Committee on World Food Security

Making a difference in food security and nutrition

Remarks by CFS Chair at the Commission on the Status of Women, Sixty-seventh session (CSW67)

10 Mar 2023

Check against delivery

Excellencies, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

I am extremely delighted to join you at this year’s CSW

My sincere gratitude to our friends and partners at UN Women for inviting me in my capacity as the Chairperson of the Rome-based UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) to make a brief statement in this interactive dialogue.

As has been said multiple times, and we continue to witness it, we are extremely concerned by recent worrying trends that threaten to erode the progress we have made over the years towards gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

This threat has been most pronounced in our food systems worsened by COVID-19, ongoing global food and cost-of-living crisis, and worsening effects of climate change. As a result, women and girls are worse affected the ongoing hunger crisis, compared to men.

As you might know, CFS serves as the global food governance body of the United Nations where about 140 Members States of the UN - including most represented here today - are joined by civil society, private sector, research and academia, UN agencies and programmes, international financial institutions, foundations and others, to deliberate upon and drive convergence on global policies to address systemic and structural causes of hunger and malnutrition in support of the efforts led by countries. 

As part of this work, we are currently developing the Voluntary Guidelines on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls in the context of food security and nutrition.

While we have faced some multilateralism headwinds in this process which delayed the completion and endorsement of the guidelines in October last year, I am grateful the process is now back on track following commitment by our members to conclude this process given its significance - at CFS Plenary in October last year. I am grateful to many of you who have engaged in this process.

These guidelines are guided and benefit from the CSW processes. For example, the following three key policy areas that CSW62 Agreed Conclusions emphasized for action are included in our VGs:

  1. Strengthening normative, legal and policy frameworks to promote and protect the full enjoyment of human rights, eliminate discrimination and violence, and promote access to natural, economic and productive resources for all rural women and girls.
  2. Implementing economic and social policies for the empowerment of rural women and girls, including through gender mainstreaming, fiscal policies, food security and nutrition, decent work and entrepreneurship, care work, education, health and gender statistics.
  3. Strengthening the collective voice, leadership and decision-making of all rural women and girls.

I am confident that with continued support and engagement of our members and all of you our partners, we will conclude the negotiations and endorse the guidelines this October at CFS 51.

You can count on us as the UN’s most inclusive platform to drive convergence on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in the context of food security and nutrition.

We are counting on you. Thank you.