Rome, Italy. 10 October 2022. During the Ministerial Segment on coordinating policy responses to the global food crisis, on the first day of the CFS 50 Plenary Session, André Luzzi, from Habitat International and a member of the CSIPM Coordination Committee, presented key findings from the recent global report Voices from the ground 2: Transformative solutions to the global systemic food crisis. Full statement can be read below.

Through our CSIPM popular consultations in the last 3 years, we have brought together UN agencies, academics, the HLPE, Governments, and our constituencies who all have solutions and are keen to coordinate strategies. But where is the CFS? 

Statement on food crisis response, as delivered by André Luzzi on 10 October 2022.

The previous speakers have highlighted that we are facing a deep and ongoing crisis of hunger, climate chaos and inequalities. If we don’t act it will not be the last. Acting means tackling this crisis in a comprehensive, systemic way to overcome it adequately, and for the long term. 

To inform this need, the CSIPM conducted another round of popular consultations. This year we gathered 539 contributions from 72 countries, providing evidence about the impacts on those most affected by the food crisis, the actions they have taken to respond, as well as their concrete demands. The consolidated report ‘Voices from the ground 2: transformative solutions to the global systemic food crises’ tells the stories of sharp increases in already entrenched inequalities in all regions. Stories of:  

  • Climate chaos, where those most impacted are those who contribute least to Greenhouse Gas emissions. 
  • Conflicts, wars, sanctions and state violence that persist and expand, while food is being used as a geopolitical weapon. 
  • Where participation of rights holders in democratic processes is shrinking, and there is a growing disregard for defending human rights. 
  • Where corporations are reporting record profits, cashing in on government bailouts, rising prices and speculation while the FAO reports record inflation and people starve. 

Our results clearly point to interconnected structural issues that reinforce and perpetuate the food crisis, for example:

  • Increasing debt that leaves countries without the fiscal and policy space to take crucial actions. 
  • Countries’ increasing dependency on imports that leaves them vulnerable to global price fluctuations, supply gaps and undermines agrarian communities. 
  • The continued negotiation of trade and investment deals with no consideration of their impact on the Right to Food and other Human Rights. 

Dear delegates, we need urgent short-term measures, but they must not make the crisis worse in the long term. Simply scrambling to find new sources of fertiliser is not compatible with the demand from many producers in our consultation to end the chemical treadmill of production in the long term. 

In the last 3 years, we have seen that small-scale producers who use agroecological methods and indigenous knowledge systems continue feeding their communities. Gaps in public support were filled by the solidarity action and innovations of communities, social movements, non-profits, and people’s organisations. 

Through our CSIPM popular consultations in the last 3 years, we have brought together UN agencies, academics, the HLPE, Governments, and our constituencies who all have solutions and are keen to coordinate strategies. But where is the CFS? 

We urgently demand the CFS take action now. Existing global response spaces are not equipped or mandated to provide ongoing structural and long-term analysis and coordination. The Global Crisis Response Group (GCRG) on food, energy, and finance, provides important exposure to the urgent need to tackle the food crisis, but it is the responsibility of the CFS to provide it with substantive answers based on the CFS role of intergovernmental, inter-agency coordination. . We urgently need a democratic debate anchored in Human Rights approaches that allow most affected countries and constituencies to effectively input into responses. 

We add our voices to many delegations here which have also asked in past plenaries that the CFS take up its coordination to the global food crises since the pandemic erupted in 2020 which it regrettably did not. The CFS needs to act now.

In line with the evidence presented in our report, and in line with the CFS strategic objective of being a platform to discuss the food security and nutrition situation and coordinate collective action at all levels, we propose adding an additional paragraph after the present paragraph i) in the decision box, as follows:

The CFS agrees to leverage its convening power to coordinate efforts and start a process, led by a Member State and open to all interested members and participants, to i) share impacts, responses, and strategies to address current and prevent future food crises during this inter-sessional period and ii) design by CFS 51 a plan of action to provide ongoing globally coordinated policy guidance.

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