|CL 123/10 |
Hundred and Twenty-third Session
Rome, 28 October - 2 November 2002
REPORT OF THE 28TH SESSION OF THE
IN REVIEWING THIS REPORT, THE COUNCIL MAY WISH TO GIVE PARTICULAR CONSIDERATION TO THE RECOMMENDATIONS CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPHS 11, 27 AND 32-34.
1. The Committee on World Food Security held its Twenty-eighth Session from 6 to 9 June 2002 at FAO Headquarters in Rome. The session was attended by delegates from 118 out of 125 Members of the Committee, by observers from 1 other Member Nation of FAO, the Holy See, the Sovereign Order of Malta, by representatives from 7 United Nations Agencies and Programmes; and by observers from 2 intergovernmental and 20 international non-governmental organizations. The report contains the following annexes: Appendix A - Agenda of the session; Appendix B - Membership of the Committee; Appendix C - Countries and organizations represented at the session; Appendix D - List of documents; Appendix E - Opening Statement delivered by the Deputy Director-General. The full list of participants is available from the CFS Secretariat.
2. The Session was opened by Mr. Aidan O'Driscoll (Ireland) the outgoing Chairman of the Committee, who suggested that the Committee concentrate on practical issues of relevance to food security such as was done through the choice of the subjects and topics for the thematic issue and Informal Panel at the last Session. He expressed his gratitude to all the members of the Bureau and to the Secretariat for their work and support.
3. The Committee elected, by acclamation, Mr. Adisak Sreesunpagit (Thailand) as Chairperson and 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 for the 2002-2003 biennium.
4. Mr. D.A. Harcharik, Deputy Director-General, delivered the opening statement on behalf of the Director-General. The Deputy Director-General expressed appreciation to Mr. O'Driscoll for his outstanding work and leadership and commended him for his role, as the Chairman of the Open-ended Working Group, for his hard work and contributions in preparing the draft resolution for the World Food Summit: five years later.
5. The Committee appointed a Drafting Committee composed of the delegations of Belgium, Brazil, Republic of Congo, Cyprus, Japan, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Slovenia, Spain, Thailand and Venezuela under the Chairmanship of Mr Blair Hankey (Canada).
6. The document CFS: 2002/2 provided an assessment of the world food security situation. It highlighted the disappointingly slow rate of decline in the prevalence and numbers of undernourished, especially in the African region.
7. The multifaceted nature of food insecurity was emphasised requiring broad policy approaches to address the root causes of food security. Further analyses of the causes of food insecurity were stressed in order to improve policy prescriptions to reduce hunger and poverty. The importance of measures to enhance food safety throughout the food chain was underlined and the need for science based risk analysis and standard setting were emphasized.
8. Special attention was drawn to the precarious food security situation in Southern Africa. Appeals were made for international assistance to avert famine in the sub-region.
9. A twin-track strategy for reducing and eventually eliminating food insecurity and malnutrition as presented in paragraphs 57 to 67 of document CFS: 2002/2 was welcomed by the Committee.
10. The New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) is a programme elaborated by African countries. Within its framework, these countries can work together with developed countries and specialised international institutions towards the implementation of its agricultural component aiming to promote food security in Africa.
11. The Committee made the following recommendations:
For all concerned parties:
12. The Committee reviewed the progress in the implementation of "development-centred" Objectives (i.e. Commitments III, IV, VI and relevant parts of Commitment VII) of the WFS Plan of Action on the basis of document CFS: 2002/3. It commended the Secretariat for the quality of the document. However it regretted that only less than one third of FAO member countries reported in time.
13. The report could have been more informative and relevant if all national reports had been more quantitative and analytical and included the activities of civil society. In the future the national reports should specially provide information on the relative priority of agriculture and food security programmes in national budgets and the impact of those programmes on hunger reduction.
14. Several delegates provided additional information on the measures their countries had taken to implement the WFS Plan of Action and to reduce poverty and the number of the undernourished. They reiterated their respective country's commitment to the WFS Plan of Action.
15. Although women are the main contributors to food production in developing countries, they are often excluded from decision making and access to resources. Gender inequality is one of the main obstacles to food security, and measures to overcome it need to be reflected better in future reports.
16. Factors determining success in reducing food insecurity were identified. They include: political and economic stability, good governance, the rule of law, broad based participation, an appropriate policy environment and adequate institutions; priority for agriculture and sustainable rural development in the national economic development strategy; importance of national food production; effective research, extension, marketing and credit services to support small farmers; decentralization of decision-making and greater private sector and NGO and CSO involvement in service provision; development of appropriate water management; effective land use planning and use of soil and climate; improvement of infrastructure and communication links.
17. Conservation of and access to plant genetic resources are crucial for sustainable agriculture and the livelihood of rural communities as well as for food security of nations as a whole. The adoption of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture in November 2001 was a positive step towards this end.
18. Wars and conflicts, the spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and recurring incidence of natural disasters, including the outbreak of animal and plant diseases, not only worsen food insecurity and cause considerable human suffering over the short-term but also disrupt long -term development efforts to eradicate poverty, often leading to setbacks in the food security status and overall standard of living of communities.
19. The Reykjavik Conference on Responsible Fisheries in the Maritime Ecosystems, organized jointly by FAO and Iceland, was important in enhancing the contribution of fishery to food security.
20. Several delegates stressed that successful progress towards the WFS goal to reduce poverty and hunger depends not only on sound domestic policies and action programmes but also on an open and fair international trading system. In this connection they stressed that food, agricultural trade and overall trade policies still needed to be made more coherent and conducive to fostering food security.
21. The hope was expressed that the ongoing trade negotiations would provide more opportunities for all countries to benefit from a fair, open, rules-based and market-oriented world trade system and to this end a call was made for an ambitious outcome from the negotiations made under the Doha Development Agenda.
22. Many Members commended FAO and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for having worked closely in line with commitment 7.4 of the WFS Plan of Action regarding the right to adequate food. Several delegates stated that the next step should be to develop an international code of conduct on the right to adequate food, which would be an instrument to help countries fulfil their obligations in the context of achieving the WFS goals. Other countries stated that they did not support developing an international code of conduct because, among other reasons, it was unlikely to significantly contribute to food security.
23. Several delegates welcomed the idea of a global coalition against hunger. They stressed that meaningful progress towards meeting the WFS target requires that all development partners redouble their efforts and work together in an alliance against hunger based on sound principles.
24. Several delegates expressed concern that the limited capacity of their countries to raise financial resources was aggravated by debt burden and by the downward trend in ODA to agriculture. The need for reversing the decline of ODA is in line with the Monterrey consensus. In this connection, some delegates underlined that international aid is only part of the solution to hunger. They stressed that a better policy environment is the first and most important element to unlock the potential of private investment and to allow aid to achieve results.
25. Some delegates pointed out that there is an emergent need to monitor developments in the field of bio-technology. They stressed the need to strengthen national capacities to conduct risk management on GM products and to assess environmental bio-safety of GMOs. Some delegates emphasized the importance of agricultural research and technology, including bio-technology, for improving food security by enhancing agricultural productivity and sustainable use of natural resources.
26. Several delegates stressed the important linkages between climate change and food security. In this connection one delegation referred to a study on food security and climate change undertaken by the International Institute for Systems Application Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria. The impact of climate change is more visible on marginal lands.
27. The Committee made the following recommendations to be pursued by FAO:
28. A Credentials Committee comprised of Cameroon, El Salvador, Indonesia, Jordan, Malta, New Zealand and the United States of America as Members was established by the Committee so that it could commence its work immediately and report at the appropriate time to the WFS:fyl.
29. The Open-ended Working Group was reconvened on behalf of the Council and immediately commenced its work on the Draft Resolution for the World Food Summit: five years later. It submitted its final text (WFS: fyl 2002/3: Draft Declaration of the World Food Summit: five years later) to the Committee which recommended its adoption by the Summit. Should any delegation have reservations on aspects of the document or wish to make interpretative statements, these should be sent in writing to the Secretariat of the Summit and would be recorded in the Report of the Summit.
30. The Committee also recommended that the Document (WFS: fyl 2002/2 : Draft Rules of Procedure of the World Food Summit : five years later) be adopted by the WFS: fyl in so far as the same Rules of Procedure were applied at the 1996 Summit.
31. The Committee took note of the Summary Report on Results of the First Monitoring Cycle for monitoring progress in the implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action. This consisted of relevant extracts compiled by the Secretariat from the Committee's Reports since 1996, and would be forwarded to the WFS: fyl for information.
32. It was recalled that the Council, at its one hundred and twentieth Session (November 2001), endorsed the Committee's proposal that the topic for the next thematic debate be "The impact of disasters on long-term food security and poverty alleviation - policy implications" and that the topic for the next informal panel be "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". As discussion on the thematic issue and the informal panel could not be accommodated within the abbreviated Session this year, the Committee decided to take them up at the Twenty-ninth Session of the Committee in 2003.
33. "The role of aquaculture in improving food security at the community level - a review of sustainable cases" was selected as the Standing Item on Nutrition at the Twenty-Ninth Session in 2003 based on the recommendation of the Committee at its Twenty-Seventh Session.
34. The Committee agreed to hold its Twenty-ninth Session at FAO Headquarters in Rome at a time to be determined by the Director-General in consultation with the Chairman.
35. Several delegates referred to the document CFS: 2002/Inf.6 - "The LIFDC Classification: An Exploration", and expressed satisfaction with its contents.
|(a) Election of Chairperson and Vice-Chairpersons|
(b) Adoption of Agenda and Timetable
(c) Statement by the Director-General or his Representative
(d) Membership of the Committee
|II.||ASSESSMENT OF THE WORLD FOOD SITUATION|
|III.||FOLLOW-UP TO THE WORLD FOOD SUMMIT: REPORT ON THE PROGRESS IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF COMMITMENTS III, IV, VI AND RELEVANT PARTS OF COMMITMENT VII OF THE PLAN OF ACTION|
|IV.||WORLD FOOD SUMMIT: FIVE YEARS LATER|
|(a) Report of the Open-ended Working Group established by the Council at its 120th Session|
|(a) Arrangements for the Twenty-ninth Session|
(b) Any Other Business
(c) Report of the Session
|Botswana||Iran, Islamic Republic of||Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of|
|Cape Verde||Kenya||South Africa|
|Chile||Korea, Republic of||Spain|
|Congo, Republic of the||Lesotho||Swaziland|
|Cuba||Malaysia||Tanzania, the United Republic of|
|Czech Republic||Malta||The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia|
|Democratic People's Republic of Korea||Mauritania||Togo|
|Egypt||Mozambique||United Arab Emirates|
|El Salvador||Myanmar||United Kingdom|
|Equatorial Guinea||Namibia||United States of America|
|European Community (EC)||Niger||Yemen|
SOVEREIGN ORDER OF MALTA
UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN'S FUND (UNICEF)
UNITED NATIONS ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR AFRICA (ECA)
UNITED NATIONS INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION (UNIDO)
UNITED NATIONS POPULATION FUND (UNFPA)
WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME (WFP)
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)
WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION (WMO)
COMMON FUND FOR COMMODITIES (CFS)
UNION ECONOMIQUE ET MONETAIRE OUEST AFRICAINE (UEMOA)
ASSOCIATED COUNTRY WOMEN OF THE WORLD (ACWW)
ACTION GROUP ON EROSION, TECHNOLOGY AND CONCENTRATION (ETC GROUP)
ARAB ORGANIZATION FOR AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT (AOAD)
FRIENDS OF THE EARTH INTERNATIONAL (FoEI)
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMISTS (IAAE)
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF LIONS CLUBS
INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF IRRIGATION AND DRAINAGE (ICID)
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATIVE ALLIANCE (ICA)
INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF WOMEN (ICW)
INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCERS (IFAP)
INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION FOR HOME ECONOMICS (IFHE)
INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF WOMEN IN LEGAL CAREERS (IFWLC)
INTERNATIONAL NGO - CSO PLANNING COMMITTEE (IPC)
NETWORK OF WEST AFRICAN FARMER ORGANIZATIONS AND AGRICULTURAL PRODUCERS (ROPPA)
SOCIETY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (SID)
WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE FOR PEACE AND FREEDOM (WILPF)
WORLD ASSOCIATION OF GIRL GUIDES AND GIRL SCOUTS (WAGGS)
WORLD FEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS (WFTU)
|Document No.||Title||Provisional Agenda Item No.|
|CFS:2002/1||Provisional Agenda and Agenda Notes||I|
|CFS:2002/2||Assessment of the World Food Security Situation||II|
|CFS:2002/3||Follow-up to the World Food Summit: Report on the Progress in the Implementation of Commitments III, IV, VI and relevant Parts of Commitment VII of the Plan of Action||III|
|CFS:2002/4||Extracts Related to the Follow-up to the World Food Summit from the Reports of the FAO Regional Conferences||III|
|CFS:2002/4-Sup.1||Extracts Related to the Follow-up to the World Food Summit from the Report of the Twenty-second FAO Regional Conference for Africa||III|
|CFS:2002/4-Sup.2||Extracts Related to the Follow-up to the World Food Summit from the Report of the Twenty-sixth FAO Regional Conference for the Near East||III|
|CFS:2002/4-Sup.3||Extracts Related to the Follow-up to the World Food Summit from the Report of the Twenty-seventh FAO Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean||III|
|CFS:2002/4-Sup.4||Extracts Related to the Follow-up to the World Food Summit from the Report of the Twenty-third FAO Regional Conference for Europe||III|
|CFS:2002/4-Sup.5||Extracts Related to the Follow-up to the World Food Summit from the Report of the Twenty-sixth FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific||III|
|CFS:2002/5||Arrangements for the World Food Summit: five years later||IV|
|CFS:2002/5-Sup.1||Draft Rules of Procedure||IV|
|CFS:2002/Inf.2-Rev.1||Provisional List of Documents|
|CFS:2002/Inf.3||List of Members of CFS|
|CFS:2002/Inf.4||Provisional List of Delegates|
|CFS:2002/Inf.5||Statement of Competence and Voting Rights submitted by the European Community (EC) and its Member States||I|
|CFS:2002/Inf.6||The LIFDC Classification: An Exploration||V|
|CFS:2002/Inf.7||Progress in the Implementation of the Right to Food||V|
|CFS:2002/Inf.8||Report on the Development of FIVIMS||II|
Distinguished Delegates and Observers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to the Twenty-eighth session of the Committee on World Food Security.
First, Mr Chairperson, congratulations on having been elected to guide the work of this Committee. Since its inception following the World Food Conference in 1974, this Committee has played a central role in the fight against hunger. I am sure that under your leadership, the Committee will continue to play its traditional role in the most effective manner.
I wish also to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing Chairperson, Mr Aidan O' Driscoll, and the members of his Bureau, for the work they have done during their term of office in the last biennium. Mr O' Driscoll has served as Chair not only of the Committee, but also of the Open-ended Working Group which began last year to prepare the draft outcome document for the World Food Summit: five years later.
You will recall that the Council, at its session last June, delegated to the CFS the responsibility to reconvene the Open-ended Working Group, and to receive the outcome document and forward it to the World Food Summit: five years later.
As everyone is aware, this session of the Committee is being held on the eve of the Summit; thus, one of the important items on your agenda is "Arrangements for the Summit: five years later." Under this agenda item you are invited:
I am confident that the Committee will perform these functions with its usual efficiency and despatch, thus laying the foundation for a successful Summit.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Much of the rest of the agenda of this CFS session reviews progress in the implementation of the 1996 Summit's Plan of Action. The Plan of Action provides us with a blueprint for attaining the Summit target of reducing the number of the undernourished by one half not later than the year 2015. In subscribing to this document, Heads of State and Governments or their designated representatives from 186 countries not only pledged their political will and common and national commitment, but also agreed on detailed programmes of action for tackling hunger and poverty.
The Plan of Action has played an important role in enhancing awareness of the problem of widespread hunger, especially in the developing countries. The UN General Assembly's Millennium Summit, the G-8 Summit which met in Genoa, Italy, in July last year, the UN General Assembly at its session in December last year, and, most recently, the International Conference on Financing for Development, held in Monterrey, Mexico, in March this year - have all reinforced the WFS Plan of Action and its objectives. All these conferences have stressed that the problems of poverty and food insecurity need to be solved through more concerted national and international actions.
We are all painfully aware that, despite the high level of awareness, despite the commitments made, and despite the actions taken at national and international levels, progress towards the main objective of reducing by half the number of the undernourished by 2015 remains disappointingly slow.
FAO's assessments, reported annually in the publication entitled The State of Food Insecurity in the World, show that the annual average decline in the number of the undernourished in the developing countries is far from sufficient to achieve the goal. The latest estimate implies an average annual decline of only six million. This means that, to achieve the Summit target, the number of undernourished would have to decrease, between now and 2015, by an average of 22 million per annum.
These aggregate figures, however, conceal widely differing performances at national level. Only 32 of the 99 developing countries covered in the assessment have made much progress in reducing the number of the undernourished. In these countries, the total number of undernourished declined by 116 million. However, in the majority of developing countries the number either showed no change or even increased, the total increase being 77 million people. The growth of the number of hungry was especially high in sub-Saharan Africa, where overall economic growth has also been slow. Document CFS 2002/3 lists a series of constraints that many countries reported as factors adversely affecting their endeavours to address poverty, food insecurity and under-development in general.
Tragically, the period since the World Food Summit in 1996 has witnessed an increase in the incidence of food emergencies. Many of these were associated with intensification of civil conflict and some even with war. Since the beginning of last year, 29 countries were affected by natural and/or man-made disasters. Commitment Three of the Plan of Action identifies actions that can be taken to prevent natural and man-made disasters, or mitigate their effects.
A key factor for success in tackling poverty and food insecurity is the existence of a favourable policy environment. This, in turn, depends on political stability, good governance, an enabling social and economic environment, and people's participation. It is increasingly recognized that, unless these conditions prevail, there will be little or no private sector interest, be it domestic or foreign, to invest in a country's development.
The problem of poverty and food insecurity in the developing countries also calls for a much more favourable the multi-lateral trading system and action programmes to implement internationally agreed commitments. While it is well recognized that the main responsibility of tackling poverty and food insecurity remains with the developing countries themselves, their efforts can only be fruitful if a favourable international climate is in place.
Finally, Mr Chairperson, I wish to stress that the goals of the World Food Summit cannot be met unless there are also concrete commitments to channel a much greater volume of resources to agriculture and rural development and more aggressive action at national and international levels. We are all familiar by now with the challenges facing us. But can we find the courage and the conviction to take the actions necessary to confront these challenges in a meaningful way? Your annual deliberations offer us an important occasion to keep the process moving forward in a focused and constructive manner. This year, they will be particularly meaningful, as the Committee's work will be setting the stage for the renewal of commitment that is the objective of next week's high-level event.
I wish you a successful meeting and look forward to seeing the conclusions of your debate.