CSM Final Statement to CFS 43 – 21 October 2016

  • The CFS has become a unique space in the United Nations System where the voices of small-scale food producers, family farmers, fisher folks, indigenous peoples, food and agricultural workers, pastoralists, landless, women, youth, consumers, the urban food insecure and NGOs have been able to actively participate through an autonomous and open space, the CSM.
  • The CSM has become the largest global space of civil society organizations working on food security and nutrition. Its participating organizations from 11 global constituencies and 17 sub-regions represent far beyond 380 Million food producers and consumers, and particularly the largest organizations and platforms of family farmers and smallholders worldwide.
  • The CSM welcomes and appreciates most of the outcomes and proceedings of CFS 43, particularly the policy recommendations on Smallholder to Markets, Sustainable Agricultural Development and Livestock, and the activities and decisions related to Monitoring, Nutrition and SDGs. These decisions are of particular importance for smallholders and other constituencies and need to be disseminated, used and applied.
  • The CSM congratulates the CFS Chair for conducting the Session in a fair, inclusive and participative way.
  • The CSM suggests that the upcoming CFS Bureau and Advisory Group meeting in November evaluates the CFS 43 and its proceedings, including the initial confusion about the different roles of participants and observers. Another pressing issue is also how to include urgent, relevant and sometime controversial issues into the debate of a CFS Session, to give the CFS visibility and relevance on these issues of worldwide attention.
  • The CFS is at the crossroads: We have seen during the past two years and also during this session, that there are two possible pathways for the CFS: either it goes in the direction of erosion of the CFS Reform, or in the direction of strengthening the CFS in the spirit of its Reform. The eight actions here are:
  • Affirming the Vision of the CFS: the CFS is committed to contribute to the progressive realization of the right to adequate food. The centrality of human rights, particularly the indivisibility, universality, interdependency and interrelatedness of all human rights are fundamental for the CFS. There is no way to comply with the right to food without respecting, protecting and fulfilling women’s rights.
  • Preserving the Focus of the CFS. Everybody is invited to contribute to the CFS. But special attention is given to the organizations of smallholders and small-scale food producers, agricultural and food workers, who are the most important contributors to world food security and nutrition, and often the groups most at risk of food insecurity. This focus must not be lost.
  • Strengthening the use and application of CFS outcomes: without a much stronger commitment of governments and all actors in the CFS to actually put into practice the CFS decisions and instruments, the CFS will lose its relevance.
  • Developing and activating the monitoring mechanism of the CFS, including encouraging the realization of national and regional monitoring events and promoting regular Global Thematic monitoring events during CFS Plenaries.
  • Addressing the most relevant issues for food security and nutrition, and of particular interest to the small-scale food producers, agricultural and food workers and other rights holders. The policy convergence and policy coherence functions of the CFS require that members and participants do not shy away from topics that are controversial or complicated, and from serious negotiations on these topics. We strongly hope that this attitude will prevail in the upcoming MYPOW discussions.
  • Ensure that any organization that is interested to participate in the CFS has to choose to which category of participants it belongs, according to the CFS Reform Document, and then participate through the respective Mechanism.
  • Clarifying the terms of participation of the private and corporate sector within the CFS and developing robust safeguards to protect the space from undue conflict of interest to ensure that the concerns of rights-holders are always considered above and before those of other actors pursuing private interests. Actions within this space must always be aligned with the primary mandate of CFS to ensure food and nutrition security.
  • Establishing a solid and sustainable funding structure of the CFS which reflects the support of all members and the RBA to the CFS, and ensure the full implementation of the agreed MYPOW. The CFS must be funded by public funds. The integrity of the MYPOW is important, a donor-driven CFS would be a weak CFS.
  • We believe these eight actions are fundamental to ensuring that the CFS can play its full role in the global fight against hunger and malnutrition.
  • As stated in the Global Monitoring Event on VGGT last Wednesday, we are deeply concerned about the repression and criminalization of social movements and human rights’ defenders. During the CFS week, several murders of peasant organizations’ leaders have been committed: José Angel Flores, President of the Movimiento Unificado Campesino del Aguán and Silmer George were murdered in Honduras, as well as Esneider Gonzalez, member of the Asociación de Trabajadores Campesinos de la Zona de Reserva Campesina in Colombia.  The CSM expresses its solidarity with their struggle, requests justice and reminds governments of their role in protecting human rights defenders.
  • We would like to thank all who contributed to the success of this meeting: first of all those 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 those who provided food and nutrition to this event. Thank you! Then also the interpreters, the Secretariat, the Chair, all members and participants and observers.
  • The CSM will remain committed to the CFS. We know that we are the heart and people’s soul of the CFS. We will continue to care about, and invest within this space, as we have always done.

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