Civil Society Forum

©FAO/Giulio Napolitano


Rome, 14-15-16 November 2009

The Civil Society Forum brought together 642 participants representing a diverse range of peasant and family farmers, small scale fishers, pastoralists, indigenous peoples, youth, women, urban people, agricultural workers, local and international NGOs, and other actors in Rome’s Città dell’altrà Economia from 13-17 November, 2009.

Opening the plenary session on 14 November 2009, FAO’s Director-General, Dr Jacques Diouf, the Mayor of Rome, Mr Giovanni Alemanno, and the Chair of the Civil Society Steering Committee, Mr Sergio Marelli emphasised the importance of collaborating with civil society on the fight against hunger and food insecurity.

The Pre-Summit event consisted of plenary sessions, constituency specific working groups of women, indigenous peoples and youth, as well as thematic groups discussing four key questions: Who decides about food and agriculture and where are decisions taken? Who controls food producing resources? How is food produced? Who has or needs access to food?

The resulting discussions contributed to the final declaration, which emphasised the right to food principle, the concept of food sovereignty, and an overall call to recognise and take concrete actions to promote the rights of women, indigenous peoples and youth.

The final declaration of the Civil Society Forum was presented to the Member States on 18 November 2009. Standing at the podium in solidarity, civil society representatives appealed to governments for the protection of their rights to have control over food, land and resources. Commending the inclusive space given to civil society within the renewed Committee on World Food Security, it was stressed that the continuation of such a collaborative international policy body is only possible if public commitments are followed by financial support.

An FSN Forum discussion was initiated by members of the steering committee of the Civil Society Forum. The topic enitled "Food Security and Agriculture Governance Systems" tackled the issues of local governance, participation and access to natural resources.

FSN Forum website.

Cooperation with Civil Society homepage

Civil Society Forum website


  Declaration from Social Movements/NGOs/CSOs

  Executive Summary of the Bellagio meeting


Media accreditation

The path to the Summit

Three important events have prepared the ground for the Summit:

The High-Level Expert Forum on How to Feed the World in 2050 examined policy options that governments should consider adopting to ensure that the world population can be fed when it nears its peak of nearly 9.2 billion people in the middle of this century.

The Committee on World Food Security considered reforms that will enable it to play a much more effective role in the global governance of food security.

The theme of World Food Day this year is how to ensure food security in times of crisis.

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