14 October 2019

CSM Opening Statement at CFS 46 Plenary Session!

CSM Remarks on the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, SOFI 2019

Delivered on behalf of CSM by Chaturika Sewwandi, Vikalpani National Women’s Federation, Sri Lanka 

The Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples Mechanism for relations with the CFS appreciates the SOFI Report 2019, its analyses and reflections.

However, the results of the Report are shocking: Hunger is on the rise. Today, almost as many millions of people are undernourished as ten years ago, when the CFS was reformed. Since 2015, the number of the hungry is increasing.

The SOFI report confirms what we witness every day in our communities and countries: millions of people are left behind, struggling for their rights and livelihoods, against discrimination, exclusion, land and other resources grabbing, market concentration and widening inequalities within and among countries.

The recent report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that land is under increasing pressure, and the current food system is a key driver of the climate crisis, severely impacting food security. We see unprecedented losses of biodiversity, persistent conflicts and food crises, increasing criminalization of human rights defenders, violence against women, as other reports point out.

The 2030 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals are heading for failure, especially SDG2. Acceleration is not enough – we need to change direction. If a train goes into the wrong direction, acceleration is not a solution.

The new direction of policies is based on the centrality of the people and their human rights, and the urgent need for a profound agroecological transformation of the food systems towards food sovereignty and the full realization of the right to adequate food.

The CFS has developed and adopted policy instruments that can and should guide a shift towards more people- and community-centered public policies. Member states and UN agencies should make much stronger efforts to use and apply the CFS policy instruments, and ensure policy coherence and accountability, in close cooperation with us as peasants and smallholder family farmers, agricultural and food workers, indigenous peoples, pastoralists, fisherfolks, landless, consumers, women, youth and urban food insecure.

The CFS, its members and participants must promote the respect, protection and fulfillment of women’s rights and ensure that they become a transversal priority for the CFS in the ongoing and upcoming policy negotiations.

The urgently needed change of direction includes a different relation with us, the Young people. Our agency, autonomy and diversity as youth must be recognized and respected. We have the right to decent work, living wages and decent incomes. The right to land and other natural resources is fundamental for us as young food producers.

CFS and member states should give priority attention to those of us in the Youth who live and work with the communities most affected by hunger and malnutrition. Our voice must be heard. Our rights to participate in political decision making on all levels must be ensured.

The world is at the crossroad, and our future is at risk. We cannot afford to not change direction.


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