The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) is organizing a series of Social Justice Policy Dialogues (SJPD) that will consider the link between social justice and the prevailing socioeconomic development issues in the Arab region. The first SJPD will be jointly organized with the American University of Beirut’s Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) on 20 October 2021 on Social Justice and Food Security.
The SJPD are primarily being held to engage policymakers from the region, international, regional and national experts as well as research institutes, think tanks and academia in strategic discussions on the salient socio-economic development trends and issues. The SJPD will ultimately aim at proposing practical policy solutions that advance the four pillars of social justice; namely equality, equity, rights and participation and to ensure that they are mainstreamed throughout the sectoral policies.
The first SJPD will attempt to link food security to social justice outcomes by looking at the main challenges faced by vulnerable groups in accessing food and the type of support they would need to enhance their resilience to food access. The dialogue session will also look at means and measures to ensure food availability and equitable access to food for all in the short and medium terms and how the different roles of the stakeholders should be leveraged to mitigate against future shocks. Sustainable solutions for advancing inclusive food chains and equitable livelihoods under different stressors (COVID-19 pandemic, conflicts, and climate change) will also be proposed. Finally, it will identify the key policy interventions and practical measures needed to mainstream the principles of social justice into food security policies, taking into consideration the outputs of the Food Summit.
Some of the questions that will be raised during the Dialogue include:
- How did the pandemic affect the link between Food Security and Social Justice?
- What short and long terms measure need to be taken by governments to ensure the right in accessing healthy and nutritious food for all?
- What types of collaborations and partnerships are required to promote the principles of Social Justice into Food Security policies?
- How can the Arab region benefit from international experiences in mainstreaming the principles of Social Justice into Food Security policies?
- How can governments ensure that policies enhancing access to sufficient and nutritious food are implemented at local and national level especially in protracted conflict situation?
- What can countries do to promote Social Justice and Food Security within the context of climate change?
- What strategies are needed to empower women to cope with pandemics and their aftermath in terms of access to healthy and nutritious food?
- What is the role of agricultural cooperatives in promoting Food Security and Social Justice in view of the multiple challenges facing the Arab region?