High Level Expert Forum UPDATE!
High Level Expert Forum on Food Security & Nutrition in protracted Crises, Rome, 13 & 14 September
Civil society update, 13th July 2012
Background on the HLEF
This Forum will provide a space for consultation and policy dialogue to increase understanding and strengthen collaborative efforts among stakeholders. A key outcome of the Forum will be to come up with the basic elements of an Agenda for Action for Addressing Food Insecurity in Protracted Crises. The elements of an Agenda for Action and a plan for consultations and negotiations on the Agenda itself will be presented and discussed at the 39th Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in October 2012.
For more information on purpose, approach and structure of the HLEF please see the Background Note here. Also please see the CFS website page for the HLEF: http://www.fao.org/cfs/cfs-home/hlef/home/en/
Conclusions & recommendations from preparatory technical meeting, 28/29 June
For outcomes of the preparatory technical meeting please click here / see below.
The role and way of working of the Civil Society Mechanism
The CSM is the largest international mechanism of civil society organisations (CSOs) seeking to influence agriculture, food security and nutrition policies and actions at the national, regional and global levels in the context of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS).
The CSM is the means for CSOs to organise ourselves to participate in the preparations for, and during the HLEF. More information on the role of the CSM in relation to the CFS can be found on the CSM website: www.csm4cfs.org
The CSM exists to ensure that participants in CFS related meetings, such as the HLEF:
- have the appropriate political / technical expertise;
- represent the full range of CSOs / civil society constituencies
- bring in experience from the full range of contexts / parts of the world
- include and prioritize the organisations of the people most directly affected by the issues under discussion, i.e. social movements and peoples’ organisations
The CSM has a Working Group on Protracted Crises and Conflict coordinated by Razan Zuayter from the Arab Group for the Protection of Nature (APN):
http://www.csm4cfs.org/policy_working_groups-6/protracted_crisis_conflict-12/ Razan is the civil society representative on the inter-agency Steering Committee for the HLEF.
The role of the Coordinator, as with all CSM working groups, is to facilitate the participation of all interested CSOs, whilst prioritizing the involvement of people from the countries and organisations most directly affected.
Through the CSM working group:
- information is shared on the HLEF
- decisions are made on papers, panelists, participants, allocation of funds
- common CSO positions and strategies are facilitated
Information on the HLEF and the work of the CSM working group has been shared by email with working group members, with a wider CSO audience through the regular CSM update and also on the working group web page.
Background papers for the HLEF
A final list of all the background papers which have been agreed by the Steering Committee / Secretariat for the Forum will be provided soon.
It should be noted that the HLEF will not involve the presentation of lots of background papers but will rather focus around panel discussions on the 5 thematic areas identified in the Background Note, with the aim of facilitating suggestions from participants on immediate actions to be taken and elements for an eventual Agenda for Action.
Therefore, there should not be too much concern if desired papers have not been agreed.
Moderators and panelists for the HLEF
For latest proposals for moderators and panelists for the thematic discussions please click here / see attached. CSOs have been allocated seats on the panels listed below. The Secretariat of the HLEF has provided criteria to guide the selection of panelists.
Key Area 1: Causes and consequences of food insecurity in protracted crises
Eric Hazard from Oxfam has been invited by FAO
Key Area 2: Political and governance opportunities and challenges: catalysts to create change
- no CSO seat available although this is being questioned on the basis that CFS Member States have recognized the necessity of civil society participation in governance at country and regional levels, in line with the right of civil society to participate on an equal footing with governments in the CFS
Key Area 3: Resilience of individuals, households, communities and local institutions in protracted crises
- TBD by the Civil Society Mechanism
- can provide a view on how civil society has helped strengthen local institutions and built resilience and food security in protracted crises.
– someone from Latin America, Asia or the Near/Middle East who could draw on country/regional experiences, would be perfect.
Key Area 4: Building partnerships to break cycles of recurrent or protracted crises: lessons from experience OR Supporting households, communities, and countries to emerge from protracted crises: lessons from experience
- Matthew Arnold from the Asia Foundation has been invited by FAO
+ 1 TBD by the Civil Society Mechanism
- speak to specific lessons learned in addressing food insecurity in protracted crises, either in Latin America or Near/Middle East, with specific country/project experience
Key Area 5: The way forward and the Agenda for Action
- TBD by the Civil Society Mechanism
- an eloquent speaker who can represent the interests/position of the CSOs and make contributions for the suggested elements for the Agenda for Action.
David Nabarro (who will be the moderator for the 5th panel) has proposed that the panelists should be very senior people from governments, international organisations and civil society, e,g, Presidents/Prime Ministers, Heads of Agency etc. Therefore, the civil society panelist will need very strong political legitimacy and be able to clearly communicate the common civil society positions agreed through the inclusive CSM facilitated consultative process.
It should be noted that as will all civil society panelists / speakers in CFS related events, their role is not only to represent their own organization / network but to present the common civil society analysis and recommendations facilitated through the CSM (see below for more information on this).
During the last couple of months, the CSM Working Group on Protracted Crises and Conflict has been facilitating the process of identifying CSO panelists. Members of the Working Group were requested to submit the bios and CVs of potential panelists. The deadline for nominations was 6th June. The final list of civil society panelists will be agreed by the working group by 19th June according to the selection criteria. Priority will be given to people from countries / locations affected by protracted crises with strong technical expertise from working on food security and nutrition issues.
Participants in the HLEF
There are unlimited seats available for civil society participants. The CSM will soon open a registration process for interested CSOs.
The HLEF Secretariat only has funding for panelists and moderators who are not able to cover costs themselves.
The CSM has a limited amount of funding which will primarily be targeted at CSOs from protracted crisis affected countries / locations which are unable to cover their own costs. All other CSOs are welcome to attend as self-funded participants.
The CSM will be the means of identifying speakers amongst CSOs and determining which CSOs will be funded (either by FAO or through CSM funds).
Civil society technical consultation, Rome, 11th and 12th September
The working group is planning to organize a civil society consultation on food security & nutrition in protracted crises in Rome on the 2 days immediately prior to the HLEF, i.e. 11th and 12th September. The purpose of the consultation will be to finalise the development of common civil society positions and messages to take into the HLEF. The consultation will build upon the positions already developed through the CSM working group in the last couple of years, which will be further developed by the Working Group through electronic and teleconferences between now and September.