This week, the First FAO/WHO/AU International Conference on Food Safety is being held from February 12-13, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
With an estimated 600 million cases of foodborne illnesses annually, unsafe food is a threat to human health and economies, disproportionally affecting vulnerable and marginalized people, especially women and children, populations affected by conflict and migrants.
This joint conference will bring together Ministers of Health, Ministers of Agriculture, leading scientific experts, partner agencies as well as representatives of consumers, food producers and distributors to:
- Identify key actions and strategies to address current and future challenges to food safety globally;
- Strengthen commitment at the highest political level to scale up food safety in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Ongoing changes in climate, global food production and supply systems affect consumers, industry and the planet itself. These changes can have an impact on food safety systems and pose sustainability and development challenges.
This is a pivotal moment demanding urgent international reflection on actions needed to bolster food safety, which will start in Addis Ababa and continue in Geneva. Priorities will be discussed so that food safety strategies and approaches can be aligned across sectors and borders, reinforcing efforts to reach the Sustainable Development Goals and supporting the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition.
The FAO/WHO/AU International Forum on Food Safety and Trade will be held April 23-24, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Continuing the discussions from the Addis Conference, the Geneva Forum will address the trade-related aspects and challenges of food safety. The food safety priorities set by this Conference will facilitate global collaboration and help ensure that no one is left behind. Its will provide an opportunity for participants to explore the challenges and opportunities arising from rapid technological change and digitalization, namely:
- the use of new technologies in the realm of food safety and trade;
- how trade in safe food can be facilitated at the borders;
- multi-stakeholder coordination and the role of partnerships;
- harmonizing food safety regulation in a period of change and innovation.
The conference will result in a document summarizing key issues and recommendations from both, the Addis Conference and the Geneva Forum, to better align and coordinate efforts to strengthen food safety systems across sectors and borders.