Intervention of Ramona Duminicioiu, member of Eco Ruralis (Romania) on behalf of ECVC – LVC

 

The Civil Society Mechanism (CSM) has contributed intensively to the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) evaluation elaboration and the discussion on how to best respond to it. We thank Ms. Angela Bester and her team for the report, and Egypt and Iceland for their co-facilitation work for the CFS response to it during the past months.

 

The CFS continues to be in a critical situation. We have seen during the past years, that there are two possible pathways for the CFS: either it goes in the direction of erosion of the CFS Reform, or in the direction of strengthening the CFS in the spirit of its Reform.

 

The CSM clearly stated its expectation that the evaluation and the discussion on the response to it should be guided by the spirit of the reform and make the CFS much stronger in line with its mandate and its roles.

 

We welcome that the Co-Facilitators concluded the first Meeting on the Response in June this year with the explicit statement that there will be no reform of the reform. The Consultation report clearly points in this direction: it aims to further strengthen the roles and functioning of the CFS in line with its mandate and vision.

 

We believe that this is the right direction, but we see as well that not all members and participants really want to go into this direction. Very often, there is a tendency to convert the CFS again into the talk shop it was before the reform. This becomes evident when there is:

–        no willingness to enter serious policy negotiations, or to provide the needed time and resources for that;

–        positions that openly challenge the human rights basis of the CFS, or that want to prevent the CFS to take up urgent, critical and contentious issues;

–        lack of commitment of members and Rome based agencies to properly fund the CFS and its activities;

–        too many efforts and meetings of an increasingly inward-looking CFS.

 

Let’s not forget that the CFS was created in 1975 as a response to the Food crises in 1974, and it was reformed in 2009 due to the food crises in 2007/8. Against this background, it is clear that the CFS must respond to the food crises and its causes of today in an effective way. The CFS has to be able to effectively assess and address the crises that originated its constitution and reform.

 

We need a CFS that responds to the urgent demands of today’s realities, and this means particularly and primarily, to the demands of the people most affected by today’s food crises, who are at the same time the most important contributors to food security and nutrition worldwide. We, the small-scale farmers, fisherfolks, pastoralists, Indigenous Peoples, agricultural and food workers, women, men and youth, we feed most of the world with our daily efforts. We need public policies to support us, as opposed to the current neoliberal paradigm that continues to destroy our livelihoods, farms, production systems and communities.

 

With the reformed CFS, a global place was established to hear our voices, because the global governance architecture on food security and nutrition policies can only be effective if it is able to listen to us. “Nothing about us without us” – this was the promise of the reform.

 

Today, we have a permanent struggle to just remind governments, participants and the CFS Secretariat, that the CFS Reform gave special voice and space to the constituencies of the CSM. We are tired to repeat this again and again. Either you listen and understand how important it is to have us here, who we are and what we bring to the table of hundreds of millions of households and to the CFS, or not.

 

We are the world’s largest mechanism of civil society organizations working on food security and nutrition. The participating organizations in our 11constituencies have far more than 380 million organized members. Among them, far more than 330 million food producers are part of the CSM, being small-scale and family farmers, pastoralists, indigenous peoples, fisherfolks, agricultural and food workers.

 

During the past eight years, we have shown a huge commitment and have been among the most important contributors to the CFS, in terms of substance, quality and quantity of proposals, social energy, and people’s participation. We have taken care of the whole CFS as a highly valuable policy space. We have not just pushed for our own interests, as some continue to do. Over the past 8 years, we have given a new dimension of legitimacy to the CFS.

 

The CFS has many weaknesses and limitations, but it still is a proposal for the whole United Nations’ system: we believe that opening the UN to the people means opening the future to the UN.

 

photo: @Radio Mundo Real