The United Nations and ProVeg International
22 October 2021
For the past few years, ProVeg has been developing key relationships with the United Nations bodies and its agencies. From receiving the UN Momentum for Change award to gaining permanent observer status, ProVeg has worked hard to establish itself as a relevant actor in the UN ecosystem. Now, new challenges are emerging as COP26 approaches.
Forging a relationship over time
In the past four years, ProVeg has made its presence felt within the different UN agencies:
- First, in 2018, we won the UN Momentum for Change Award for our Delicious Food for All campaign and our KEEKS programme. This award indicated the growing interest in plant-based solutions to climate change.
- At the end of 2019, we obtained the valuable status of permanent observer with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which gives us direct access to the annual international COP climate conference.
- In 2020, we were accredited by the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) and the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN), thus strengthening our commitment to climate action.
- Finally, in 2021, we were accredited to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which gives us even more access and influence in international climate and environmental processes.
These accreditations and statuses open up horizons and possibilities for us, enabling ProVeg International to go large for its COP26 activities this November, as well as playing an active role, along with other NGOs, in the UNEA processes that will be coming up in early 2022.
ProVeg International is not only a big player in the food industry sector, but is also increasingly making its mark in the political arena. In the first half of 2021, we participated in numerous political processes. Prior to the Food Systems Pre-Summit taking place this July, we hosted an Independent Dialogue which gathered together stakeholders from both the private and public sector, including various United Nations bodies.
New perspectives are ahead
This summer, we launched the Diet Change Not Climate Change campaign. This ongoing initiative shows ProVeg’s ambition to become a pioneer in the inclusion of the agriculture and food sectors in policy making. So far, there has been a clear lack of calls-to-action since no one seems to be tackling agriculture and food issues as one of the most pressing issues we are facing in the climate crisis. The ultimate goal is to influence governments and other decision makers to include our solutions in their National Determined Contributions (NDCs). These should be ready by 2023, allowing for review by the submission deadline in 2025.
After the successful launch of this campaign, which has already received the support of around 50 organisations and partners, our next milestone is to attend COP26 in Glasgow. We have special events planned inside the Blue Zone, the official negotiations zone where delegates and attendees will meet, network, and present their work. In this context, we are working hard with partners and colleagues to bring plant-based voices to the forefront of the negotiations.
But COP26 is just the beginning: in February next year, we will attend the UN Environment Assembly, either virtually or in-person in Nairobi, with the negotiations continuing over the following few months.
Following an 18-month application process, we are happy to announce that ProVeg have become an official observer organisation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, granting us access to key events at all future UN Climate Change Conferences.
Thank you to the United Nations
On this particular day, we celebrate the United Nations and all its bodies that give us the opportunity to be present on the international political and institutional stage. We have already achieved many things that we could not have done without their support, and there is clearly great potential for further collaboration in the future. To learn more about our campaign and follow our future plans, please sign up for the Diet Change Not Climate Change campaign and look at the website. If you want to have an impact on an individual level, take the pledge and tell your friends and family about the way forward.