peralta1_MUNIR UZ ZAMANAFP via Getty Images_farm laborers MUNIR UZ ZAMANAFP via Getty Images

New Global Rules for a Fairer Food Future

Today, governments must strive to overcome the pandemic, build more inclusive and sustainable economies, and lay the foundations for a fairer and more resilient future. An agreement on food and agricultural trade at the World Trade Organization’s ministerial conference later this year would be an important start.

GENEVA – This year, governments can ensure that better international rules help get us back on track toward a fairer and more sustainable agricultural trading system, and overcome recent setbacks in our efforts to tackle hunger and malnutrition. The United Nations Food Systems Summit in September, the UN climate conference (COP26) in November, and the World Trade Organization ministerial conference starting later that month provide policymakers ample opportunity to deliver.

The COVID-19 pandemic, economic downturns, climate change, and conflict have all contributed to an increase in hunger and malnutrition. And the recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the latest in a series of warnings that show why governments must take immediate bold action to address the challenges we face.

In particular, governments should focus on correcting and reducing the distortions currently burdening food and agricultural markets. If policymakers can improve how these markets function, vulnerable producers and consumers stand to benefit the most.

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