Wednesday Seminar to Consider Food Justice

Hosted by Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development

Food Justice

The Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development on May 26, 2021, will host FOOD JUSTICE: Jobs, innovation, and finance at the service of food justice, its second seminar on food justice taking place taking place under the context of the Special Laudato Si’ Year celebrations.

The event will run from 2-5 p.m. on the 26th, with simultaneous translation in Italian, English, and Spanish.

Co-hosts are Secretariat of State of the Holy See – Vatican Covid-19 Commission – Pontifical Council for Culture – Pontifical Academy of Sciences – Permanent Mission of the Holy See to FAO, IFAD, and WFP

The year 2021 will be decisive for the Decade of Action towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN 2030 Agenda and will be marked by high-level summits and events to raise awareness and to coordinate and support initiatives aimed at achieving SDG2: Zero Hunger. Specifically, the upcoming UN Food Systems Summit, which will take place in New York, and which will be preceded by a pre-Summit in Rome between the 26th and 28th of July 2021, will focus on the need “to transform agricultural food systems so that they may become catalysts of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda; increasing resilience in light of the Covid- 19 pandemic, strengthening local value chains, improving nutrition, educating producers on the re-use and recycling of resources so that food waste may be reduced, supplying healthy diets accessible to all, and being environmentally sustainable and respectful of local cultures”.1 Given that food security and nutrition are intricately linked to the impacts of climate change, the conservation of natural resources, ecosystems and agricultural production, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, has affirmed that the upcoming Summit will focus on giving due recognition to the inextricable link that exists between food security, the climate crisis, and biodiversity.

In light of this global event, the Holy See seeks to offer its contribution through a series of seminars, scheduled throughout the month of May and inspired by the levers of change identified for the Summit; women, finance, human rights, and innovation. These seminars will exchange ideas, testimonies, and the Holy See’s perspective on food justice in the post-Covid recovery.

This seminar, the second of its series, taking place under the context of the Special Laudato Si’ Year celebrations, will focus on the role of dignified work, finance, and innovation in ensuring fair and sustainable food systems. Departing from the experiences of high-level experts, the seminar will address the need for a new development paradigm and reinforce the call for an integral ecology promoted by Pope Francis in the encyclical Laudato Si’. Furthermore, it will contribute to current global discussions about a just and sustainable post-Covid recovery, with proposals and suggestions for the action plan that will be discussed at the pre-UN Food Systems Summit.

1 Cf. Statement of His Excellency, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See, at the Workshop on Science and Innovations for a Sustainable Food System Preparing for the UN Food Systems Summit 2021, organized by the Scientific Group for the UN Food Systems Summit in cooperation with the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, on 21 April 2021.

Invited guests: Permanent Representatives and Members of Diplomatic Missions to the FAO, IFAD, WFP and the Holy See; international officials; representatives of Catholic Inspired NGOs, of civil society, and the academic world; representatives of farmers and rural women and men; and other stakeholders.

Technical information: It is possible to register for this seminar through the following link:

Alternatively, the event will also be live-streamed on Vatican social media and can be accessed through the following link:

For more information, please contact [email protected]


26 May 2021 – 14.00 – 17.00 hrs

 Welcome remarks:

Ms. Josefina Mas, Vatican Covid-19 Commission secretariat


  • Card. Peter Appiah Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (5’)

 Dr. Stefano Gatti, Minister Plenipotentiary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Italian Republic & Chairman of the Steering Committee for the UN Food Systems Pre-Summit in Rome (5’)

 1.            Food and work (50 minutes) 

Moderator: Sr. Alessandra Smerilli, Undersecretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. Coordinator Working Group 2, Vatican Covid-19 Commission


  • Robert J. Vitillo, General Secretary of the International Catholic Migration Commission, ICMC (10’)
  • Maurizio Martina, Deputy Director of the Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO (10’)
  • Harriet Cynthia Nakasi, Executive Director of the Advocacy Coalition for Sustainable Agriculture, ACSA (10’) 


  • Budzee Appolonia, Ministry of food and agriculture of the Tertiary Sisters of St. Francis (10’) 

Panel discussion (15’)

Interactive break (5’)

 Food and innovation: technology, and integral development (60 minutes)

 Moderator: Dr. Alessio Pecorario, Vatican Covid-19 Commission


  • Esben Larsen, fellow in Food, Forests, and Water Program, World Resources Institute, WRI (10’)
  • Ismahane Elouafi, Chief Scientist at the Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO (10’)
  • Paul Tighe, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture (10’)


  • Houman Haddad, Head of Emerging Technologies and Founder of the “Building Blocks” project, World Food Programme, WFP (10’) 

Panel discussion (15’)

Interactive break (5’)

 Food and finance at the service of food justice (55 minutes)

 Moderator: Dr. Lorna Gold, Director, and theologian at FaithInvest. Member of the Economy Task Force at the Vatican Covid-19 Commission


  • Máximo Torero, Chief Economist at the Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO (10’)
  • Helen Alford OP, Vice-Rector of Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) (10’)
  • Jeanne-Maureen Jorand, Head of Food Sovereignty and Climate Advocacy Unit, CCFD-Terre Solidaire (10’)


  • Lindlyn Moma, Advocacy Director of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, GCCM (10’) 

Panel discussion (15’) 

Concluding remarks:

Mons. Bruno Marie Duffé, Secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development & Fr. Augusto Zampini Davies, Adjunct Secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (5’)