United Nations Committee on World Food Security must respond to those affected by the growing food crisis – World
October 12, 2021. Rome, Italy. The United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS) must do more to respond to the growing global food crisis and its drivers, the Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples Mechanism (CSM) said yesterday. The call comes as governments gather for the 49th plenary session of the CSA in Rome this week, amid rising world hunger exacerbated by Covid-19 and stern warnings over the drastic impacts of the climate crisis.
“The time has come for a radical transformation of food systems,” Ali Aii Shatu, representative of the MSC indigenous peoples constituency, told the approximately 500 plenary delegates. “We need a radical change in our food system towards greater resilience, equity and sustainability. The Covid-19 pandemic is not yet over and its effects are increasingly being felt in heavily indebted low-income countries dependent on food. The pandemic is having serious and lasting impacts on food security and nutrition, the right to food and related human rights, especially of the most vulnerable. It exacerbates the structural weaknesses and injustices that exist in the food system and increases inequalities within and between countries. The MSC argues that the most affected countries need support and solidarity at the global level – in particular from the CFS – to help strengthen national food production, improve links between producers and consumers, enhance traditional knowledge and put in place the necessary social protection.
In its report Voices from the Ground: From COVID-19 to radical transformation of our food systems, the CSM documented the actions taken by different actors and authorities at national and regional levels to deal with the impacts of the pandemic. At the global level, United Nations agencies such as the World Health Organization or the International Labor Organization have developed and adopted relevant policy instruments and programs in their respective sectors. What is lacking so far, however, is global coordination: a process that brings together different perspectives and initiatives in a multisectoral and multilaterally coordinated approach. Coordination, convergence and collaboration are needed between CFS and other international United Nations forums in which these other challenges are addressed, and human and planet rights defended.
“We have enough knowledge now, what we need is actions,” said André Luzzi, representative of the district of urban food insecurity in the CSM. The CFS is the appropriate forum to do this because of its inclusiveness, local to global reach, mandate rooted in the right to food, and the strong knowledge-based support provided by the HLPE, particularly in its latest document on the impacts of COVID-19. on food security and nutrition. “The 49th plenary session of the CFS takes place at a crucial moment in history. Governments meeting in plenary should agree to insert into the CFS work plan decisive action to develop coordinated global policy direction on the impacts of COVID-19 on food security and nutrition, ”he said. -he adds.
The United Nations Under-Secretary-General recently suggested making CFS responsive to the recent United Nations Food Systems Summit. CSM does not share this point of view. Hundreds of civil society and indigenous peoples’ organizations agree that the Summit was very problematic in many ways. According to Luzzi, “what is really needed is to make the CFS responsive to the growing food crisis, to those most affected by hunger and malnutrition, and to help countries support those most at risk. .
Marion Girard, communications officer at the Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples (CSM) Mechanism for Relations with the United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS) [email protected]
– More information on the CSM’s demands for a global policy response to COVID-19
– Report of the MSC Working Group on World Food Governance | Voices from the field: From COVID-19 to the radical transformation of our food systems
– Report of the MSC Women’s Working Group | Gender, COVID-19 and food systems: impacts, community responses and feminist political demands
– MSC Youth Working Group Policy Statement | Young people call for a radical transformation of our food systems