On 15 October 2015 117 cities signed the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, the first covenant among Mayors on Urban Food Policies. Mayors simultaneously signed the document on tablets, at Palazzo Reale, in the Hall of Cariatidi on 15 October.
“Today, at the presence of metropolises from all over the world that are home to 400 million people, we have achieved an ambitious goal: a commitment for the implementation of smart food policies in our cities – so Mayor Giuliano Pisapia – This strong commitment entails concrete actions at the local level, aimed at facing global emergencies such as hunger, malnutrition and 1,3 million tons of food wasted every year”.
The Pact is one of Milan’s most important commitments in the year of the Universal Exposition under the theme “ Feeding the Planet, Energy for life”.
More than 50% of the global population lives in cities. In 2050, over 6 billion people are expected to move to urban areas. Metropolises are going to play a strategic role in politics and economy, and wll have to deal with complex challenges. The right to a healthy and sustainable nutrition is one of the most difficult challenges they will have to face.
“I am sure that synergies among cities can get results when States can’t achieve goals, – Pisapia added – this is the reason why last year at the C40 Summit in Johannesburg, I proposed an International Pact on food policies to other Mayors. The response has been outstanding. We have worked hard on it and today a dream has come true. This is the beginning ofa new challenge. Our cities can become an important example of equal and sustainable development”.
The most important aim of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact is the establishment of a network of cities that work on sustainable food policies, sharing of ideas and suggestions. Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona, spoke about her city’s good practice: “ We put effort into fighting food inequality. Municipalities can approve policies that guarantee food access to all their citizens. We are proud of our 39 covered markets: they are ecological places, where people can buy their groceries. They have become an important part of our city’s economy”.
(Here it is possible to download the ebook: Milan Urban Food Policy Pact. Selected Good Practices from Cities)
“Cities have to guarantee access to quality food at adequate prices, as well asput in place enabling conditions for the production and distribution of food – Sergey Sobyanin, Mayor of Moscow, said – In order to ensure food security, we have to consider the important role of the private sector in food production, transport and selling”.
The Director-General of FAO Josè Graziano Da Silva stressed that global crises are mostly perceived at the local level, therefore good solutions can come from cities: “This Pact gives us the opportunity to work together: International Organizations, Administrations, Civil Society, the Private Sector. We have to join forces for a sustainable development. We can become the first “Zero Hunger” generation”.
Lastly, the Mayor of Turin and President of Anci, Piero Fassino, took the floor, announcing the subscription of Italian Municipalities to the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact.
Signatory cities are going to meet regularly in order to discuss the adopted measures. An award for the city that has achieved the best results will be also established. At this link you can find the signatures of the participating cities.
On 16 October, at Expo 2015,on the occasion of the World Food Day, Mayor Giuliano Pisapia presented the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact to the Secretary- Geneal of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, at the presence of the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella.
“The Zero Hunger Challenge that I launched in 2012 underscores the need for national leadership in tandem with wide-ranging multi-stakeholder partnerships,” the Secretary-General explained, adding that “ending hunger is everyone’s responsibility. We need all partners: fashion experts, diplomats, business leaders, rock stars and global world leaders, and cities’ mayors, governors and most of all we need local communities”
Giuliano Pisapia concluded: “I am proud of delivering this Pact to the Secretary- General. Today, Milan and other cities are launching an important message: not only political commitments, but also concrete actions on food emergencies. As Mayors, we have to work together in order to build more liveable cities that respect human dignity”.