The Committee on Food Security is the foremost inclusive intergovernmental and international political platform on food security and nutrition with the explicit vision to foster the progressive realization of the right to adequate food for all.

The CFS was established in 1974 as an intergovernmental committee, hosted by FAO, to monitor the commitments made during the first World Food Conference in 1974, and later the World Food Summit in 1996

In 2009, under the impression of the world food price crises 2007/2008, the CFS underwent a profound reform and became the foremost inclusive platform with a particular openness to the participation of civil society. The Committee reports to the UN General Assembly through the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and to FAO Conference.

The reform identified the following 6 roles for the CFS:

  1. Increase coordination at the global level to strengthen action among governments, regional organizations/agencies, CSOs, private sector and other stakeholders;
  2. Promote policy convergence and coordination through developing international strategies and voluntary guidelines on food security and nutrition policies, based on lessons learned from local experiences and input from national and regional levels;
  3. Provide support and advice on regional and country-led plans to eliminate hunger, based on applying right to food approaches that are founded on the principles of participation, transparency and accountability;
  4. Coordinate at national and regional levels through building and strengthening national and regional mechanisms and networks working on food security and nutrition issues;
  5. Promote accountability and share best practices through developing innovative monitoring mechanisms and common indicators to help countries monitor and report quantitatively on their progress on tackling hunger;
  6. Develop a global strategic framework for food security and nutrition in order to improve coordination and guide synchronized action by a wide range of stakeholders.

The key actors of the CFS are:

Members: CFS members are the governments. The current 138 members have the right:

  • To intervene in Plenary and breakout discussions
  • Approve meeting documents and agendas
  • Submit and present documents and formal proposals
  • Have exclusive voting and decision taking rights, including drafting the final report of CFS Plenary sessions.

Participants: representatives of the UN Agencies (FAO, IFAD, WFP, WHO), Civil society and Indigenous Peoples’ Organisations (CSM), international agricultural research bodies, International and regional financial institutions (WB, IMF, WTO), representatives from the private sector (PSM), associations and private philanthropic foundations. Participants have the right:

  • To intervene in Plenary and breakout discussions
  • Contribute to preparation of meeting documents and agendas
  • Submit and present documents and formal proposals
  • Contribute regularly to intersessional activities of the Committee through the Advisory Group and Open-Ended Working Groups established by the Bureau.

Observers: interested organizations invited to observe by the CFS or the Bureau (local authorities or regional associations)

How does the CFS work:

  1. GLOBAL PLENARY SESSION: Members, participants and observers at the CFS meet as whole once a year for an annual plenary session. The Plenary is the central body for decision making, debate, coordination, lesson-learning and convergence by all stakeholders at the global level on issues pertaining t food security and nutrition.
  2. INTER-SESSIONAL WORK: the ongoing work of the CFS throughout the year is maintained though regular meetings of the Bureau and the Advisory Group, the OEWGs and the TTs.

The Bureau

The Bureau is the executive arm of the CFS and it is composed by a chair and 12 elected members representing regional groups (two from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Near East, and one from both North America and South-West Pacific). The Bureau ensures coordination among all actors and levels, advance tasks in preparation of the plenary session, carries out tasks delegated from the plenary and contributes to steering the work of the HLPE.

Chair: Mr. Thanawat Tiensin (Thailand)

Vice-Chair: Mr. Don Syme (New Zealand)

Members: Mali and Equatorial Guinea (Alternates: Cabo Verde and Senegal); India and Indonesia (Alternates: Bangladesh and Republic of Korea); France and Russian Federation (Alternates: Spain and Switzerland); Brazil and Dominican Republic (Alternates: Argentina and Costa Rica); Afghanistan and Mauritania (Alternates: Iran and Oman); United States (Alternate: Canada); New Zealand (Alternate: Australia)

Chair: H.E. Mario Arvelo, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Dominican Republic

Vice-Chair: Valentina Savastano, Permanent Representative of Italy

Members: Egypt, Sudan, China, Indonesia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Switzerland, Italy, New Zealand, Ethiopia, South Africa, USA

Chair: H.E. Amira Gornass, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Sudan to FAO

Vice-Chair: M.C. Luca Fratini, Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy to the UN Organisations in Rome. From beginning 2016 until October 2017 Jón Erlingur Jónasson, Permanent Representative of Iceland

Members: Afghanistan, Argentina, Bangladesh, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Ecuador, Egypt, Iceland, Italy, Morocco, New Zealand, United States

The Advisory Group

The CFS Advisory Group supports the Bureau and maintains links between participants and other stakeholders in a two-way exchange of information. Are part of the AG (UN bodies and CFS Participants.)

The Plenary Sessions

The Plenary session is held annually and is the central body for decision-taking, debate, coordination, lesson learning and convergence by all stakeholders at a global level on issues pertaining to food security and nutrition and on the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines to Support the Progressive Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security. It should focus on relevant and specific issues related to food security and nutrition in order to provide guidance and actionable recommendations to assist all stakeholders in eradicating hunger.


CFS 49 – 2021

CFS 48 – 2021 (Special Session June)

CFS 36 – 2010

CFS 37 – 2011

CFS 38 – 2012 (Special Session May)

CFS39 – 2012

CFS 40 – 2013

CFS 41 – 2014

CFS 42 – 2015

CFS 43 – 2016

CFS 44 – 2017

CFS 45 – 2018

CFS 46 – 2019

CFS 47 –2021

The Secretariat

The CFS has a permanent Secretariat which includes staff from the three Rome-based Agencies (RBAs) FAO, IFAD and WFP. Its task is to support the Plenary, the Bureau, the Advisory Group, the HLPE and all the on-going processes during the inter-sessional and annual activity The Secretariat is hosted at FAO in Rome. Its Secretary is Chris Hegadorn.


One of the major innovations introduced by the Reformed CFS is the High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE). Member States decided that decisions should be informed by shared, independent and comprehensive advice. In 2010 the HLPE was established as the scientific and knowledge based pillar of the CFS. It ensures a well-informed policy debate and decision-making process improving quality, effectiveness and coherence of food security and nutrition policies.

Key functions of the HLPE

As directed by the CFS Plenary and Bureau, the HLPE will:

  1. Assess and analyse the current state of food security and nutrition and its underlying causes
  2. Provide scientific and knowledge-based analysis and advice on specific policy-relevant issues, utilizing existing high quality research, data and technical studies.
  3. Identify emerging issues and help members prioritize future actions and attentions on key focal areas

Structure of the HLPE:

  • Project Teams acting on a project specific basis, selected and managed by the Steering Committee to analyse/report on specific issues.
  • A Steering Committee composed of 15 internationally recognized experts in a variety of food security and nutrition related fields.



Chairperson of the HLPE Steering Committee, Mr Martin Cole (Australia)

Vice-Chairperson of the HLPE Steering Committee, Bernard Lehmann (Switzerland)

Steering Committee members: Ms Barbara Burlingame (New Zealand); Ms Jennifer Clapp (Canada); Mr Mahmoud El Solh (Lebanon); Ms Mária Kadlečíková (Slovakia); Mr Li Xiande (China); Ms Bancy Mbura Mati (Kenya); Mr William Moseley (United States of America); Ms Nitya Rao (India); Mr Thomas Rosswall (Sweden); Mr Daniel Sarpong (Ghana); Mr Kamil Shideed (Iraq); Mr José María Sumpsi Viñas (Spain); Ms Shakuntala Thilsted (Trinidad and Tobago).

Download the short bios of the HLPE StC members here! 

Chairperson of the HLPE Steering Committee, Mr Patrick Caron

Vice-Chairperson of the HLPE Steering Committee, Mr Mahmoud El-Solh

Steering Committee members: Mr Patrick Caron (France), Mr Martin Cole (Australia), Ms Louise O. Fresco (the Netherlands), Mr Mahmoud El Solh (Lebanon), Mr Alex Godoy-Faúndez (Chile), Ms Maria Kadlečíková (Slovakia), Ms Eileen Theresa Kennedy (United States of America), Mr Muhammad Khan (Pakistan), Mr Xiande Li (People’s Republic of China), Mr Paul Mapfumo (Zimbabwe), Mr Mohammad Saeid Noori Naeini (Islamic Republic of Iran), Ms Elisabetta Gioconda Iole Giovanna Recine (Brazil), Ms Shiney Varghese (India), Mr Martin Yemefack (Cameroon), Mr Rami Zurayk (Lebanon).

Download the short bios of the HLPE StC members here!

Chairperson of the HLPE Steering Committee, Mr Patrick Caron (France)

Vice-Chairperson of the HLPE Steering Committee, Carol Kalafatic (USA)

Steering Committee members: Mr Amadou Allahoury (Niger); Mr Patrick Caron (France); Ms Louise Fresco (the Netherlands); Ms Joanna Hewitt (Australia); Ms Carol Kalafatic (USA); Ms Eileen Kennedy (USA); Mr Muhammad Azeem Khan (Pakistan); Mr Bernardo Kliksberg (Argentina); Mr Fangquan Mei (China); Mr Mohammad Saeid Noori Naeini (Iran); Mr Michel Pimbert (UK); Mr Juan Ángel Rivera Dommarco (Mexico); Ms Magdalena Sepúlveda (Chile); Mr Martin Yemefack (Cameroon); Mr Rami Zurayk (Lebanon).

Download the short bios of the HLPE StC members here!

HLPE Steering Committee members participate in their individual capacities and not as representatives of their respective governments institutions or organizations.

HLPE Secretariat: Coordinator, Nathanaël Pingault

Description of the HLPE project cycle:

Funding: the HLPE is exclusively funded through a voluntary trust fund based at FAO. This trust fund covers the costs of the preparation of reports, Steering Committee and Project Teams meetings, publication of reports, communication and outreach, and Secretariat support. Since 2010, the HLPE received contributions from the following resource partners to the HLPE Trust Fund, or providers of in-kind staff resources: Australia, the European Union, France, Ireland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom. The annual budget, including valuation of in-kind staff resources, amounts to around 1.4 million USD (2016 figures).

Browse and download the HLPE Reports


CFS receives its core funding equally from FAO, IFAD and WFP.

The work of the CFS High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) is entirely funded through voluntary contributions.  For more information, including their resource partners, see here.

The CFS Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples’ Mechanism (CSM) is also entirely funded through voluntary contributions. For more information, including their resource partners, contact the CSM Secretariat

Resource partners for CFS work streams and activities, in addition to the Rome-based Agencies include:

  • Finland
  • France
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • European Union
  • Germany
  • Switzerland
  • United Arab Emirates
  • European Union
  • France
  • Switzerland
  • The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Sudan
  • European Union
  • Germany
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Privacy PolicyCookie Policy

Csm4cfs © 2024. Website by Marco Principia

to top
Join the online and offline citizen mobilisations

to challenge the UN Food Systems Summit and re-claim Peoples’ sovereignty over food systems!