Guterres stated via video message to a Rome meeting that the world's food system is responsible for a third all of the greenhouse gas emissions. In a video message, Guterres lamented that the same system is responsible to as much as 80% biodiversity loss.
This gathering was held to prepare for the U.N. Food Systems Summit to be held in September in New York.
Francis stated that the coronavirus pandemic had "confronted" him with systemic injustices that have undermined our unity as a human family in a written message, which was read out to the meeting participants.
He stated that the poorest people on the planet and the earth are crying out for help because of the "damage we inflict upon it through irresponsible usage and abuse of the goods God placed in it."
The pontiff said that even though new technologies have been developed to increase Earth's ability to produce food, humans continue to exploit nature to sterilize it, thereby expanding not only the external deserts, but also the internal spiritual deserts.
Francis called the "scandal of hunger" a crime that violates fundamental human rights.
A U.N. report earlier this month noted that 161 million people were more likely to be hungry last year than in 2019. This increase is most likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Guterres stated that "Poverty and income inequality continue to keep healthy diets beyond the reach of approximately 3 billion people." Conflict and climate change are both causes and consequences of this disaster.
Although the summit idea was first proposed in 2019, months before the coronavirus appeared, Italian Premier Mario Draghi stated that the pandemic had made the threats to food security even more serious.
Draghi mentioned Monday in his remarks that the Agricultural Commodity Price Index had risen by 30% compared with January 2020.
International Fund for Agricultural Development urged decision-makers to "address the failures of food systems" that have left hundreds of millions hungry and poor. IFAD, a U.N. agency, aims to support small-scale agriculture.
IFAD called for food production that "protects biodiversity and the environment, and where people who produce food are paid decently"
According to a U.N. report, 811 million people will face hunger in 2020.
According to the Rome-based U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the chief economist has stated that in order to eradicate 100 million people from chronic hunger, an additional $14 billion (nearly twelve billion euros) would be needed each year up until 2030. This amount could almost triple the U.N goal of zero hunger by 2030.