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FAO: Time for talking is over – Implement Food Sovereignty!

13 November 2009

The European Coordination Via Campersina will be present in the People's Food Sovereignty Forum from the 13th to 17th of November in Rome, parallel to the World Food Summit on Food Security.

FAO: The European Coordination Via Campesina in the Parallel People's Forum: Time for talking is over – Implement Food Sovereignty! The European Coordination Via Campersina will be present in the People's Food Sovereignty Forum from the 13th to 17th of November in Rome, parallel to the World Food Summit on Food Security. Among more than 400 delegates from over 70 different countries will be spokespeople from organizations of small farmers, peasants, fisherfolk, indigenous peoples, agricultural workers, young people from rural areas, women and shepherds as well as representatives and NGOs from urban communities which are victims of food insecurity. The European peasants of La Via Campesina will continue our work in responding to the problem of hunger which now affects over 1 billion people internationally. The causes of this crisis are multiple but they can be summarized in the simple incapacity of regional and international institutions and governments to put in place agriculture and food policies which act in the public interest. Guided by transnational corporations who operate under a logic of profit and by undemocratic neo-liberal institutions, real solutions have not been explored as speculation and commercialization of lands and food continues. Europe has an important responsibility. The productivist agricultural policies of the European Union favour surpluses and dumping in the markets of countries of the south, negatively affecting local peasant markets. Our countries also participate in speculation on foodstuffs in global markets. Transnational agribusinesses, seed companies and supermarkets which have developed in Europe are now very aggressive internationally and contribute a great deal to increasing poverty and inequality. In 1996 the Civil Society Forum launched the principle of Food Sovereignty in response to the 850 million hungry people of that time. Food Sovereignty is the right of states and peoples to define their own agricultural policies and to promote local food systems which respect local customs, culture and peoples as well as the environment. In 2009, after many years of false solutions which have aggravated the crisis, the People's Food Sovereignty Forum will continue working for changes in agricultural and food policies and for the development of peasant agriculture, increasing urban-rural linkages, the struggle for access to means of production and against landgrabbing. These positions will be brought to the World Food Summit of the FAO from the 16th to 18th of November. La Via Campesina will defend the need for a new type of governance for food and agriculture in order to resolve both the food crisis and the climate crisis. Food policies should not be left in the hands of the “club of donor countries” and financial institutions. A democratic system of governance which reflects that decided in the FAO's Committee fr Food Security should be immediately put into place to guarantee countries and peoples of the world the right to implement Food Sovereignty. It is in the framework of an open and constructive dialogue between governments and the members of civil society most affected by hunger and involved in food production that real and durable solutions can be found to confront the crisis. Contacts Annelies Schorpion (staff): +39 3312861096 (Nov 12-18) ES – FR-EN-NL

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