September 1997

C 97/7

FAO

CONFERENCE

Twenty-ninth Session

Rome, 7-18 November 1997

The World Food Summit and its Follow-up

Table of Contents

Paragraphs

Intergovernmental monitoring of implementation ofthe World Food Summit Plan of Action 2-3

Developments in other UN fora 4-8

Cooperation with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights 9-12

Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping Systems (FIVIMS) 13-14

Issues for the future 15-19

ANNEX:

Report of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) on the World Food Summit and its Follow-up, submitted through the FAO Council


1. The Conference, in operative paragraph 4 of Resolution 2/95, requested the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) to "report through the Council to the Twenty-ninth Session of the Conference in 1997, on all aspects of the World Food Summit and its follow-up." The present document contains in Annex the report prepared by the CFS, at its 23rd Session in April, 1997, in response to this request , and the views expressed by the Council, at its Hundred and Twelfth Session in June, 1997, in endorsing the report for transmission to the Conference. To facilitate the Conference’s consideration of this item of its agenda, developments since the CFS and Council sessions, in the areas on which the two bodies concentrated their attention, are reported below, following which some issues are raised for possible discussion and decision by the Conference:

Intergovernmental monitoring of implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action

2. Institutional arrangements to be made for monitoring and reporting on implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action were considered in depth by the CFS; its deliberations and decisions, as reflected in its report, were endorsed by the Council. In line with these decisions the Director-General has called, by Note Verbale on 4 July 1997, for national reports on implementation of the Plan of Action through the end of 1997. The framework for the reports follows CFS directives, being based on the structure of the Plan of Action. It was emphasized that the information to be provided should include some analysis of how national policies and actions are geared towards, and effective in, achieving the objective of reducing the number of undernourished. As the Plan of Action embraces a broad spectrum of areas, involving many government institutions as well as non-governmental and private actors, it is expected that the national reports prepared by governments will cover the contributions of all relevant partners at the national level.

3. Reports are to reach the Secretariat by 31 January 1998, so that a document can be prepared for the CFS at its Twenty-fourth Session in Spring, 1998. The first report will be of critical value, both in setting the baseline situation and the orientations that Governments intend to pursue, and in contributing to the monitoring process for the years ahead. On the basis of the first year’s results, the CFS at its 1998 session will consider a standard reporting format for successive periods. The conclusions of the CFS will be reported to the Council at its Hundred and Fifteenth Session in the autumn of 1998. They could then be provided both to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 1999, in accordance with Commitment Seven of the Plan of Action, and if the Conference so desires, to the FAO Conference at its Thirtieth Session.

Developments in other UN fora

4. The CFS and the Council were informed of the decision by the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) to launch inter-agency follow-up through the establishment of the ACC Network on Rural Development and Food Security, as proposed jointly by FAO and IFAD. Following the ACC decision, in agreement with the President of IFAD and to be implemented in close cooperation with WFP. The Director-General wrote to the Secretary-General of the UN and to the Executive Heads of all ACC organizations to invite their participation in the Network and to request them to identify their specific areas of interest and action. To promote establishment of thematic groups on rural development and food security at the country level, within the framework of the Resident Coordinator system, he asked the Secretary-General to inform all UN Resident Coordinators of the ACC’s plans and to seek their cooperation in facilitating implementation. Subsequently, the Director-General has written to all FAO Representatives, and to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representatives who represent FAO in countries where there is no FAOR, to ensure that all efforts are deployed to facilitate the coherent support of the UN system to national development efforts in the food and agriculture sector, and to implementing the WFS Plan of Action.

5. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), in Resolution 51/171 on Food and Sustainable Agricultural Development, adopted on 16 December 1996, had welcomed the outcome of the World Food Summit, urged all members of the international community to cooperate actively in the implementation of the WFS Plan of Action, and reiterated its invitation to the Director-General to submit to the General Assembly, at its fifty-second session, through the ECOSOC, a report on the outcome of the Summit, including actions to be taken to follow up the outcome at all appropriate levels.

6. In response to this request, the Director-General has submitted a report (contained in UN document A/52/132, E/1997/57 dated 5 May 1997), which was discussed by ECOSOC at its substantive session of 1997 and will be considered by the UNGA in the autumn of 1997. In this report, as in the earlier paper presented to the ACC, he has drawn attention to the responsibility assigned in the Plan of Action to ACC for inter-agency coordination and to the role of ECOSOC both in monitoring such coordination and in receiving regular reports on implementation of the Summit Plan of Action through the CFS via the FAO Council. He has also informed ECOSOC and the UNGA of the decisions taken by the CFS and the Council to begin the process of intergovernmental monitoring of implementation of the Plan of Action.

7. Following its consideration of the report, and its discussion of progress in implementation of the outcomes of other major conferences and summits, ECOSOC welcomed ACC’s decision to include the follow-up to the World Food Summit (and the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, HABITAT II) within the context of the integrated and coordinated follow-up process. It further requested ACC to give highest priority to the process, and to ensuring effective inter-agency support to the work of intergovernmental bodies dealing with conference follow-up, and called upon all organizations of the United Nations system to further integrate the results of the conferences in their programmes of work.

8. With these decisions, the machinery has been set in motion to ensure early and sustained support from both inter-agency and inter-governmental bodies to national efforts to implement the Plan of Action. The arrangements agreed stress cooperation and coordination, with a focus on action at the country level, and are rooted in recognition by all those involved of the need to achieve and maintain a streamlined reporting process, avoiding duplication of effort and promoting efficiency and cost-effective use of human and financial resources, while ensuring provision of the necessary information to the various fora charged with monitoring the actions of governments, their partners in civil society and those of international institutions. The arrangements are fully in line with the provisions of Commitment Seven of the Plan of Action, and in particular of Objectives 7.2 and 7.3. The ACC Network will provide a logical vehicle for channelling of reports on action by UN system organizations, separately and collectively, to support implementation of the Plan of Action. This information, along with that supplied by other relevant international institutions, will complement the reports provided by governments for the CFS monitoring process.

Cooperation with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

9. A Memorandum of Understanding, the preparation of which was reported to the CFS at its 23rd session, was formally concluded between the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Director-General on 29 May 1997. This provides for a framework of cooperation between the two offices on issues related to the right to food as contained in Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, in line with Objective 7.4 of the Plan of Action.

10. Following the report made in May by the FAO Secretariat to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the treaty body responsible for the monitoring of State Parties’ implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, on the outcome of the Summit, the Committee decided to devote an entire day, 1 December, of its next session to a general debate on Article 11 of the Covenant, as a first step to adopting a general Conclusion on the matter. The debate will focus primarily on the better definition of the right to food. Participation in the general debate and the seminar is being sought of all relevant treaty bodies, intergovernmental organizations, in particular FAO, and nongovernmental organizations.

11. The Committee’s general debate will form an integral part of the High Commissioner’s efforts to fulfill the mandate given to her by the Summit, as endorsed by the Commission on Human Rights in resolution 1997/8. Directly following the debate, her Office is planning to convene a high level expert seminar on the right to food, which will focus on implementation of this right at the national and international levels, including cooperation within the UN system.

12. FAO is making initial preparations to be able to offer technical assistance in the implementation of the right to food in the national legislation of Member Nations that so request, in consultation the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping Systems (FIVIMS)

13. Several concrete steps have been taken to implement the workplan for the development of the Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping System (FIVIMS) called for by Commitments Two and Seven of the Plan of Action. The workplan, prepared by the technical consultation in March, 1997, was approved by the CFS at its 23rd session and endorsed by the Council. The steps concern in particular the short term actions covered in the workplan and include:

  1. the constitution of the Inter-Agency Working Group on FIVIMS with members representing major UN agencies, organizations and national institutions involved in FIVIMS. The first meeting of this Working Group is planned to take place at the end of November 1997 and will address in particular the selection of indicators of food insecurity/vulnerability at national and international levels, the computerised system to be used for the compilation and analysis of of multi-sectoral data, the information system for mapping, posting and disseminating information accessible to all users, and the form(s) to be given to the final product(s);
  2. the designation of country focal points for FIVIMS-related activities. Requests have been made to member countries to designate such national focal points taking into account already existing focal points or coordinating mechanisms such as those established for the follow-up to the International Conference on Nutrition, the World Food Summit and other related events;
  3. the preparation of the first draft of the "Guidelines for the establishment of FIVIMS at the national level". This draft, after preparation within FAO and review by major collaborating agencies as well as by individual experts, is expected to be ready for submission to the CFS at its 24th Session in 1998;
  4. the preparation of case studies on the experience of a selected number of countries in the development of national FIVIMS. Three to four countries have been identified for coverage, and the preparation of the case studies initiated. These will be available at the 1998 session of the CFS.

14. Consultations were held with the World Bank and other members of the ACC Sub-Committee on Nutrition to integrate within FIVIMS the Bank initiative to create an Africa Nutrition Data Base. With extra-budgetary support from the Japanese government, a regional project aiming at developing a food insecurity and vulnerability information base and maps for Asia is expected to become operational in January 1998. This project will be fully integrated in the overall FIVIMS effort.

Issues for the future

15. The information above does not purport to be exhaustive, nor to present a complete picture of the work underway to support implementation of the decisions taken by the World Food Summit. Particularly as regards FAO, the commitments made by the Summit continue to influence substantive priorities and programmes, as already evidenced by the Director-General’s proposals for the Programme of Work and Budget for 1998-99, and by progress in implementation of the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS) as well as in other field activities. The Summit documents, and the series of technical background papers, have constituted a major output for information/documentation dissemination efforts, using both traditional and electronic means. The cooperation established with partner organizations (intergovernmental and non-governmental) during the preparations for the Summit continues on its follow-up, and implementation of the Plan of Action also serves as a major focus for FAO’s advocacy work through public information programmes, World Food Day and Telefood.

16. Servicing and supporting intergovernmental discussions constitutes an important contribution by the Organization. In addition to the CFS and Council debates, aspects of Summit follow-up have been discussed in 1997 by all of FAO’s technical committees, and may be expected to be the subject of further debate in those bodies during the coming biennium. Regional committees and commissions have also addressed aspects of follow-up falling within their mandates, and in the 1998 cycle of Regional Conferences, a special item on the Summit will enable the Conferences to address, inter alia, the regional and sub-regional dimensions of implementation of the Plan of Action.

17. In these various fora, some countries have also reported on initial steps taken to translate the Summit commitments into action at the national level. A major effort will be required, however, on the part of governments to provide the reports required by the CFS in 1998 and the years beyond, and on the part of the Secretariat to analyze and synthesize the information received. This highlights the need for minimizing the burden of reporting to the extent possible. At the UN system level, an effort is already underway to streamline reporting requirements arising from major UN conferences and summits, and the decisions taken by ECOSOC, reported above, aim to further rationalize the process for the central intergovernmental organs of the UN. A similar streamlining within the FAO context would appear opportune.

18. Commitment Seven already calls for integration of Summit follow-up actions with existing national plans of action on nutrition, developed as a follow-up to the International Conference on Nutrition (ICN) (Objective 7.1). As the last official reporting obligation established by the ICN was met in 1995, monitoring of further progress in implementation of ICN commitments will naturally occur henceforth as part of the CFS process. With regard to the follow-up to the 1979 World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (WCARRD), decisions by the Conference at its Twentieth and Twenty-first Sessions have resulted in four-yearly cycles of progress reporting to both the Conference and ECOSOC, the next of which would be expected in 1999-2000. Considering the scope of the World Food Summit Plan of Action and its coverage of the goals and issues in the WCARRD Programme of Action, it is suggested that separate reporting on WCARRD follow-up could now be discontinued, and progress covered as an integral part of reporting on Summit follow-up.

19. In completing its own consideration of all aspects of the World Food Summit and its outcome, the Conference may therefore wish in particular to:

  1. urge all countries which participated in the World Food Summit to submit their reports on the first year of implementation of the Plan of Action by 31 January 1998, and subsequent reports in an equally timely fashion, to enable the CFS to fulfill the monitoring role assigned to it by the Summit;
  2. decide that reporting on progress in follow-up to WCARRD should henceforth be incorporated into the monitoring of implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action, and recommend that ECOSOC adopt the same approach;
  3. call on other organizations, in particular those of the United Nations system, to participate actively in supporting national, sub-regional, regional and international follow-up efforts and to provide reports thereon to the CFS, in accordance with Commitment Seven of the Plan of Action;
  4. urge the donor community and the international financing institutions to provide assistance to countries for programmes aimed at increasing the food security of their peoples;
  5. request the CFS to provide, through the Council, a first report on implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action to ECOSOC in 1999;
  6. decide to return to the question at its Thirtieth Session, in 1999, in order to consider overall progress towards achievement of the World Food Summit’s objectives.

ANNEX

 

Report of the Committee on World Food Security
on the World Food Summit and its Follow-up,
submitted through the FAO Council

 

Extract from the Report of the Hundred and Twelfth Session of the Council

(Rome, 2-7 June, 1997)

 

FOLLOW-UP TO THE WORLD FOOD SUMMIT

 

12. The Council endorsed the report of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) on all aspects of the World Food Summit and the follow-up to the Declaration and Plan of Action, prepared in compliance with Conference Resolution 2/95, and decided to transmit this report to the Twenty-ninth Session of the Conference, with its own views as reflected below.

13. Conscious that this was its first session following the Summit, which had constituted a milestone in the life of the Organization, the Council reaffirmed its satisfaction that the Summit had met the objectives of sensitizing public opinion to the importance of achieving food security for all, of providing a framework for concerted action to achieve it, and of moving food security higher on the national and international political agenda.

14. The Council stressed the crucial importance of maintaining the momentum generated by the Summit, and reaffirmed the catalytic role of FAO, in supporting this follow-up process in cooperation with all organizations in the UN system, as well as other competent international institutions. The primary responsibility of national governments for ensuring sustained implementation of the Plan of Action was stressed, as was the importance of international support to their efforts. In this connection, regret was expressed by numerous Member Nations that resources for official development assistance and food aid, as well as for international agencies such as FAO, continued to decline.

15. The Council noted with satisfaction steps taken by a number of countries to prepare national plans of action as a follow-up to the Summit, engaging in the process all stakeholders. It also took note of FAO's initiative to encourage preparation of national agricultural development strategies for developing countries and countries in transition and of country food security briefs for developed countries. Stress was placed on the importance of ensuring that the process was demand-driven, and undertaken only with the full participation and agreement of the concerned governments.

16. The Council endorsed the monitoring and reporting process proposed by the Committee on World Food Security.

17. The Council noted with satisfaction the progress already made in launching the Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping System (FIVIMS) in collaboration with concerned UN system organizations, competent national institutions and non-governmental organizations. It stressed the need for the process to be country-driven and for governments and their respective societies and stakeholders to be closely involved in its development. The Council approved the proposed workplan for the gradual development and establishment of FIVIMS at national and international levels, building upon existing information systems and mechanisms. It noted the need of developing countries for technical assistance to improve the quality and interpretation of statistical data related to FIVIMS.

18. Consistent with the integrated follow-up mechanisms for UN Conferences adopted by ECOSOC, the Council welcomed the arrangements endorsed by the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC), for inter-agency follow-up to the Summit. It was noted that the mechanism established would operate, at the country level, within the framework of the UN Resident Coordinator system, with support provided, at the global level, through the ACC network operated jointly by FAO and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), with the close involvement of the World Food Programme (WFP) and other concerned organizations. The Council also noted with appreciation the cooperation established with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Human Rights Centre to promote work related to the right to food consistent with the mandate of the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Committee in full accord with Objective 7.4 of the Plan of Action.

19. The Council noted FAO's initiative of launching Telefood in conjunction with World Food Day 1997 to keep the decisions taken at the Summit in the public eye, and to collect additional funds aimed at contributing to the alleviation of hunger in the world. Some members indicated their desire to receive detailed information following the event on costs and use of the funds generated in order to determine whether similar activities should be considered in the future. Other members were concerned by the fund-raising aspects of this event and were worried the effect should not be to reduce contributions to other appeals. The Council was informed that all funds collected would be used to foster food security and would be subject to audit by reputable international firms.

20. The Council re-confirmed its support for the objectives of the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS), and welcomed South-South and extra-budgetary support to the SPFS from members, multilateral institutions, international and regional financial institutions. Members from participating countries reported on their positive experiences and results achieved so far, which they considered were fully in accord with the WFS commitments. Certain members encouraged an expansion of the SPFS coverage to include all the Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries (LIFDCs), while other members considered that the SPFS should be made available to all developing countries where there were pockets of food insecurity. Other members questioned the approach of the Special Programme. The identification of the resources involved in the SPFS was also requested. The essential role of national and international research organizations and institutes was stressed, as was the necessity for evaluation of the pilot phase results and constraints before moving to the expansion phase of the SPFS. Some members requested and received further clarification on the relationship between the Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) and the SPFS. Many members requested the strengthening of the TCP as an indispensible tool for international cooperation within FAO, stressing that this programme should maintain its independence.

 

Extract from the Report of the 23rd Session of the Committee on World Food Security
(Rome, 14-18 April, 1997)

 

B. FOLLOW-UP TO THE WORLD FOOD SUMMIT

(a) World Food Summit: Preparation Process and Outcome

28. The Committee recalled that Conference Resolution 2/95 requested it to report through the Council to the Twenty-ninth Session of the Conference in 1997 on all aspects of the World Food Summit and its follow-up. It decided accordingly to request the Council to onforward to the Conference the outcome of its deliberations on Follow-up to the World Food Summit as recorded in its report.

29. With regard to the preparation process and outcome of the Summit, the Committee was satisfied that the information provided by the Secretariat, contained in paras 1-13 of Section I of CFS: 97/5, would serve the purpose of its report to Council and Conference. Accordingly it decided to transmit this information, though with an abbreviation to para. 12 of CFS:97/5, as an attachment to its report (Appendix E).

30. Some delegates would have preferred more information on the costs of the Summit set out in CFS:97/Inf.10. The Committee noted that members requiring additional information could seek it through the Finance Committee.

(b) Proposals for Amendments to Rule XXXIII of the General Rules of the Organization

(Paras. 31 through 34 not included, as this subject is covered under Item 16.1 of the Provisional Agenda of the Conference.)

(c) Institutional Arrangements for Monitoring and Reporting on Implementation of theWorld Food Summit Plan of Action

35. The Committee considered Item III(c) of its Agenda, Institutional Arrangements for Monitoring and Reporting on Implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action, as contained in document CFS:97/5. The Committee recalled that the World Food Summit had entrusted to it the critical role of monitoring the implementation of the Plan of Action and progress in reaching the minimum target of reducing the number of undernourished people to half their present level no later than 2015. It noted that an important task at this Session was to ensure that effective arrangements are made to enable it to fulfill that critical role.

36. The Committee reiterated that the primary responsibility in taking actions to implement the Plan rests with individual governments. A number of delegates reported the steps taken by their governments to develop national action plans to follow-up on the Summit commitments. The Deputy Director-General of FAO also commented that many countries had welcomed the initiative taken by the Director-General of FAO in preparing country papers on food security and agricultural strategies towards 2010. However, in this connection, some delegates stated that country briefs on food security and agricultural strategies should be developed in the context of a country-driven implementation process under ownership of the respective Governments; they emphasized that FAO assistance in the formulation of such strategies should be provided only upon request. They also raised concerns with respect to the process and resources being utilized in the development of these briefs.

37. The Committee also underlined the importance of concerted action at sub-regional, regional and international levels to support national efforts for the earliest possible achievement of sustainable world food security. In this connection, the Committee appreciated the statements presented by the World Bank, International Food Policy Research Institute, International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the World Food Programme in the context of the follow-up to the World Food Summit, on their intentions with respect to food-security related actions in the areas of rural development, policy analysis, poverty alleviation and food assistance. The relevance of the Bank's new strategy for rural development, "Rural Development: From Vision to Action" to the Summit objectives, and the new spirit of partnership between FAO and the Bank were particularly welcomed.

38. The Committee recalled that arrangements for monitoring and reporting on implementation of the Summit's Plan of Action should be based on three streams of reports - reports from national governments, reports on UN agency follow-up and inter-agency coordination, and reports from other relevant international institutions. It further agreed that in addition to arranging for the regular flow of reports from these three sources to the CFS, arrangements also had to be made for monitoring implementation at the subregional and regional levels. It noted with appreciation that the FAO Regional Conferences would have a standing item on follow-up to the Summit. It was stressed that all reports prepared by FAO for the CFS in connection with monitoring of World Food Summit follow-up should be made widely available, including through Internet. It encouraged members and observers to also make their reports available.

39. The Committee felt that the draft reporting format should reflect the structure of the World Food Summit Plan of Action in its entirety, covering the seven commitments. A number of delegates pointed out that the aim should be to provide baseline information on actions being taken to implement each of the seven commitments. A number of delegates pointed out that the focus of national reports should be on quality rather than on quantity and that there should be a right balance in qualitative and quantitative reporting. It was emphasized that the information to be provided should include some analysis on how national policies and actions are geared towards, and effective in, achieving the food security objective of reducing the number of undernourished. The Committee recommended that the reporting form should be simple and straightforward, should build upon existing information flows without duplication, and should allow a certain degree of flexibility to reflect specific country food security situations and circumstances.

40. The Committee agreed on a provisional reporting procedure to be used in 1997, based on the following proposal presented to it by the Bureau:

  • the three reporting streams as mentioned in Para. 17 of Doc. CFS:97/5 will report on actions taken towards achieving the specific objectives under each of the Seven Commitments;
  • the reporting should follow the structure of the Commitments and Objectives of the Plan of Action. Such reporting should cover actions, the actors and, where available, results, including quantitative assessments, under each of the Objectives. Where appropriate, this could also be done against individual Actions of the Plan of Action;
  • the streams of reports should reach the Secretariat by the end of January 1998. They should cover the period up to end 1997;

 

At its 1998 Session, the CFS will consider a standard reporting format for successive periods. An open-ended working group of the CFS will be held immediately before the 1998 Session to examine proposals for this purpose, taking into account the experience of this first reporting cycle as well as progress with FIVIMS. The Secretariat will also provide information on experiences with reporting mechanisms and formats in follow-up to other conferences and conventions. The Bureau would work closely with the Secretariat in taking these arrangements forward.

41. As regards the timetable for submission of reports from 1998 and beyond from each reporting stream, some delegates felt the deadline should be extended to February or March. Some other delegates, stressing on the one hand the cost and effort required, and on the other, the time required for policies to have impact and for observing statistical trends, suggested that national reports should be submitted every two years. The Committee decided to consider these suggestions at its next session.

42. The Committee considered that in the organization of its future work beyond the 1998 Session, the proposal to cover three main items under the general subject of the follow-up to the World Food Summit, namely, "Assessment of the World Food Security Situation", "Report on Progress in Implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action", and "Thematic Issues", represented a useful starting point. However, it agreed that it would be premature to decide this issue until more experience had been gained with the various procedures to be developed and used on a trial basis during 1997. With regard to the coverage of thematic issues, it was proposed that a planning be done at the next session on themes linked to Summit implementation which might be considered by the Committee in future sessions. Some delegates noted that the issue of providing reports to ECOSOSC would need to be covered in the CFS agenda.

43. The Committee was informed of the outcome of the examination by ACC of the follow-up to the Summit. It was also informed that ACC had endorsed the arrangements proposed by FAO and IFAD, comprising thematic groups at country level within the framework of the Resident Coordinator system and an informal Headquarters and field-based network on rural development and food security, whereby flexible and cost-effective inter-agency information sharing and coordination would take place. The Committee requested that the relevant section of the report of the ACC's first regular session of 1997 be made available to the Council. ACC endorsement of this arrangement provided the basis for the two organizations to open consultations with other UN partners on detailed arrangements for establishing the mechanism and elaborating an initial workplan. Among the first tasks to be tackled would be arrangements for allocation and sharing of responsibilities for support to the implementation of the Plan of Action, taking into account also the follow-up processes to other international conferences.

44. The Committee recognized the important role played by civil society organisations in the preparation process of the Summit, and encouraged them to continue to participate in the work of the CFS. Some delegates suggested that such organizations could hold a separate meeting prior to future CFS meetings, in order to facilitate their input in the work of the Committee. Other delegates stressed that the inclusion of civil society in the work programmes of the CFS remained a priority, and practical measures to widen access for NGOs and other actors of civil society should be promoted. They urged that the CFS build on experiences of the World Food Summit and of other UN fora, in order to permit national and international civil society organizations which meet the criteria of relevance and competence to contribute as observers more actively to its deliberations. The need to ensure geographic balance, including through assistance for the participation of civil society organizations from the developing world, was noted, as was the possibility for governments to include such organizations in their national delegations. It requested the Secretariat to take interim measures to broaden NGO participation at the next session of the CFS, at which time the Committee would examine the matter in more detail.

45. A number of delegates referred to CFS:97/Inf.7, which provided information on the implementation of objective 7.4, relating to "... the right to adequate food and the fundamental right of every one to be free from hunger...". They welcomed that a Memorandum of Understanding was being worked out with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Centre on Human Rights, providing for future cooperation in implementing Commitment 7.4, and requested that it be circulated as soon as available, together with the FAO Statement to the UN Commission for Human Rights in March.

(d) Workplan for Developing Targets and Indicators of National and Global Food Security and Establishing a Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping System

46. The Committee was informed of the outcome of the Technical Consultation on Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping System (FIVIMS) convened by FAO in March 1997. The Committee's attention was drawn, in particular, to the recommended workplan for developing and establishing FIVIMS at national and international levels as contained in document CFS:97/INF.8. The Committee supported the process of establishing FIVIMS as a tool for the monitoring of chronic and transitory food insecurity in the follow-up to the Summit. It welcomed FAO's early initiative to convene the Consultation and noted with satisfaction the expression of support and collaboration in this effort by all participating agencies.

47. The Committee discussed the workplan proposed by the Secretariat to develop and establish FIVIMS at national and international levels. It welcomed the readiness of major UN agencies to contribute actively to the development of FIVIMS and the proposed constitution of an inter-agency mechanism to provide oversight of the process. It indicated the need to include in such a mechanism representatives of organizations and institutions actively involved in this type of work. It stressed the need for the process to be country-driven and for governments and their respective societies and stakeholders to be intimately involved in the development of FIVIMS. It agreed that FIVIMS should include indicators (i) that are simple and reliable, (ii) that are already available, and (iii) which are of a social and anthropometric nature, and (iv) which are at different levels, down to and including the household level. It further recognised the need to give added emphasis to access to food in the selection of these indicators. The Committee emphasized that in refining FIVIMS, the additional cost should be weighed against the added benefits.

48. The Committee generally approved the workplan contained in document CFS:97/INF.8 and the proposed gradual, step-by-step process to develop FIVIMS. It recommended the strengthening of references in the workplan to the full involvement of national governments in the development of FIVIMS guidelines, the early appointment and activation of country focal points and the inclusion, under "the medium and longer term action" of an additional action on "improving the quality of data and analysis". The Committee noted that in order for national FIVIMS to be realistic and useful, there was a need to improve the quality of statistical data in many developing countries, particularly in Africa. The Committee recognized that these countries may need assistance to achieve this goal.

 

APPENDIX E

A. WORLD FOOD SUMMIT: PREPARATION PROCESS AND OUTCOME

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I. Introduction

1. The World Food Summit was convened in Rome from 13 to 17 November at the level of Heads of State and Government. The objective of the Summit was to renew global commitment at the highest political level to the task of eliminating hunger and malnutrition and to the achievement of sustainable food security for all people.

2. FAO called the Summit in response to widespread undernutrition and growing concern about the capacity of agriculture to meet future food needs. At the 27th Session of the FAO Conference in November 1993, Member Nations expressed "deep concern" at the present situation and the future prospects, and stressed that "the world's major problems in food, nutrition and sustainability require immediate action at national and international levels".

3. After consultations with a large number of Heads of State and Government from all regions of the world, the FAO Director-General invited the FAO Conference to consider convening a World Food Summit in Rome in November 1996. The proposal, which was approved by the Conference at its 28th Session in October 1995, was subsequently endorsed unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1995. Throughout the period preceding the Summit, growing support for the Summit was expressed during discussions at the 106th, 107th and 108th Sessions of the FAO Council and at the FAO Regional Conferences; resolutions and recommendations in support of the Summit were also adopted at numerous other inter-governmental meetings.

II. Preparation of the Summit Documents

4. Preparation for the Summit involved broad-based consultations among governments, inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations, and the private sector. Fourteen technical background documents plus a technical atlas formed the analytical underpinning for the political decisions and actions approved at the Summit. These were prepared by FAO secretariat staff, often in collaboration with other UN agencies, and with other intergovernmental organisations, academic institutions, NGOs and civil society at large. The documents were distributed in provisional form, starting in early 1995, and comments were invited and received through an extensive review process involving experts from governments, sister UN agencies, development banks, selected centres of excellence, NGOs, the private sector, and eminent persons, among others. In their revised final form, the background documents and the technical atlas were published by FAO in three volumes shortly before the Summit. The titles of the documents are shown in the Box.

5. In its resolution 95/2 adopted at its 28th Session, the Conference entrusted the role of focal point for World Food Summit preparation to the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), which is open not only to members of FAO, but also to all members of the United Nations who have expressed interest in participating in the work of the Committee. Through a special Inter-sessional Working Group of the CFS, substantial progress was made in preparing a draft for the Rome Declaration on World Food Security and the World Food Summit Plan of Action.

6. Discussions at the FAO Regional Conferences provided a major input into the preparation of the Summit documents. These included the 23rd FAO Regional Conference for the Near East, Rabat, Morocco, 26-30 March 1996; the 19th FAO Regional Conference for Africa, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 16-20 April 1996; the 20th FAO Regional Conference for Europe, Tel Aviv, Israel, 29 April - 3 May 1996; the 23rd FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific, Apia, Samoa, 14-18 May 1996; and the 24th FAO Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean, Asuncion, Paraguay, 2-6 July 1996; as well as a regional consultation for North America organised by the United States of America and Canada. Each Regional Conference elaborated a contribution to the drafting of the World Food Summit documents, on the basis of a document on the food security situation and issues in the region, together with progress reports on the work of the Inter-Sessional Working Group of the CFS.

Technical backgound documents prepared for the World Food Summit

  1. Food, agriculture and food security: developments since the World Food Conference and prospects.
  2. Success stories in food security
  3. Socio-political and economic environment for food security
  4. Food requirements and population growth
  5. Food security and nutrition
  6. Lessons from the green revolution: towards a new green revolution
  7. Food production: the critical role of water
  8. Food for consumers: marketing, processing and distribution
  9. Role of research in global food security and agricultural development
  10. Investment in agriculture: evolution and prospects
  11. Food production and environmental impact
  12. Food and international trade
  13. Food security and food assistance
  14. Assessment of feasible progress in food security
  15. Technical atlas

 

7. In addition to this statutory process, numerous other fora contributed to raising awareness and formulating viewpoints and proposals to address the Summit's objectives, starting with the Global Assembly on Food Security, an International Symposium organised by the Federal Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec in October 1995 in Quebec and the Ministerial Meeting on World Food Security convened in Quebec on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of FAO.

8. Countries and organisations were encouraged to use other meetings already scheduled to discuss specific aspects of food security. National position papers on food security were elaborated by a large number of countries as part of their own preparations for the Summit debate. NGOs and the private sector, in addition to participating in national-level activities and in consultations organised by FAO prior to each Regional Conference and the 22nd session of the Committee on World Food Security, also held their own meetings to discuss the Summit. Several important NGO Declarations for the World Food Summit were submitted to the Summit Secretariat. Parallel to the Summit proper, an NGO Forum for the World Food Summit was held in Rome from 11 to 17 November 1996.

9. Taking all inputs into account, the negotiation of the documents was completed during the 22nd Session of the CFS meeting from 27-30 September, 8-9 October and 28-31 October 1996. The texts for the Rome Declaration on World Food Security and the World Food Summit Plan of Action were thus approved two weeks in advance of the Summit for consideration by the Heads of State and Government or their representatives. The Committee also endorsed arrangements for the organization of work for the World Food Summit and invited the Chairman of the CFS to present to the Summit the texts of the Rome Declaration on World Food Security and World Food Summit Plan of Action for adoption.

III. Outcome

10. One hundred eighty-five countries and the European Community were accredited to the Summit. Heads of delegations included 41 Heads of State, 15 Vice Presidents, 41 Prime Ministers, 15 Vice Prime Ministers, and 74 other Heads of delegations. Some 450 Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and 80 United Nations System (UN) and Inter-Governmental Organisations (IGOs) were represented.

11. The documents (the Rome Declaration on World Food Security and the World Food Summit Plan of Action) were adopted by the 186 Heads of delegations attending the Summit at the opening of its proceedings, following the inaugural ceremony. Fifteen countries filed "reservations or interpretative statements" on specific aspects of the Rome Declaration and Plan of Action.

12. The Rome Declaration sets forth seven commitments which lay the basis for achieving sustainable food security for all and the Plan of Action spells out the objectives and actions relevant for practical implementation of these seven commitments.

13. The World Food Summit was very successful in increasing public awareness of the extent of hunger and malnutrition world-wide, and of the causes and prospects. Most importantly, it resulted in strong political commitment necessary to promote effective strategies and activities to reach its targets of reducing the number of undernourished people to half their present level no later than 2015 and eventually achieving food security for all and eradicating hunger in all countries.