Ireland must lead by example in the fight against global hunger ahead of crucial UN Food Systems Summit - GOAL Global Skip to content

Ireland must lead by example in the fight against global hunger ahead of crucial UN Food Systems Summit


September 23, 2021 • 2 min read

Ireland must play its part in tackling global hunger by implementing domestic agriculture and food policies which secure ecological sustainability and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, according to GOAL.

Speaking ahead of the landmark UN Food Systems Summit, which takes place in New York this week, GOAL Deputy CEO and Director of Public Engagement, Mary Van Lieshout, said while Ireland is committed to tackling global hunger, it is important we get things right at home as well as overseas.

She said: “The Food Systems Summit comes at a time when world hunger and malnutrition levels have worsened dramatically. The UN estimates that the number of undernourished people globally rose to around 811 million last year, equivalent to 10% of the world’s population. This was up by 118 million compared to last year.”

She added: “As a current member of the UN Security Council, Ireland is ideally placed to take a leadership role among developed nations by implementing domestic policies on topics such as climate change and food production. Historically, Ireland has shown leadership and a willingness to tackle this issue. We must once more ‘step up to the plate’ and address our agriculture and agri-food industries as a key part of the world food system and build on existing approaches in development policy and aid delivery.”  

Ms Van Lieshout said there can be meaningful progress if the summit is democratic and inclusive.

GOAL has published a Food Systems Discussion Paper which makes a series of recommendations to address the mounting challenge of global hunger.

The Paper recommends that:

  • Ireland’s agricultural policy meets the highest environmental standards in accordance with the Climate Action Bill 2021.
  • Ireland makes use of mandatory Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence legislation to ensure that commercial links to the global food economy do not undermine Ireland’s international development commitments.
  • Irish food policy moves towards more sustainable diets and less consumption of livestock products through incentives and supports.
  • In line with recommendations by three previous UN Special Rapporteurs on the Right to Food, the Committee on Food Security should be designated as the home of the Summit outcomes.

Read the full Food Systems Discussion paper at