Milan advocated an international protocol, engaging the largest number of world cities for the development of food systems, based on the principles of sustainability and social justice. This commitment for the coordination of international food policies, the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, has been subscribed by Mayors on the occasion of a major event during Expo 2015, dedicated to two of the most severe emergencies of the third millennium: food security and sustainable development.
The Pact is also an instrument of foreign politics for Milan, starting from the international networks our city is already member of: from its many prominent sister cities to the C40 – Climate Leadership Group, the 69 large world cities committed to the fight against climate change. It was on the occasion of the C40 Summit in Johannesburg (February 2014) that Mayor Pisapia launched the proposal for a Pact on urban food policies to his counterparts attending the meeting, to be signed during Expo 2015. In recent months, the “diplomats of the cities” have been collaborating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and the United Nations, in order to engage the largest number of urban realities.
The activities started in September 2014, when Milan and over 40 cities from every continent began to exchange views to define the contents of the Pact through video-conferences (webinars).
The results of this work were discussed at a meeting in London in February 2015, on which occasion standards and indicators to be included in the protocol have also been debated. The Pact has been signed by 100 cities, on 15 October 2015, with an official ceremony attended by the largest number of Mayors. The signed text has been presented to Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations on 16 October 2015.
The overall procedure enjoyed the guidance of an Advisory Group formed by many leading international organizations contributing to a more sustainable, healthy and just future for the entire planet. By taking part to the process, these organizations provided their valuable support in reviewing the process and aligning it consistently with the other relevant international initiatives. For the coordination of the project, moreover, Milan put together the Technical Team – a panel of prominent experts with a strong track record in food-related issues and international experience.