Hundred and Twenty-fourth Session
Rome, 23 – 28 June 2003
REPORT OF THE 29th SESSION OF THE
MATTERS REQUIRING ATTENTION BY THE COUNCIL
IV. REPORT ON THE FIRST SESSION OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL WORKING GROUP (IGWG) FOR THE ELABORATION OF A SET OF VOLUNTARY GUIDELINES TO SUPPORT THE PROGRESSIVE REALIZATION OF THE RIGHT TO ADEQUATE FOOD IN THE CONTEXT OF NATIONAL FOOD SECURITY (IGWG-RTFGs)
1. The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) held its Twenty-ninth Session from 12 to 16 May 2003 at FAO Headquarters in Rome. The session was attended by delegates from 111 out of 122 Members of the Committee, by observers from 2 other Member Nations of FAO, by one observer from United Nations Member States, the Holy See, by representatives from 5 United Nations Agencies and Programmes; and by observers from 5 intergovernmental and 27 international non-governmental organizations. The report contains the following annexes: Appendix A – Agenda; Appendix B - Membership of the Committee; Appendix C - Countries and organizations represented at the Session; Appendix D - List of documents. The full list of participants is available from the CFS Secretariat.
2. The Session was opened by Mr Adisak Sreesunpagit (Thailand), Chairperson of the Committee, who highlighted the close working relations between the CFS Bureau and the Secretariat. He reminded the Committee that, for the 2002-2003 biennium the Bureau consists of himself as Chairperson, Mr Nehad Abdel Latif (Egypt), Mr Michel Thibier (France), Mr Kyeong Kyu Kim (Republic of Korea), and Mr Masiphula Mbongwa (South Africa) as Vice-chairpersons. He expressed his appreciation for the efforts of the Secretariat in strengthening the workings of the CFS through the initiation of the FAO Distinguished Lecture Series as well as through various other side events.
3. On behalf of His Excellency, Mr Hipólito Mejía, President of the Dominican Republic, Mr Eligio Jaquez Cruz, Secretary of State for Agriculture of the Dominican Republic delivered the statement on food security matters (available on the internet at www.fao.org/es/ESA/fsecur_cfs_en.htm)1.
4. This was followed by a statement by Mr Jacques Diouf, Director-General of FAO. The Director-General reminded the Committee that the World Food Summit (WFS) Plan of Action provided a roadmap for reducing and eventually eradicating hunger in the world. Though the problems impeding the achievement of the WFS objective may seem daunting, they could still be overcome. Political commitment was most needed especially at national level, to give the problem the priority it deserves.
5. The Committee appointed a Drafting Committee composed of the delegations of Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Brazil, China, Denmark, Guatemala, India, New Zealand, Romania, Slovakia, Syria and United States of America, under the Chairmanship of Greece.
6. The first FAO Distinguished Lecture on Food Security was delivered by Mr Michel Camdessus, former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and presently Honorary Governor of the Bank of France. While highlighting the critical issues related to food security, he underscored the crucial need to provide safe water and sanitation to millions in developing regions. The Committee welcomed the introduction of the lecture series and expressed its appreciation to the distinguished lecturer.
7. The Committee welcomed the assessment of the world food security situation provided in document CFS:2003/3. It expressed concern about the insufficient progress in the reduction of the number of hungry persons and the grave food insecurity situation particularly in Africa. The Committee reaffirmed that strategies aimed at poverty and hunger reduction have to be considered in the broader context of development. The Committee drew attention to the serious food insecurity situation in the Near East Region. It also expressed its appreciation for the briefing by the Secretariat on its on-going and planned activities in Iraq and the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and requested that such information be regularly provided in the future.
8. Several members referred to the recent launch by FAO and World Health Organization (WHO) of a joint WHO/FAO Expert Report on “Diet, Nutrition and Prevention of Chronic Disease” and welcomed the announcement by the FAO Director-General that the Report, together with the Secretariat’s proposed follow-up, would be reviewed by a special session of the Committee on Agriculture (COAG) as soon as possible. It was also requested that the discussion of this report be included on the agenda of the subsequent session of the FAO Council.
9. The Committee made the following recommendations:
With regard to the assessment of the food security situation
With regard to agricultural trade matters
With regard to food safety and food standards
For all concerned parties
10. The Chair of the IGWG-RTFGs introduced the Report of its First Session held 24 -26 March 2003 at FAO headquarters (CFS 2003/4). He recalled that the IGWG-RTFGs had been established as a subsidiary body of the CFS by the 123rd Session of Council, and that it would report to the CFS at its regular Sessions in May 2003 and September 2004.
11. The Chair highlighted the main outcomes of the First Session of the IGWG-RTFGs, in which Members and stakeholders had participated actively. He informed the Committee that the Bureau had proposed intersessional activities which would support the preparation of the Guidelines. The first draft of the Guidelines would be available by August 2003 for Members and stakeholders to examine before the Second Session of the IGWG-RTFGs in September 2003.
12. The Chair acknowledged Germany and Norway’s extra-budgetary funding in support of the work of the IGWG-RTFGs, and appealed for additional funding for intersessional activities including broad and active participation of Members and stakeholders.
13. Members made a number of suggestions for the preparation of the first draft of the Guidelines. They recalled that, as stated in the Declaration of the World Food Summit five years later (WFS:fyl), the Guidelines would be voluntary in nature and placed within the context of national food security strategies. They also emphasized that the Guidelines should be of practical and operational use. Some Members mentioned that those elements pertaining to the international dimensions of the right to food be considered in as much as they affect national food security.
14. The Committee took note of the report of the IGWG-RTFGs and commended the work of the Bureau.
15. The first such initiative was the preparation of a paper entitled “Anti-Hunger Programme,” (AHP) (CFS: 2003/5 Sup.1). The first draft was discussed at a side event during the WFS: fyl in 2002 and a second draft was presented at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg. The AHP paper by the Secretariat proposes, inter alia, a twin-track approach that combines (i) resource mobilization for agricultural and rural development to create opportunities for the poor and hungry to improve their livelihoods, with (ii) measures to meet the immediate food and nutrition needs of the seriously undernourished. The Secretariat had presented the paper in order to call attention to the urgency of and to facilitate the implementation of the Plan of Action of the World Food Summit. It was also presented as a contribution in support of the internationally agreed development goals contained in the Millennium Declaration.
16. The second initiative was the International Alliance Against Hunger (IAAH)
(CFS: 2003/5 Sup. 2), issued in line with the Declaration of the WFS: fyl, which called upon “all parties (governments, international organizations, civil society organizations and the private sector) to reinforce their efforts so as to act as international alliance against hunger to achieve the WFS targets no later than 2015.”
17. The objective of Agenda Item V was subject to the proposals for review by the Committee.
18. The substantive contents of the AHP were widely supported. Especially, the twin-track approach found widespread acceptance as a sound conceptual basis for policies on hunger reduction. On the relationship of the AHP with the WFS 1996 Plan of Action, it was emphasised that the starting point for the AHP is the WFS Plan of Action. The AHP should be seen as an attempt to operationalize it. Suggestions for changes before finalization by the time of the next FAO Conference in 2003 included, inter alia:
19. Support was also widespread for the IAAH. Several delegates expressed the view that the Alliance should be closely linked to the CFS. It was agreed that the CFS could serve as a reporting forum for the IAAH. It was stressed that the IAAH should take into consideration good examples of national alliances and should give energy and leadership to those alliances that already exist. Hence the IAAH and national alliances should be promoted together.
20. The Committee noted the potential of aquaculture for making a significant contribution to food security and nutrition by increasing the availability of low-cost fish and aquatic products, securing livelihoods, raising employment opportunities and incomes, and increasing fish consumption, as stated in document CFS:2003/6. The Committee provided guidance on ways by which the sub-sector can assist in accelerating the pace by which the goals set at the WFS for reducing hunger and malnutrition, and similarly the related Millennium Development Goals, may be achieved. This includes giving more focus to community-centred participatory approaches that facilitate the more equitable access of poor fisherfolk to the resources and opportunities aquaculture presents for achieving these goals.
21. The Committee made the following recommendations:
For all concerned parties
22. The Committee considered the document CFS: 2003/7 and observed that disasters have been increasing in frequency as well as in terms of the number of affected people and the magnitude of material losses. Natural disasters affect all countries and all people but their consequences tend to be more severe in developing countries, particularly small-island states. Moreover, they affect the poor most since they are most vulnerable and have minimal capacity to cope. The Committee noted that FAO has established a Rapid Response Fund of US $ 2 million.
23. The Committee made the following recommendations:
For all concerned parties
24. There was general support for “Best Practices in Reducing Poverty and Food Insecurity in Marginal Lands - Lessons from Successful Experiences in Sustainable Agricultural Practices and Economic Policies in Selected Countries,” as the thematic issue for consideration at its Thirtieth Session. This theme was selected with the understanding that the term “marginal lands” would be interpreted to include a wide range of disadvantaged lands. The Secretariat was requested to include an assessment of the costs of hunger in the overall Assessment of the World Food Security Situation for the next Session of the Committee.
25. The Committee agreed to hold its Thirtieth Session at FAO Headquarters in Rome at a time to be determined by the Director-General in consultation with the Chair.
26. The Committee expressed its appreciation for the five side events that had been organized in conjunction with the Session. The side events were: The Impact of HIV/AIDS on Food and Nutrition Security in Southern Africa; An Update on Hunger Hot Spots; US Food and Nutrition Programmes - A Statement of Commitment; Brazil’s Zero Hunger Programme (Fome Zero); and the Informal Panel Discussion on “The Impact of Access to Land on Improving Food Security and Alleviating Rural Poverty – A Review of Successful cases of Land Reform in Selected Countries.”
27. The Committee approved the document CFS:2003/LIM/1- Implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action: Report of the Committee on World Food Security through the FAO Council to ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council of the United Nations) which is presented as Council document CL 124/LIM/2 .
28. Some members informed the Committee of their intention to request the Council to discuss the reporting format on World Food Summit Follow-Up with the objective of putting into place a more meaningful system of reporting. The Committee decided to include this topic on the Agenda for its next session.
I. ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS
a. Adoption of Agenda and Timetable
b. Statement by the Director-General or his Representative
c. Membership of the Committee
II. FAO DISTINGUISHED LECTURE ON FOOD SECURITY
III. ASSESSMENT OF THE WORLD FOOD SECURITY SITUATION
IV. REPORT ON THE FIRST SESSION OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL WORKING GROUP (IGWG) FOR THE ELABORATION OF A SET OF VOLUNTARY GUIDELINES TO SUPPORT THE PROGRESSIVE REALIZATION OF THE RIGHT TO ADEQUATE FOOD IN THE CONTEXT OF NATIONAL FOOD SECURITY
V. RECENT FAO INITIATIVES IN THE FIGHT AGAINST HUNGER
a. Anti-Hunger Programme
b. International Alliance Against Hunger (IAAH)
VI. STANDING ITEM ON NUTRITION:
THE ROLE OF AQUACULTURE IN IMPROVING FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION AT THE COMMUNITY LEVEL - A REVIEW OF SUSTAINABLE CASES
VII. THEMATIC ISSUE: THE IMPACT OF DISASTERS ON LONG-TERM FOOD SECURITY AND POVERTY ALLEVIATION - POLICY IMPLICATIONS
VIII. OTHER MATTERS
a. Arrangements for the Thirtieth Session
b. Any Other Business
c. Report of the Session
Congo, Rep. of the
Congo, Dem. Rep. of the
Republic of Korea
Iran, Islamic Rep. of
Korea, Republic of
Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of
The Former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia
United States of America
UNITED NATIONS AND SPECIALIZED AGENCIES
INTERNATIONAL FUND FOR AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
UNITED NATIONS DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS
UNITED NATIONS INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION
UNITED NATIONS OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME
OBSERVERS FROM INTERGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
ARAB ORGANIZATION FOR AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
CONSULTATIVE GROUP ON INTERNATIONAL AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH
INTER-AMERICAN INSTITUTE FOR AGRICULTURAL COOPERATION
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION
OBESERVERS FROM NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
ASSOCIATED COUNTRY WOMEN OF THE WORLD
ASSOCIATION OF WORLD CHURCHES RELATED DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION IN EUROPE
FÉDÉRATION DES FEMMES DES CARRIÈRES JURIDIQUES
INTERMEDIATE TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT GROUP
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION IUS PRIMI VIRI
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF AGRICULTURAL STUDENTS
INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION ON IRRIGATION AND DRAINAGE
INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATIVE ALLIANCE
INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF WOMEN
INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION FOR HOME ECONOMICS
INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCERS
INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF ORGANIC AGRICULTURE MOVEMENTS
INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT SOCIETIES
INTERNATIONAL JURIDICAL ORGANIZATION FOR ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
INTERNATIONAL NGO/CSO PLANNING COMMITTEE FOR
WORLD FOOD SUMMIT: FYL
SOCIETY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
WOMEN’S INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE FOR PEACE AND FREEDOM
WORLD ASSOCIATION OF GIRL GUIDES AND GIRL SCOUTS
WORLD FEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS
WORLD SUGAR ORGANIZATION
WORLD UNION OF CATHOLIC WOMEN’S ORGANIZATION
Provisional Agenda and Agenda Notes
Document not yet available
Assessment of the World Food Security Situation
Report on the First Session of the IGWG for the Elaboration of a Set of Voluntary Guidelines to Support the Progressive Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security
Recent FAO Initiatives in the Fight Against Hunger
Anti Hunger Programme
International Alliance Against Hunger (IAAH)
Standing Item on Nutrition: “The Role of Aquaculture in improving food security and nutrition at the community level – a review of sustainable cases”
Thematic Issue: “The Impact of Disasters on Long-term Food Security and Poverty Alleviation – Policy Implications”
Proposals for Thematic Issue to be Considered at the Thirtieth Session of the Committee on World Food Security
List of Documents
List of Members of CFS
List of Delegates and Observers
European Economic Community – Declaration of Competence
An Update on Hunger Hot Spots
Report on the Development of FIVIMS
Food Security and HIV/AIDS: An Update
FAO’s Strategy for a Food Chain Approach to Food Safety and Quality: A Framework Document for the Development of Future Strategic Direction
Information Note on the Cost of the WFS: fyl
Information Note on the Status of FIVIMS at Country Level
Impact of Climate Change on Food Security and Implications for Sustainable Food Production
Statement of the Director-General
Implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action: Report of the Committee on World Food Security through the FAO Council to ECOSOC
COAG’s Deliberations on FAO’s Strategy Towards a Food Chain Approach to Food Safety and Quality
1 Original version in Spanish.