On September 30th, some members of the Western European sub-region to the Civil Society Mechanism (more information here) met in Brussels to prepare for the 37th Session of the Committee on World Food Security. For those of you new to the blog or the process, the Civil Society Mechanism is meant to act as an interface, to facilitate the participation of Civil Society Organizations (social movements, NGOs) at the Committee on World Food Security. There is a Coordination Committee made up of focal points selected as communication officers of sorts from sub-regions and constituencies, so that in theory, everyone is connected to at least focal points. More information here: http://cso4cfs.org/
The EU is meeting now to finalise their positions to be taken during the CFS and the negotiations on the Working Group on the Voluntary Guidelines for the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Forests and Fisheries and consequently the group wrote a letter, sent by the Focal Point, outlining key points civil society organizations hope the EU takes into consideration throughout their deliberations.
The letter reiterates the importance of CFS as the foremost, inclusive global platform on food issues with a mission of guaranteeing the right to food of the world’s population and encourages the EY to defend the CFS.
The letter also expressed appreciation for the EU’s position in the negotiations on the Guidelines for Responsible Governance of Tenure to Land, Fisheries and Forests and encouraged them to continue to champion the use of human rights language during the last phase of negotiations.
The letter encouraged the EU to bring the “EU Policy Framework to Assist Developing Countries in Addressing Food Security Challenges” to bear on the policy roundtable on how to increase food security and smallholder-sensitive investment in agriculture. As an aside, one of the main purposes of the CFS is to promote policy cohesion between national-level (in this case regional) policies and global policies. In the next few years I hope to map out and analyse this process of cohesion and what this means for policy frameworks, such as the EU Framework to Assist Developing Countries in Addressing Food Security Challenges.
But back to the letter: Specifically, on the issue of investment, the letter urges the EU to push for action-oriented decisions that:
1) establish a system for monitoring and reporting by national governments with multi-actor involvement and a defined role for the CFS secretariat and Advisory Group;
2) request the HLPE [High Level Panel of Experts] to undertake the study referred to in rec. vii. during 2012 so that it can accompany the CFS inclusive consultation process on principles for responsible agricultural investment;
3) maintain this process as described in recs. viii and ix on the CFS calendar for 2012, assuming that the Voluntary Guidelines are adopted on 17 October, and help to ensure that resources are made available to conduct the consultation.
The letter also covers points for the two other policy roundtables: Food Price Volatility and Gender, Food Security and Nutrition as well as the Global Strategic Framework. You can read the letter here:CSM_CFS_letter_3_October