20 October 2009, Rome - Faced with rising world hunger and unacceptable poverty and in response to calls for greater coherence and coordination, members of the FAO Committee on World Food Security (CFS) have agreed on a wide-ranging reform, FAO announced today.
The reform aims to make CFS the foremost inclusive international and intergovernmental platform dealing with food security and nutrition and to be a central component in the evolving Global Partnership for Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition.
The CFS reforms are designed to focus the Committee's vision and role on the global coordination of efforts to eliminate hunger and ensure food security for all. This includes supporting national anti-hunger plans and initiatives; ensuring that all relevant voices are heard in the policy debate on food and agriculture; strengthening linkages at regional, national and local levels; and basing decisions on scientific evidence and state of the art knowledge.
The new CFS will be inclusive. In addition to member countries, participation in the Committee will be made up of a wider range of organizations working with food security and nutrition from UN agencies like the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Secretary-General's High-Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis and other UN bodies.
The CFS will also include civil society and non-governmental organizations, particularly organisations representing smallholder family farmers, fisherfolk, herders, landless, urban poor, agricultural and food workers, women, youth, consumers and indigenous people.
Participation will also include international agricultural research institutions, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, regional development banks and the World Trade Organization. The Committee shall also be open to representatives of private sector associations and philanthropic foundations.
Advice from the experts
Another important part of the new Committee is that it will receive advice from a high level panel of experts on the subject of food security and nutrition. This will ensure that effective solutions to ending hunger are based on scientific and knowledge-based analysis.
The Committee will provide a platform for discussion and coordination. It will promote greater policy convergence including through the development of international strategies and voluntary guidelines on food security and nutrition based on best practices and lessons learned from countries who have managed to make progress in reducing hunger. The CFS will help countries and regions to address how hunger and malnutrition can be reduced more quickly and effectively.
"The CFS reform shows that the international community is committed to pay more attention to the elimination of hunger and poverty," said Hafez Ghanem, Assistant Director-General of FAO. "Creating this important global platform means that we are building a better home for global food security including governments, international institutions, researchers civil society and the private sector."
The World Summit on Food Security, 16-18 November 2009, will focus the attention of leaders on making sure everyone in the world has enough food, including how to support the implementation of the reform of CFS.