The terms of reference of the Committee are laid down in Rule XXXIII of the General Rules of the Organization (GRO). Due regard should also be made to the CFS Reform Document (CFS: 2009/2 Rev.2) incorporated in Part Q of Volume II of the Basic Texts of FAO. The terms of reference of the Committee on World Food Security are as follows:
a) Coordination at global level. Provide a platform for discussion and coordination to strengthen collaborative action among Governments, regional organizations, international organizations and agencies, NGOs, CSOs, food producers’ organizations, private sector organizations, philanthropic organizations and other relevant stakeholders, in a manner that is in alignment with each country’s specific context and needs.
b) Policy convergence. Promote greater policy convergence and coordination, including through the development of international strategies and voluntary guidelines on food security and nutrition on the basis of best practices, lessons learned from local experience, inputs received from national and regional levels, and expert advice and opinions from different stakeholders.
c) Support and advice to countries and regions. At country and/or region request, facilitate support and/or advice in the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of their nationally and regionally owned plans of action for the elimination of hunger, the achievement of food security and the practical application of the “Voluntary Guidelines for the Right to Food” that shall be based on the principles of participation, transparency and accountability.
In Phase II the CFS will gradually take on additional roles such as:
a) Coordination at national and regional levels. Serve as a platform to promote greater coordination and alignment of actions in the field, encourage more efficient use of resources and identify resource gaps. As the reform progresses, the CFS will build, as appropriate, on the coordination work of the United Nations High-Level Task Force (HLTF). One guiding principle to support this role will be to build on and strengthen existing structures and linkages with key partners at all levels. Key partners include national mechanisms and networks for food security and nutrition, the UN country teams and other coordination mechanisms such as the International Alliance Against Hunger (IAAH) and its National Alliances, food security thematic groups, regional intergovernmental bodies and a large number of civil society networks and private sector associations operating at the regional and national levels. In each case, the functional contributions they could make, as well as how the CFS could strengthen linkages and enhance synergy with such partners would have to be established.
b) Promote accountability and share best practices at all levels. One of the main functions of the CFS has been to “monitor actively the implementation of the 1996 World Food Summit Plan of Action” (WFS-PoA). Although countries are taking measures to address food insecurity, the specific programmes as they are presented do not necessarily help to report quantitatively on progress towards realizing the WFS-PoA objectives. The CFS should help countries and regions, as appropriate, address the questions of whether objectives are being achieved and how food insecurity and malnutrition can be reduced more quickly and effectively. This will entail developing an innovative mechanism, including the definition of common indicators, to monitor progress towards these agreed-upon objectives and actions taking into account lessons learned from previous CFS and other monitoring attempts. Comments by all CFS stakeholders will have to be taken into account and new mechanisms will build on existing structures.
c) Develop a Global Strategic Framework for food security and nutrition in order to improve coordination and guide synchronized action by a wide range of stakeholders. The Global Strategic Framework shall be flexible so that it can be adjusted as priorities change. It will build upon existing frameworks such as the UN’s Comprehensive Framework for Action (CFA), the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and the Voluntary Guidelines to Support the Progressive Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security.