On 25 November 2023, the CFS 51 Plenary Session was reconvened to conclude the discussions and adopt its final report. After it has been adjourned on 27 October, due to the impossibility of member states to reach a consensus regarding the agenda item III “Coordinated policy responses to the food crisis – the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2023” of the final report. Read more in this article.

After almost a month of internal negotiations among CFS member states, the reconvened Plenary Session adopted by acclamation the text of the final report. The report contains the decisions taken for each CFS 51 agenda item and the significant debates during the session. The conclusion of the CFS51 Plenary Session also sets the beginning of the intersessional period which will be led by Ambassador H.E. Ms Nosipho Nausca-Jean Jezile, from South Africa, who has been elected as the new chair of the CFS for the upcoming two years.

On behalf of the CSIPM, the Coordination Committee member Mariam Mohammad (Arab Network for Food Sovereignty) delivered a strong statement denouncing Israel’s use of food and water as weapons of war against Palestinians, and calling for the CFS members to respect the provisions in the CFS Framework for Action for Food Security and Nutrition in Protracted Crises.

 

Thank you, Chair, for giving us the floor.

This is Mariam Mohammad from Lebanon, I am a CC member of the CSIPM facilitating for the West Asia region on behalf of the Arab Network for Food Sovereignty.

For the past few weeks, while language was being discussed, and words being changed for the purpose of reaching compromise and consensus, the reality on the ground in Palestine was not changing at all. Conflict in agreed language could not change that it is a genocide on the grounds of reality. That what is being committed by the Israeli occupation is the indiscriminate massacre and bombing of hospitals, schools, refugee camps, women, children, infants, and elderly. Conflict areas in agreed language could not change that it is occupied areas on the grounds of reality, including Gaza and the rest of occupied Palestine. While language was and still is being discussed, our people in Palestine were and still are being ethnically cleansed in the most brutal and horrific forms, as well as starved and thirsted.

The CSIPM is engaged now in this reconvened Plenary session with motivation rooted in hope. We are glad and hopeful that CFS 51 can formally conclude today and that the CFS is strengthened through this debate, reinforcing the role of the Plenary to provide guidance and actionable recommendations towards achieving a world free from hunger, food insecurity, malnutrition, double standards, and the selective protection of human rights.

We were going to advocate for the CFS 51 final report to include language that:

  • denounces the Israeli occupation’s use of food and water as weapons of war against Palestinians.
  • underscores the imperative for reliable, consistent, ample, and unobstructed provision of vital necessities to civilians across the Gaza Strip, including but not limited to food, water, sanitation, medical resources, energy, and access to productive resources.
  • highlights the critical role of FAO, IFAD, WFP, and UNRWA in evaluating and mitigating the conflict’s impact on food security and agriculture, in Occupied Palestine.
  • Acknowledges that the Israeli occupation’s use of starvation tactics against 2.3 million Palestinians is a severe breach of international treaties and humanitarian law;
  • Demands that the Israeli occupation be held accountable and responsible for these crimes against humanity;
  • and requests the CFS Chair to immediately forward these conclusions to the UN Secretary General and relevant UN agencies. 

There can be no justification for the lethal collective punishment and the genocide of the Palestinian people. For weeks, UN experts have sounded the alarm about the risk of genocide through this war. Genocide is the gravest of crimes under international law, and the CFS has the obligation to urgently work toward preventing this atrocity from further escalation. 

We believe it would have been very important that the Committee had incorporated these points into the final report, pursuant to the provisions in the CFS Framework for Action for Food Security and Nutrition in Protracted Crises and especially in accordance with:  

  • Principle 1: Meet immediate humanitarian needs and build resilient livelihoods;
  • Principle 2: Reach affected populations;
  • Principle 4: Protect those affected by or at risk from protracted crises;
  • and Principle 9: Contribute to peacebuilding through food security and nutrition.

We would like to finally stress that all what is being committed in occupied Palestine and the weaponization of food is for the purpose of ethnic cleansing and a new Nakba, which we strongly condemn and refuse. We also cannot understand how we have reached a point were asking for the end of a genocide and a war has become controversial. To us and in our solid principles in the Civil Society, this will never be or become the case.

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