“When I launched my Zero Hunger Challenge four years ago, I hoped people everywhere would share my vision of a world free from hunger and malnutrition within our lifetime.
I challenged everyone –world leaders, business owners, scientists and people of faith, civil society representatives, teachers and students, farmers and families – to come together in support of a future where all food systems are inclusive, resilient and sustainable; where no food is wasted; where all people enjoy their fundamental right to food and their communities and livelihoods are secure.
That vision was embraced by 193 countries at the United Nations at last year’s Sustainable Development Summit, when Zero Hunger officially became a part of the Sustainable Development Goals which aim to end poverty, reduce inequality and address climate change by 2030. And now, it is up to Governments and people everywhere to put these Goals into action.
The 2030 Agenda is a more than a vision – it is a plan for our shared future. It is a framework for how we relate to each other and to our world. It is about the global issues – equality, poverty, hunger, and climate change – that can only be addressed in connection with each other, and that connect us all to each other, as global citizens.
One of our most fundamental rights as human beings is freedom from hunger. And something that connects us all, on a fundamental level, is food. Everyone eats. Everyone needs food. Yet around 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That’s about one in nine people on earth.
We all have a role to play in our goal of achieving Zero Hunger — in how choose to grow, process, transport and consume our food. The choices we make – whether at home, at the store or in your community – can support smallholder farmers, empower women, and lead us down the path towards a more sustainable climate.
Here are just a few ideas for everyday actions we can take:
o Consider starting a garden, in your own backyard, at a local school or in a shared community space.
o Be more mindful about the food you buy. How far did it travel to reach you? How might its production have impacted the environment? Could you make a different, more sustainable choice?
o Advocate for better nutrition policies with your local, regional and national governments.
o Start a food waste prevention campaign, or connect with your local foodbank to find ways to ensure that food which might otherwise be wasted can support people in need.
Reflecting on my time as Secretary-General, I am proud of the way the global discussion on hunger has changed, and of the progress we have achieved. We know we can end hunger by 2030 — if we are committed. I know the Zero Hunger Challenge will be taken forward by each one of you. And I know that together, we will achieve it.”
– Ban Ki-moon is a South Korean statesman and politician who is the eighth and current Secretary-General of the United Nations.