CFS in Rome: The majority of governments remain blind to the challenges of global food security

La Via Campesina Press Release (Rome October 15th, 2014)

The delegation of La Via Campesina, gathered in Rome for the 41st session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), recognizes the CFS as the major international forum for debate and decision making on agricultural and food issues. LVC urges governments to take urgent action in favor of peasant and indigenous agriculture, which is the only model capable of feeding the world. On the occasion of World Food Day, we restate our commitment to struggle for Food Sovereignty as a solution to the multiple crises affecting our societies. We reaffirm our commitment to the recognition and enforcement of peasant rights.

The celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Guidelines on the Right to Food has shown a huge gap between rights and their priority, respect, and application in reality. In this sense, LVC expressed deep disappointment with the lack of commitment to the application of the Guidelines.

Kannayian Subramaniam, a farmer from the state of Tamil Nadu in India denounced the attacks in the WTO to the food reserves created in India: “Public stock holding is vital to the food and nutrition security of any country. It is one of the main weapons that we have against food price volatility. Any trade measure that comes in the way of countries assisting the poorest and most marginalised people is unacceptable to us. The principle of coherence of human rights overrides any trade negotiation or agreement that comes in the way of food security of our constituent groups.”[1] LVC confirms that it is essential to discuss market rules within the CFS.

The adoption of Principles for responsible investment in agriculture (rai) is not sufficient to guarantee the rights of peasant communities, landless people and agricultural workers. It is positive that the primary role of peasants in investment in agriculture is recognized prior to the recognition of the role of the corporate sector. However, the rai do not give clear and strong guidance in the interest of the small-scale producers.
The guidelines do not contain sufficient safeguards to stop land grabbing and other destructive actions by private capital and complicit governments. No real progress in promoting the creation of decent work, workers rights, and in the fight against discrimination of women was made.

As mentioned by Javier Sanchez, a peasant farmer from Aragón: “We need public policies in favor of food sovereignty, promoting agroecology, local markets, the empowerment of women, access to the profession for young people and access to and control over land, forests, water and seeds. ”

La Via Campesina expresses the need for the CFS to take a greater role in the design of agricultural and international food policies. We recognize the progress made since its reform and are committed to further promote policies that address the needs of the most excluded populations. LVC urges the CFS to launch processes to develop policies that support stable markets and agroecological agriculture, which are respectful of human and peasant rights. These policies must also contribute to stop climate change, ensure access to resources such as seeds and water and put the public interest before private interests.

LVC press contacts in Rome:
Annelies Schorpion (EN, ES, FR, NL): annelies.schorpion@viacampesina.org, +39 3511556740
Ivan Mammana (EN, ES, FR, IT): cooperazione@aiab.it, +39

[1]    See the video of Kannayian Subramaniams speech

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