Press Release

On World Food Day, UN Chief calls for food security around the world

16 October 2021

TEHRAN, 16 October 2021 (UNIC) - United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his message on World Food Day, 16 October 2021, warned about the growing number of people lacking access to a healthy diet, while calling for food systems that deliver better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for every person.

The full text of his message reads:


World Food Day is not only a reminder of the importance of food to every person on the planet — it is a call to action to achieve food security around the world. 

Today, almost 40 per cent of humanity — three billion people — cannot afford a healthy diet.

Hunger is on the rise.

So too are undernourishment and obesity.

The economic impacts of COVID-19 have made a bad situation even worse.

The pandemic has left an additional 140 million people unable to access the food they need.

At the same time, the way we produce, consume and waste food is taking a heavy toll on our planet.

It is putting historic pressure on our natural resources, climate and natural environment — and costing us trillions of dollars a year.

As this year’s theme makes clear, the power to change is in our hands.

“Our actions are our future.”

Last month, the world gathered for the United Nations Food Systems Summit.

Countries made bold commitments to transform food systems.

To make healthy diets more affordable and accessible.

And to make food systems more efficient, resilient and sustainable at every step — from production and processing, to marketing, transportation and delivery.

We can all change how we consume food, and make healthier choices — for ourselves, and our planet.

In our food systems, there is hope.

On this World Food Day, join us as we commit to take transformative action to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals through food systems that deliver better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for every person.

UN entities involved in this initiative

United Nations
United Nations Information Centre

Goals we are supporting through this initiative