in legislation. Parliamentarians play a key role in promoting and approving laws and policies to eradicate hunger and malnutrition. Despite the various challenges to be faced, as those posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, parliamentarians reiterated their commitment to learning from each other’s, sharing their experiences, strengthening collaboration between countries and regions, thus stimulating the adoption of laws, policies and programs, but also, the allocation and supervision of public budgets. In addition, the parliamentary sector plays a fundamental role in the implementation of the United Nations Decade of Family Farming 2019-2028 (UNDFF). This publication is dedicated to the Virtual Parliamentary Dialogues that took place between March and November 2021, and is aimed at sharing the effective results of legislative initiatives that aimed at reducing and mitigating the negative impacts of COVID-19 on food security and nutrition (FSN). This made clear the importance of parliamentary action, and how it is fundamental in the development of legal frameworks, in the exercise of political oversight, and in ensuring appropriate budget allocations able to pave the way for a faster and more lasting recovery.As time goes by, even in this time of crisis, ad hoc measures and capacities to better manage the impacts of the pandemic on food security and nutrition are emerging with greater force. It is encouraging to see the commitment and innovative thinking that parliamentarians have shown.
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    Preparatory events towards the Second Global Parliamentary Summit against Hunger and Malnutrition 2022
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    Given that parliamentary action to tackle hunger and malnutrition is more necessary than ever, AECID and FAO plan to bring parliamentarians together for the Second Global Parliamentary Summit against Hunger and Malnutrition, to be held in 2023. The forthcoming Summit aims to take stock of the issues, ideas and actions discussed during the virtual parliamentary dialogues and UNFSS and to stimulate further parliamentary action to build on progress made since the 2018 Summit. In so doing, it seeks to contribute towards a redoubling of efforts to end hunger and malnutrition in all its forms by 2030. FAO and IISD have organized a series of events to support the preparation of the forthcoming Summit and thereby ensure that it is able to facilitate useful exchanges of experiences between parliamentarians and stimulate renewed parliamentary action to tackle hunger and malnutrition. These events aim to raise parliamentarians’ awareness about important issues relevant to efforts to tackle hunger and malnutrition, to stimulate discussion, debate and knowledge exchange among parliamentarians, to share FAO tools, to capture and document relevant insights and experiences and to inform the agenda for the forthcoming Summit.

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