Being addressed with respect as “Bah” Phrang Roy, a new novelty for a UN or a global political platform, the Coordinator of TIP and Founding Chairperson of NESFAS represents the voice of Indigenous Peoples at the UN Food Systems Pre Summit event to defend and promote the strengths of diverse local food systems.
As part of the Decade of Action to achieve Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres has convened a Food Systems Summit scheduled for September this year. With one eye on delivering progress on all 17 SDGs and the other on “building back better” from COVID-19, the Summit is set to launch bold new actions, each of which relies to some degree on healthier, more sustainable and equitable food systems.
As a preparatory meeting for the Summit, the UN organised the Pre-Summit of the UN Food System Summit from 26-28th July 2021. This year’s UN Food System Summit is also the first-ever summit that recognises the contribution and voices of Indigenous Peoples in the Global food systems Summit. Currently, in the Pre-Summit being held virtually at Rome, Bah Phrang Roy acted as one of the main representatives for Indigenous Peoples worldwide, defending and promoting Indigenous Food Systems.
On the 27th of July 2021, Bah Phrang Roy spoke in four different sessions at the Pre-Summit shedding light in which the Indigenous Peoples Food and Knowledge Systems continue to be marginalised in policy makings despite visible benefits and results. With the stern belief that the Indigenous Food Systems are the game-changers the UN is looking for in the upcoming Food Summit, Bah Phrang called on the UN to acknowledge the same. In the first session titled “Ensuring No One is Left Behind: Equitable Livelihoods in Food Systems”, Bah Phrang Roy was quoted saying, “Indigenous people have been shouting from the hilltops that our indigenous food systems are game-changers and they need acknowledgement and specific support. Unfortunately, no one has seriously listened to us so far.”