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Committee on World Food Security focuses on SDGs, youth and protracted crises

FAO’s Director-General welcomes delegates to first international meeting since agreement on Sustainable Development Goals

12 October 2015, Rome-The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) opened its plenary today, marking the first international gathering on food security and nutrition since global leaders approved the Sustainable Development Agenda's goals.

That agenda includes eradication of hunger by 2030 as one of its core goals. Its approval at last month's United Nations summit "brings new momentum to our efforts," FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva told delegates at the CFS plenary.

"Now the world has a set date to end hunger, to achieve food security and to end malnutrition in all its forms," he said. "I do not doubt that we can become the Zero Hunger generation."

The CFS is an intergovernmental body that serves as a forum for the review and follow up of  food security and nutrition policies.

Its inclusive platform is structured to allow participants from civil society, the private sector, and other non-state actors a voice in policy decisions.

"CFS is different. So let's go out there and make this difference," said Gerda Verburg, who has served as Chairperson of the Committee for the past two years. "We are running one single race, all together, to goal Zero Hunger."

The four-day plenary, also addressed by IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze and WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin, will feature debates over nutrition policies as well as focusing on initiatives centering on nutrition and youth engagement in the global pledge to eradicate hunger.

Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland, will give a keynote speech during a session focusing on ways to strengthen global linkages and dialogue between CFS and other food security and nutrition stakeholders.

CFS will also discuss water and food security and nutrition based on the report on the subject by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition.

Agreement reached on protracted crises

At the 42nd session of the CFS, members are also expected to approve the Framework for Action for Food Security and Nutrition in Protracted Crises.

This voluntary agreement seeks to ensure that humanitarian and development efforts are integrated in the increasing number of areas undergoing protracted crises, with a special focus on the nutritional needs of infants and the most vulnerable people.

Graziano da Silva congratulated CFS delegates for what he called a "major achievement in policy convergence" on a complex subject.

"Building consensus takes time, but it helps things move faster later," he added, noting that FAO, often working with the World Food Program and the International Fund for Agricultural Development, is already putting the Framework's principles into practice.

Photo: ©FAO/Giulio Napolitano
FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva addresses the Committee on World Food Security.