The UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) develops policy recommendations and voluntary guidelines that could guide governments, UN agencies, and other relevant actors to address food insecurity and malnutrition in a diversity of contexts. Among the strategic functions of the Committee lies the function on Uptake, dedicated to fostering the uptake, follow-up, and review of CFS products along with sharing experiences and best practices on their use and application.

In line with this function, the CFS Multi-Year Programme of Work (MYPoW) 2024-2027, endorsed during the CFS 51 Plenary, includes a Workstream aimed to facilitate in-depth debate on enhanced efforts to increase awareness, ownership, use, and usefulness of CFS policy outcomes at all levels. Through an open and participatory process, this Workstream is expected to prepare an Action Plan that will be presented for consideration and endorsement by the Committee at CFS 52 in October 2024.

The CSIPM looks forward to developing an Action Plan that allows grassroots constituencies to translate the CFS policy outcomes into tangible policies and legislation. In this sense, it is fundamental to ensure that civil society and Indigenous Peoples organizations actively participate in both, the development of the policy outcomes, and during their implementation. In other words, “Bringing Rome to Home” by linking the contents of the CFS policy agreements to their advocacy efforts at the national or local levels. 

In the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) meeting that took place on 29 April, Paula Gioia of La Via Campesina, and Charlotte Dreger of FIAN, shared the CSIPM key inputs for the draft Action Plan, which are detailed below. 


Read and download the CSIPM written contributions to strengthen the draft Action Plan

 

The CSIPM welcomes the new structure of the document. It is clearer in terms of proposed actions and less repetitive, while also better illustrating that all actors need to collaborate to achieve the action plan.

We would like to describe our role as civil society and Indigenous Peoples in the CFS, and based on that suggest some improvements. 

The CSIPM facilitates the participation of the constituencies and regions most affected by food insecurity and malnutrition within the CFS policy processes. Who would know better the needs and priorities in the local contexts than ourselves, coming from there? 

Building from our experience in the process of developing the recently endorsed CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Gender Equality and Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment (GEWGE VGs), we would like to describe how our participation was in that process. 

During all phases of negotiation, we managed to bring the voices from over 200 civil society and Indigenous Peoples’ organizations, from various regions. There were women and also other people subjected to discrimination based on their gender identity and/or sexual orientation from a diversity of contexts, bringing quality and ownership to the discussions. 

Our work did not conclude with the endorsement of the Voluntary Guidelines in the past CFS 51 Plenary. We remain committed to bringing Rome- Home, after having brought Home to Rome. The CSIPM Women and Gender Diversities Working Group is now in the process of reflecting on how to collaboratively work, within and outside the CSIPM. How can we support and strengthen the dissemination of the CFS Gender Guidelines through the development of popular materials to make them accessible to a diversity of local actors. And explore which popular communication tools can bridge the policy outcome with our local struggles, and truly advance gender equality in food systems.

This example shows how important it is to ensure adequate conditions for social participation, including resources, in both the policy convergence process and the dissemination, uptake, and implementation stage. 

Therefore, coming now to our concrete suggestions for the Action Plan we propose: 

  1. Strengthen Social Participation: We consider that the role of civil society and Indigenous Peoples’ organizations should be emphasized and recognized strongly throughout the Action Plan. As previously described, we are key actors for the success of the CFS during all phases. However, the action plan currently does not give enough priority to most affected countries and constituencies and is weak on social participation. When it comes to the implementation, we are key to understanding what parts of the CFS policy outcomes could be translated to communities in their own contexts. 

Also, it is important to spell out in the part regarding national multistakeholder spaces, which the Action Plan aims to map and strengthen, a clear criteria, that is human rights-based and has explicit and transparent criteria for preventing conflicts of interest, mitigating power asymmetries, and providing adequate conditions for participation.

  1. Ownership: The notion of ownership should be strengthened, from our point of view.  Currently the proposed definition does not focus enough on the quality of the policy convergence process to reach ownership. It is important to highlight the need for adequate conditions for the participation of all actors, e.g. including interpretation during the sessions and timely translation of the documents. 

We also have two questions:  

  • How, by whom, and when shall the toolkit be developed? This is not clear. How shall the analysis based on experiences from the uptake of main CFS policy agreements be done?
  • Regarding mapping of multistakeholder spaces: what is the proposed methodology envisioned for the mapping and criteria for the spaces?

I would just share three more concrete suggestions. The first related to the Right to Food. We believe that there is also improvement needed to make the Right to Food the overarching framework for the Action Plan. 

For instance, we suggest that the HLPE compilation should not only be based on identifying gaps but also providing guidance on how CFS policy agreements can be used to support the Right to Food-based transformations of food systems. 

Regarding the prioritization of topics ( point 1.A.2), we think they must be made based on their relevance for achieving the Right to Food and for overcoming structural barriers to achieving the Right to Food. In the same point,  rather than aligning with the priorities of other UN spaces it should be these spaces that align with priorities expressed by the CFS, since the CFS is the most inclusive food governance space. Other UN spaces shall continue to contribute, with their expertise, to CFS`s priorities. 

The second point is on the role of the Rome Based Agencies (RBAs), as the UN agencies specialized for dealing with food and agriculture, they should be more emphasized in the document. The RBAs are best placed to promote the implementation and the uptake of the CFS policy outcomes. There are also several relevant recommendations from the evaluation of the CFS in 2018 in this regard.

The third point is regarding resource mobilization. We noted that in several parts the document refers to staying inside the existing resources. In line with the evaluation of 2018, there should be the notion added of exploring mechanisms for resource mobilization in line with the human rights framework and clear safeguards to protect the CFS against conflicts of interest. 

For instance, under the coordination function of the CFS, we believe there should be considerations of new possibilities of resource mobilization in relation with ongoing discussions on reforming the global economic architecture. We also believe the CFS should also think about formats (e.g. discussion rounds) to reach funding commitments by countries. 

I would also like to add one more question regarding the strategy for monitoring and evaluation. We also think there is a need for more clarification for putting it into operation. What else should be done, beyond the digital repository?  What should be the role of civil society and Indigenous Peoples, what for the HLPE? These should be based on the previously defined principles of the CFS reform. 



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