Committee on World Food Security

Making a difference in food security and nutrition

8 June 2022 | Remarks by CFS Chair at WFO Annual General Assembly, delivered by Chris Hegadorn, CFS Secretary

08 Jun 2022

Check against delivery

Dear Excellencies, Dear Colleagues, Dear Farmers,

I am very pleased to address you today as the Chairperson of the Committee on World Food Security, the CFS. 

Allow me to start by commending the World Farmers Organization and its leadership and secretariat for their tireless efforts to not only advance the interests of family farmers and food workers around the world, but to stay closely aligned with, and connected to, the CFS during this tumultuous time.

In this challenging moment, it is more important than ever that we are listening to one another, staying connected, and working together to meet the goals we set in 2015 to make hunger and malnutrition things of the past.  This is going to be very difficult, and we must be ready to think ‘out of the box’ with our proposed policy solutions.

As you know, the CFS is about policy solutions, and to that end, in just the past year, we have developed and successfully negotiated consensus policy guidance on food systems as well as on innovations to guide our future food systems, including Agro-ecological and other innovation approaches. 

This is what the CFS is about, and our unique, inclusive, and science-backed platform is the UN system’s space to come together to debate what needs to be done by all countries, by the UN, by the international financial institutions, civil society, private sector food producers, and others. 

And, based on the expert scientific inputs we receive from our CFS High Level Panel of Experts, our Members and Participants (including WFO Secretariat) get the job done, year after year, difficult topic after difficult topic.

We hope you pay close attention to the work underway right now to complete Voluntary Guidelines on Gender Equality and Women and Girls Empowerment, as well as our Policy Recommendations aimed at better engaging Youth in food systems and nutrition.  Both policy products are expected to be endorsed at CFS 50 this October.

You may have participated in our 10th anniversary commemoration two weeks ago to mark the successes of our Voluntary Guidelines on the Governance of Tenure (the CFS VGGT), a crucial document for governments around the world trying to deal with governance of land, forestry, and fisheries.

Like the rest of you, we are deeply concerned about the war in Ukraine which threatens global food security and nutrition, which was already seriously compromised by the COVID-19 pandemic, other conflicts, climate change and rising food prices.  The CFS has offered its platform to coordinate global policy responses to this crisis. To this end, we are planning a high level event for mid-July in New York, in close collaboration with the UN Secretary General, the President of the General Assembly, the UN’s Global Crisis Response Group, the Rome food agencies and others aimed at bringing together decision-makers to coordinate to address the looming global food crisis. We will share more details with you all as planning advances.

As you can see, there are many ways to engage, and we welcome having the voice of farmers in the CFS, and look forward to hearing your contributions at our annual plenary in October.

In the meantime, I congratulate you again on this annual assembly, and call on you to continue working closely with CFS and its partners to put our policy guidance into practise, whether on your own farms or in your home-country governments, to help deliver healthy, affordable, and sustainable food systems.

I thank you.

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