The Committee on World Food Security (CFS), established as a result of the food crisis of the 1970s upon recommendation from the 1974 World Food Conference, serves as a forum in the United Nations System for review and follow-up of policies concerning world food security, including food production and physical and economic access to food.
At the 35th Session of the CFS, held in Rome in October 2009, members of the CFS agreed on a wide-ranging reform with the aim of making the CFS the foremost inclusive international and intergovernmental platform dealing with food security and nutrition.
The Reform of the CFS was the result of 8 months of negotiation between the Committee’s Bureau and an interim Contact Group, which was composed of civil society representatives. The full and active participation of civil society ensured that their right to self organise in future interactions with the CFS was officially recognized in the CFS reform document.
The renewed CFS Structure is as follows:
The CFS Plenary session is held annually and is where the Member Governments and other CFS stakeholders gather to take decisions, debate, and coordinate on food security and nutrition issues.
The Bureau is the executive arm of the CFS (it has the responsibility for the administration of the CFS) and is made up of a chairperson and 12 member countries: two from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Near East, and one from both North America and South-West Pacific).
The Advisory Group (AG) aides the Bureau to advance the objectives of the CFS, particularly to ensure linkages with stakeholders at all levels to support two-way exchange of information. The Advisory Group is made from representatives from UN agencies and other UN bodies,Civil society and non-governmental organizations particularly organizations representing smallholder family farmers, fisherfolks, herders, landless, urban poor, agricultural and food workers, women, youth, consumers and indigenous people; International agricultural research institutions;International and regional financial institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, regional development banks and the World Trade Organization; Private sector associations and philanthropic foundations
The High-Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) is the scientific and knowledge based pillar of the CFS and was created as a result of the Reformed CFS to ensure that the policy debates are well-informed, and to lead to improved quality, effectiveness and coherence of food security and nutrition policies. The HLPE is made up of a Steering Committee of world-renowned experts on food security and nutrition related fields, and a roster of experts who are identified on a project-to-project basis. The key functions of the HLPE as directed by the CFS Plenary and Bureau are to:
1. Assess and analyze the current state of food security and nutrition and its underlying causes.
2. Provide scientific and knowledge based analysis and advice on specific policy-relevant issues, utilizing existing high quality research, data and technical studies.
3. Identify emerging issues, and help members prioritize future actions and attentions on key focal areas.
Members of the Bureau 2011 – 2013:
Chair: Mr. Yaya Olaniran, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to FAO, Nigeria
For a full list of Bureau Members see: http://www.fao.org/cfs/cfs-home/cfs-about/en/
Members of the Advisory Group 2011 – 2013
For a full list of AG Members see: http://www.fao.org/cfs/cfs-home/cfs-about/en/
For the history of CFS negotiations, please visit: http://www.fao.org/economic/cfs09/en/