The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the African Union (AU), will be jointly organising the first International Food Safety Conference, in Addis Ababa, 12-13 February, 2019.
Unsafe food causes an estimated 600 million people to suffer from foodborne diseases each year, at a cost of at least US$100 billion in low- and middle-income countries, over half of which is recorded in just 28 nations. But efforts to strengthen food safety systems globally are fragmented, despite food safety playing a fundamental role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
The First International Food Safety Conference, will bring together government leaders, senior policy makers, and representatives from international organizations, civil society and the private sector, to identify key actions and strategies to address current and future challenges to food safety globally; and to strengthen commitment at the highest political level to scale up food safety in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The event is expected to adopt a high-level political statement advocating for increased and better coordinated collaboration, technical support and investment to improve food safety globally.
Conference speakers are scheduled to include the President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (incoming African Union chairman), President of Rwanda Paul Kagame (outgoing African Union chairman), Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia, African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva and WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Heads of state and government, ministers from health, agriculture, trade, environment and other sectors, plus leaders of international organizations, civil society and the private sector, are expected to attend.
The opening session will start at 9:30 am on 12 February.