What is the International Food Security and Nutrition Civil Society Mechanism?

The Civil Society Mechanism (CSM) coordinated its annual pre-CFS (Committee on World Food Security) Forum. At the meeting, civil society organizations met to discuss strategies and harmonise positions. There were also important advanced in the governance of the CSM through the election of new civil society members to the CFS Advisory Group (more on this later).

But what is the CSM? Here is a quick recap for you:

The Reform Document of the Committee on World Food Security invited civil society organizations to autonomously establish a global mechanism to facilitate their participation in the CFS.  The Civil Society Mechanism builds on the extensive experience and networks of civil society organizations across a range of policy areas and from existing mechanisms for interaction between civil society and multilateral institutions, including the IPC, the Farmers’ Forum and the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.  This recognition of the history and knowledge of the process and actors involved has been fundamental to the ordering, structuring and functioning of the CSM over the first year of operation.  At the same time, it is an innovative mechanism that is adapting to a changing governance architecture. As such, throughout the development and implementation of the CSM, there was clear recognition that the process would not be perfect. What was stressed was the need for transparency, to follow the established processes and to maximise communication.

The CSM is open to all civil society organizations working on issues related to food security. More concretely, it is made up of a Coordination Committee, Working Groups and a Secretariat. The Coordination Committee is to be comprised of forty one members from eleven constituencies and seventeen sub-regions. These focal points have been selected through specific processes established by members of each of the constituencies and sub-regions, in consultation with the Advisory Group Members. Small-scale farmers make up the largest constituency on the Coordination Committee as they represent the majority of hungry people in the world and produce the largest proportion of the food in the world. Gender and geographic balance among the Focal Points in the CSM Coordination Committee is a priority.

The CSM is a facilitating body. As such it does not take or produce positions nor does it represent CSOs.

Lots more information is available here: http://cso4cfs.org/

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