CSM Letter to the CFS Chair on the UN Food Systems Summit

CSM Letter to the CFS Chair on Food Systems Summit Add your organisation’s signature Download the letter   Amb. Thanawat Tiensin Chair, UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS)                                                                                                                       Rome, 9 February 2021 Dear Chair, Kind regards from the Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples’ Mechanism for relations with the CFS. We would like to continue our dialogue with you on the Food Systems Summit. We highly appreciate that you have been truly open and interested in listening to our growing concerns regarding the Summit process since you commenced your mandate as Chair of CFS in October 2019. We also acknowledge that you conveyed our key concerns to the Special Envoy and the Food Systems Summit Secretariat, including in the context of the exchange of letters between the CFS and FSS in November 2020. We will not repeat the concerns expressed in earlier occasions, such as through the Open Call of Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples’ organizations to respond to the FSS, as presented during the CFS Special event in October 2020, and the CSM Statement to the CFS Bureau and Advisory Group meeting in November 2020. These criticisms continue to be valid, particularly regarding the worries about undue corporate influence in the Summit preparation; the missing human rights grounding; the lack of emphasis on the true extent of the transformation that the corporate food systems need to undergo to re-align with the utmost imperatives of people, peoples and planet; the threat of democratic public institutions and inclusive multilateralism being undermined by multistakeholderism. In this letter, we would like to respond to the question on the conditions under which the CSM could be involved in the Summit process. As we have said on previous occasions: the CSM cannot jump onto a train that is heading in the wrong direction. Therefore, the general conditions for our possible involvement relate to whether the leading decision-making bodies of the Summit are willing to seriously address our deep concerns through a substantial and radical re-direction of the Summit’s current course. In this respect, it is essential that critical progress takes place in the following domains: Shifting away from corporate capture and re-grounding in individual and collective Human Rights and the experiences and knowledge of the people and Indigenous Peoples most affected: The UN Secretary General should finally accept the request for a meeting with social movements and Indigenous Peoples’ leaders on the

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Key CSM and CFS communications on the United Nations Food Systems Summit

The Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples’ Mechanism (CSM) for relations with the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS), has been closely observing the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) preparation since July 2019 and has expressed its concerns about its course on multiple occasions at the CFS and through different publicly accessible communications. Below are a number of documents describing CSM’s concerns, and on a distinct section further below, key official CFS communications. CSM Documents and Communications February 2021: CSM letter to the CFS Chair November 2020: CSM Key points on the Food Systems Summit at CFS Advisory Group and Bureau meeting October 2020: Open call to join forces to challenge the UNFSS March 2020: Letter signed by more than 500 organisations sent to the UN Secretary General March 2020: Press release alongside the letter sent to the UN Secretary General  CFS Official Communications Letter from the CFS Chair to the UN Special Envoy for 2021 Food Systems Summit 21 January 2020 Letter from the UN Special Envoy for 2021 Food Systems Summit to the CFS Chair 11 November 2020 Letter from the CFS Chair to the UN Special Envoy for 2021 Food Systems Summit 19 November 2020

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Open Call for Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples’ Engagement to respond to the UN Food Systems Summit

Open Call for Engagement to Respond to the UN Food Systems Summit Download the call for engagement here! The call is promoted by the Peoples and organizations participating in the Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples’ Mechanism for the Relations with the CFS Organizations of those most affected by hunger, malnutrition and ecological destruction are launching this invitation to join forces to challenge the upcoming UN Food Systems Summit (FSS) which is expected to take place in September 2021. At the current juncture, the need to radically transform unhealthy, unjust and unsustainable food systems towards food systems based on human rights and shaped around food sovereignty and agroecology is more urgent than ever. We believe that the Summit is going into a problematic direction, and have therefore expressed our concerns in a collective letter co-signed by nearly 550 organizations to the UN Secretary General in March 2020, which still remains unanswered. The way in which the preparations for the Summit have evolved over recent months further increases our concerns, as it does not correspond to a rights-based, legitimate and inclusive multilateral policy process. The undue corporate influence on the Food Systems Summit and the lack of transparency and clarity of its preparation process has raised profound concerns in the participating organizations of the Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples’ Mechanism (CSM) for relations with the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). They have therefore decided to launch a call for engagement to a process of building joint strategies around essential issues for the life and wellbeing of our peoples and communities: food, health, nature, Peoples’ sovereignty, and economic, social, gender and climate justice. This call invites other movements, networks and organization, either directly concerned with food and its many dimensions or engaged in interrelated domains of our lives, to join forces in a collective process to challenge the FSS. We believe it is important to organize ourselves based on our own principles of autonomy and self-organizations, independently from the Summit and create our own space of convergence to deepen our analyses, articulate our proposals and mobilize for our solutions. There is no predetermined format for potential action yet. If your network/organization is willing to join this collective convergence and movement-building process, please express your interest here. Should you like any additional information to consider your participation, please do not hesitate to contact us at the following email address: [email protected] While this call will

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Those most affected by hunger, malnutrition must shape UN Food Systems Summit

Those most affected by hunger, malnutrition must shape UN Food Systems Summit With the corporate world increasingly involved in UN decision-making, 550 CSOs, social movements and universities handover a letter to the UN Secretary General today asserting people’s role in the transformation of food systems. Corporations in the global industrial chain are by themselves major drivers of ecological destruction, reduction of biodiversity and increasing hunger and malnutrition rates. They are responsible for the destruction of 75 billion tons of topsoil annually and they control the market environment that cuts down 7.5 million hectares of forest. Further, these account for at least 90% of agriculture’s fossil fuel use (and GHG emissions). Meanwhile, family farmers and small-scale food producers are behind 75% of the world’s food production (for human consumption and not for biofuel) through environmentally sustainable practices. And yet, the UN is turning to the corporate world to solve the world’s crises. In a letter handed-over last week to the UN Secretary General António Guterres, 550 civil society organisations (CSOs), universities and social movements from across the world are calling for a rethink of how the summit is organized. The World Economic Forum (WEF), which signed a strategic partnership agreement with the UN Secretary General last June, is harnessing the opportunities of the technological revolution for the benefit of transnational corporations and global financial capital. Having it as an architect of the summit would push us away from real solutions to the ongoing crises of food systems and climate change. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) offer a different model. The CFS is widely recognized as the most inclusive and participatory UN Committee where the constituencies most affected by hunger and malnutrition can meaningfully participate in shaping intergovernmental decisions about the best right to food policies. The CFS is currently negotiating guidelines on food systems and nutrition as well as policy recommendations on agro-ecology, both of which genuinely address the concerns that the proposed UN summit wishes to pursue. By the same token, FAO has adopted clear policies for engagement with civil society, indigenous peoples, and small-scale food producers, as well as substantive policy frameworks and processes for transforming food systems. Bringing these two bodies, as well as governments – particularly of the countries most affected by food insecurity and the climate crisis – to the forefront to shape

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