Global grassroots organisations demand radical transformation of food systems to tackle the impacts of COVID-19

The COVID-19 food crisis is closely linked to economic, social, gender and environmental injustices of free-market neoliberalism, says a report launched today by the largest international space of grassroots organizations and Indigenous Peoples working to eradicate food insecurity and malnutrition. The crisis will not be fixed by emergency measures or stimulus packages that perpetuate the same model, but only by a human rights-compliant radical transformation of food systems. Between 83 and 180 million more people could be pushed into hunger because of the pandemic, raising the overall number of food insecure people to over 2 billion. Bold actions are required to reverse this trend. Promoting food as a commodity is no longer an option, given the catastrophic impact of industrial agriculture and livestock on people and ecosystems. Food sovereignty is the only solution to this crisis. It guarantees the right to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and the right of people to define their own food and agriculture systems. The report shows that the most effective initiatives to address the COVID-19 food crises have come from community efforts – to prevent contagion, protect workers (especially migrants), ensure food and economic security, halt evictions and land grabbing. Despite official recognition that 70 – 80% of the world is fed by small-scale food producers and local food systems, most COVID-19 policies, financial support and economic stimulus packages continue to favour the corporate agro-industrial complex and global supply chains. Small-scale food producers, workers, Indigenous Peoples, the urban food insecure and landless peoples, particularly women, are among the worst affected by the pandemic. Their health, livelihoods, safety and secure access to resources are least protected from against poverty, discrimination and violence. In addition, the report exposes how ecosystem destruction caused by industrial food chains is closely linked to the rise of pathogens such as COVID-19. Rather than promoting an intensive, export-oriented agriculture that perpetuates inequality, human rights abuses and the climate crisis, the report urges States to encourage agroecology, which offers healthy and nutritious food, while also preserving the environment. The COVID-19 pandemic presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to accelerate the agroecological transition and reverse decades of neoliberal policies that have exacerbated inequalities and led to official neglect of the public realm integral to building robust health and welfare, and sustainable food systems. In addition, it is high time for development priorities to be redefined in accordance with gender justice and the demands of

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The Most Violated Human Right Worldwide: the Right to Food

Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples Mechanism for relations with the UN Committee on World Food Security (CSM) PRESS RELEASE New Global Society Report launched on the eve of the World Food Day 2018 Rome, 12 October 2018 – The right to food is a fundamental pillar to the right to life. Yet it is also arguably the most violated human right globally. Today, hundreds of millions of children, women and men – 821 million people – remain food insecure. A new global civil society report launched today in Rome provides comprehensive data and analysis on this alarming contradiction. The report will be officially presented at the Global Thematic Event on the Right to Food Guidelines* at the 45th plenary session of the UN Committee on World Food Security next week. The world is not on track to reach the Zero Hunger Goal of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in 2030. For the third year in a row, there is a rise in world hunger. According to the latest United Nations’ report on the State of Food Security and Nutrition (SOFI 2018), the absolute number of undernourished people, i.e. those facing chronic food deprivation, has increased to nearly 821 million in 2017, from around 804 million in 2016. “We want to make politicians understand the human tragedies and structural causes behind these figures, and that they are consequences of man-made policy failures that can and must be stopped. Those failures favour large scale investments at the expenses of the impoverished and marginalized populations, such as small-scale fishers and farmers” says Christiane Louwa from the World Forum of Fisher People, Co-Coordinator of the CSM fisherfolks’ constituency, from Kenya. “ “It is impossible to attain the Zero Hunger Goal without a radical change and a totally renewed commitment of governments towards policies which promote and protect our rights, the right to food, women’s rights, peasants’ rights, indigenous peoples’ rights, workers’ rights, and all human rights of the people most at risk or affected by food insecurity and malnutrition” says Ramona Duminicioiu from La Vía Campesina, CSM Co-Coordinator of the smallholder farmers’ constituency, from Romania. “Full respect to women’s rights is a precondition for an effective fight against the causes of hunger”, says Azra Sayeed from the International Women’s Alliance and Co-Coordinator of the CSM women’s constituency, from Pakistan. “There are still governments objecting our rights. Each day they do so, they prolong the

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Press Conference: Launch of Global Civil Society Report on Right to Food

On the eve of the World Food Day Friday 12 October, 11h30-12h00 (Roma) VENUE: Auditorium Antonianum, Viale Manzoni 1, Rome. KEY RELATED TOPICS: World Food Day (16/10); International Rural Women Day (15/10); UN Committee on World Food Security Plenary Session. INTERNATIONAL SPEAKERS: Ramona Duminicioiu – La Via Campesina – Romania Azra Sayeed – International Women’s Alliance – Pakistan Christiana Louwa – World Forum of Fisher Peoples – Kenya Margarita Gómez – La Via Campesina – Argentina Languages: English and Spanish (there will be interpretation).   ORGANIZER: Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples Mechanism (CSM) for relations to the UN Committee on World Food Security The press conference will be LIVESTREAMED.   See CSM MEDIA ADVISORY and PRESS KIT for further information.   DIRECT CONTACT NUMBERS: 00351 916 393 540 and 0039 334 342 1146 Whatsapp: 00258 822605010 Twitter: @CSM4CFS Email:

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Global civil society and grassroots movements in Rome to influence world food policies

Civil Society Mechanism for relations to the UN Committee on World Food Security MEDIA ADVISORY Rome, 8 October 2018 – The recently released United Nations report on the State of Food Security and Nutrition (SOFI 2018) confirms that global hunger is raising for the third time in a row. At least 821 million people are going hungry in the world today. If no substantial and comprehensive action for change is taken now, the world will never reach the Sustainable Development Goal to end hunger in 2030. One of the key action for change is strengthening inclusiveness in global food policy discussions.  The United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS) was reformed in 2009 for this purpose, which included the establishment of an autonomous Civil Society Mechanism (CSM), and is since the foremost inclusive international and intergovernmental platform on food security and nutrition on the global level. As the upcoming 45th plenary session of the CFS approaches, civil society is mobilizing globally towards Rome, Italy, to hold its CSM Annual Forum, October 13-14, in which global struggles for food and nutrition are linked to the local dimensions. This forum also serves as a space to weave and consolidate positions and key messages to be delivered at the CFS Plenary Session, taking place at the FAO headquarters in October 15-19. A delegation of more than 300 participants from various civil society sectors is therefore expected to soon gather in Rome. The CSM Annual Forum brings together representatives from all CSM constituencies and all continents: smallholder and family farmers, pastoralists, fisherfolks, indigenous peoples, agricultural and food workers, landless, women, youth, consumers, urban food insecure and NGOs. Civil society has been making efforts to contribute to food policy debates for many years. After the reform of the CFS, in 2009, the Civil Society Mechanism was formed to facilitate civil society participation into the policy process of the CFS. This has made the CFS a unique experience in the UN, particularly for organizations of small-scale producers, which has allowed many of social movements concerns and proposals to be included into the decisions of the Member States. In addition to the forum and CFS plenary session, the CSM will hold a series of side events (see press kit for detailed calendar) to stress the importance of promoting, protecting and fulfilling human rights of all people, including the Right to Food. A civil society PRESS CONFERENCE

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