CSM Final statement @ CFS 44 and CFS 44 Final Report
13 October 2017
Credit Foto @FAO
Madame Chair, members and participants of the CFS,
The CFS is like a milpa, a maizefield: first, we prepare the land, we sow, we care, and afterwards, after a good time, we can harvest. Sometimes there is a good harvest, sometimes the harvest is bad, depending on many factors, the quality of the soil, the weather, the models of production. The harvest very much depends on the people who produce the food and take care of the lands, fisheries and forests.
What did we sow this year, what could we harvest at this CFS 44? We would like to highlight some of the most outstanding positive and concerning points.
We first want to mention the process and outcome of the CFS Workstream on Women’s empowerment. The Forum, its preparation, the Chair’s summary, the extraordinary key note speech of Helen Hakena and the adopted decision box were a highlight in the CFS year 2017. We celebrate the new common understanding, which clearly and unequivocally recognizes that women’s empowerment, gender equality and women’s rights are strongly interrelated and they constitute a fundamental prerequisite for achieving Food Security and Nutrition. Each of the elements is necessary but cannot be sufficient on its own. Finally, CFS has recognized that the three elements need to move ahead together, and from now on will not step back from this important achievement in its future policy outcomes and processes.
The Forestry process was difficult: the rushed pace of the negotiations, the low level of participation and non-inclusive nature of the way the negotiation methodology led to a negotiation process full of tensions. We need to assess and revise this format. However, the outcome of the process is acceptable to us, as it recognizes that peoples and their rights are at the center of the relations between forests and food security and nutrition. It recognizes the diversity of relationships with and views of what forests and forest eco-systems are, and their spiritual, social, cultural, political and economic importance to our constituencies and peoples. We particularly welcome the Plenary agreement that a further discussion on the relation of commercial tree plantations and food security and nutrition will be held.
On Nutrition, we defend a holistic vision, which is based on human rights and goes far beyond diets and micronutrients. We welcome the approved request of the CFS for a report on agroecology including from the nutrition perspective. For us, agroecology is the way towards the future of nutrition and food sovereignty, and towards achieving the objectives of the UN Decade on Nutrition and the Sustainable Development Goals. Health is a common good and it is a right and we should protect it. The main responsibility lies with public policies and with those in charge of their implementation, and not mainly with consumers.
On MYPoW and the budget we remain very much concerned about the lack of financial engagement of CFS member states and RBAs to fully implement the upcoming MYPoW.
On SOFI 2017 and the SDGs, we proposed that the CFS should become the central global platform for convening periodic and ad-hoc reviews of famines and severe food crises, focusing on the assessment of policy responses and their impact on the root causes, ensuring coherence of humanitarian, development and Human Rights dimensions. We strongly believe that this proposal needs to be further discussed in the CFS.
On Monitoring, we welcome the approval of the Global Thematic Event on Monitoring the Right to Food Guidelines at CFS 45. We are encouraged by the strong support from member countries, regional groups and RBAs to this process and call on them to support the organization of national or regional monitoring events in the next couple of months.
On Urbanization and Rural Transformation the CSM expresses its dissatisfaction with the way in which the plenary session was conducted. The OEWG Chair defined the format and panelist of this plenary session without the appropriate consultation. In our understanding, an OEWG Chair cannot define the format of a Plenary session on his own, and chose a hand-picked group of panelists alone. This is not acceptable, and must not set a precedent for the future. Despite this unpleasant experience, the CSM is pleased to note that strong support was expressed in the room for this work stream to deliver a policy outcome.
Finally, regarding the adopted updated GSF: The GSF is the main reference for monitoring of the use and application of CFS decisions. We call upon all members and the RBAs to enhance their efforts for a better use, application and monitoring of the CFS policy outcomes, to improve policy coordination, convergence and coherence as well as right to food accountability. We commit ourselves to enhancing our efforts to bring home the results from Rome.
We would like to thank all who contributed to the success of this meeting: first of all, the people who have been working in the background. We would particularly thank the colleagues from FAO meeting services, messengers, technical assistants, cleaning services, the FAO partnership office, protocol, and all those who provided food and nutrition to this event. Thank you! Then also the interpreters, the Secretariat, all members and participants and observers.
The last message goes to you, Madame Chair: We congratulate you for conducting this year’s session in a fair, inclusive and participative way. We want to express our special appreciation for the way you practiced your Chairwomanship in the CFS during these past two years. We could see how carefully you guided and cultivated the CFS like a milpa, a maize field. You sow the seeds, and you can see a considerable harvest. Not as good and much as you and many of us would have wished to see. But your engagement to make the CFS known and your many efforts for the dissemination, use, and application of CFS policy outcomes need a special recognition, as well as your strong commitment with women’s rights and all human rights.
We recognize as well, that you always understood and supported the idea, that there is no harvest without the people. In the very spirit of the CFS reform, you have shown and practiced in many occasions that you recognize the huge contributions of smallholder and family farmers, pastoralists, indigenous peoples, fisherfolks, agricultural and food workers, landless, consumers, women, youth, urban food insecure and NGOs. We thank you again and wish you all best for the future!
Finally, we warmly welcome the new Chair of the CFS, Mario Arvelo, and the new CFS Bureau. We look forward to collaborating with you towards the Vision of the CFS: to strive for a world without hunger and the progressive realization of the right to adequate food.