UN Committee on World Food Security on track to lead the global effort toward achieving zero hunger by 2030

On the 15th of October the UN Committee on World Food Security adopted the report of its 2015 plenary session. It includes the outcomes of a very intense and fruitful week where all Member States took important commitments that will be critical to ensure that the CFS can deliver on its role and lead the global efforts to achieve zero hunger and a sustainable agriculture by 2030 and realize the right to adequate food.

It was very positive to see a high level of ambition on the role that the CFS should play on  improving policy coherence, better coordination and accountability to achieve relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and targets. This will require ambition and commitment to develop in the next months a plan for the CFS to lead on zero hunger. In particular we expect the CFS to fulfil its mandate grounded on a human rights based approach in order to fully achieve the eradication of hunger.

UN Committee on World Food SecurityThe CFS this week adopted the Framework for Action for Food Security and Nutrition in Protracted Crisis a very important tool to move us toward a world free of hunger. Oxfam welcomes the adoption of the framework that provides the principles to guide States, donors and other relevant actors to address both the impacts as well as the root causes of these crises. In fact, achieving zero hunger will not be possible without durable solutions and a radical change on the way that we are doing business in protracted crisis. It was very positive to see strong commitment by all actors to move forward urgently to implement it. The whole negotiation process really showed how the multi-actors model of the CFS, when commitment and flexibility of all Members is there, can deliver very positive and ambitious outcome even on very difficult issues. Now, we will need to keep the same spirit and move together on its implementation.

It was also very positive to see all countries and regions commitment to move forward toward developing a Committee on Food Security monitoring mechanism. Concrete commitments were taken. Next year the CFS will develop terms of reference to do monitoring events at national, regional and global levels and it will gather lesson learned and assess progress on the application of the Guidelines on Tenure Governance with the full participation of the civil society.

The CFS also adopted important recommendations on water putting forward the human right to water as a core aspect of the realization of the right to adequate food and recognizing the multiple dimensions and uses of water. It affirms the role of regulation to safeguard public interests and recognizes the ecosystem functions of water. There is a clear prioritization of vulnerable and marginalized populations, with specific recommendations for protecting women and girls, as well as access to drinking water in the workplace. However it is unfortunate that there was no recognition of Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of indigenous communities and no mentioning of agroecology, although those elements have been agreed upon in several CFS documents earlier.

The CFS agreed on its program of work for the next two years which will also include a critical and very timely policy discussion next year on sustainable agriculture, including livestock.Next year we will need to keep building on this very positive 2015 outcome and continue to move toward a world where the right to adequate food is being realized. This will require a strong leadership from the new Chair, Vice-Chair and Bureau Members of the CFS. Furthermore, this will also require ensuring that the CFS has enough resources to deliver on its mandate and program of work as well as continuing building its strengths including, in particular, its inclusivity (notably of those most affected by hunger and small scale food producers), its participatory approach and its transparency.

This entry posted by Thierry Kesteloot, Oxfam Senior Policy Advisor, on 19 October 2015.

Photo: Chief Ezequiel João, Panambi-Lagoa Rica Indigenous Land, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. The community says the deforestation and pollution caused by industrial farms has led to the death of fish, animals and traditional medicinal plants - making it much harder for them to survive. Credit: Tatiana Cardeal

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