What makes the reformed Committee on World Food Security potentially attractive?

22 April 2016
Multi-media

The Committee for World Food Security is a privileged observation point to reflect on how global food governance and social mobilization intersect.

What makes the CFS a potentially useful tool for social movements? First of all, the fact that it was born out of decades of rural mobilization, building up to the global  level in 1996 at the FAO World Food Summit - Networked in the IPC 

A decade later these social movements took advantage of the food price crisis to push for reform of CFS. They participated directly in the process and won some important points:

  • CFS deliberates on food issues from a human rights perspective;
  • It is recognized as THE central forum for policy coherence; 
  • Civil society organizations are full participants, not observers as elsewhere in the UN system; 
  • Private sector is not confounded with civil society as in most “multi-stakeholder platforms”;
  • Decision-making takes place in plenary sessions rather than closed door drafting rooms. At the end of the debate it’s the governments who decide and so can be held accountable.

This talk assesses seven years of experience of the reformed CFS asking the question: “Can a global policy forum frequented by peasants, indigenous peoples and their allies help to build the discursive and normative bases for more equitable and sustainable territorially-rooted food systems?”


This video was recorded during the Colloquium Global Governance, Climate Justice & Agrarian Justice. 

The convergence of multiple crises - food, energy, environmental, climate change and finance - has triggered profound agrarian and environmental transformations. A global rush to control natural resources is underway. In February 2016, the International Institute for Social Studies (ISS) hosted an international colloqium "Global governance/politics, climate justice & agrarian/social justice: linkages and challenges" to discuss a range of related themes and developments.

A list of the papers presented at the Colloquium can be found here.