Summary report, 17–21 October 2016

43rd Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS 43)

The 43rd session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS 43) convened from 17-21 October 2016, at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN, in Rome, Italy. Approximately 1,200 participants attended the session, which addressed: sustainable food systems, nutrition and climate change; CFS engagement in advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda); the State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI) and the 2030 Agenda; monitoring the implementation of CFS decisions and recommendations; CFS engagement in advancing nutrition; the Multi-Year Programme of Work (MYPoW); the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition (GSF); and evaluation of CFS. Items on policy convergence focused on: “sustainable agricultural development for food security and nutrition: what roles for livestock?”; and connecting smallholders to markets. Special or thematic events addressed: inclusive value chains for sustainable agriculture and scaled-up food security and nutrition outcomes; implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT); the Forum on Urbanization, Rural Transformation and Implications for Food Security and Nutrition; and learning from the first volunteer national reviews with regard to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

CFS 43 adopted: sets of recommendations on the role of livestock in sustainable agricultural development for food security and nutrition, and on promoting smallholders’ access to markets; and terms of reference (ToRs) to share experiences and good practices in applying CFS decisions and recommendations through organizing events at all levels. Intersessional activities will continue on engagement in advancing the 2030 Agenda and on nutrition, and will carry forward work conducted in 2016, including two technical working groups and online consultation on urbanization and rural transformation. The Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is tasked with elaborating CFS’ contribution to the 2017 session of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF). The OEWG on Nutrition will identify CFS’ contributions to the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition work programme. The OEWG on Urbanization and Rural Transformation will agree on a process to compile experiences and policy approaches for addressing food security and nutrition in the context of changing rural-urban dynamics.


CFS was established in 1974 as an intergovernmental body to serve as a forum in the UN system for review and follow-up of policies concerning world food security, including production and physical and economic access to food. Its first session was held in 1976. In response to calls for a revised food policy governance system from the 2008 and 2009 G8 Summits and the 2009 World Summit on Food Security, CFS underwent a reform in 2009. The reform aimed at making CFS more effective by including a wider group of stakeholders and increasing its ability to promote policies that ensure food security and nutrition for all.

 CFS now serves as an inclusive international, intergovernmental and multi-stakeholder platform. Its mandate is to: coordinate a global approach to food security; promote policy convergence; support and advise countries and regions; coordinate at national and regional levels; promote accountability and share best practices; and develop a global strategic framework for food security and nutrition. The framework of the reformed CFS broadens participation and aims to: give a voice to all stakeholders in the world food system; be inclusive and encourage an exchange of views and experiences; build on empirical evidence and scientific analysis; and monitor the effectiveness of actions towards reducing hunger.

Allowing input from all stakeholders at global, regional and national levels, its structure includes: the plenary, which is held annually and is the main decision-making body; a Bureau; an Advisory Group, made up of representatives from CFS Participants, including UN bodies, civil society, international agricultural research institutions, international and regional financial institutions, the private sector and prominent individuals; a High-Level Panel of Experts (HLPE); and the Secretariat, supported by the three Rome-based agencies (RBAs), including FAO, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and World Food Programme (WFP). CFS deliberations are based on country representation in FAO regional groups, including: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC), Near East, North America, and Southwest Pacific. Following CFS reform, non-governmental actors were called to organize themselves autonomously in order to facilitate their interaction and engagement with the Committee, which led to the creation of the Civil Society Mechanism (CSM) and the Private Sector Mechanism (PSM). 

Major CFS outcomes include: the 2012 VGGT; the 2014 Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (CFS-RAI); the Framework for Action for Food Security and Nutrition in Protracted Crises; and the GSF, a reference document containing practical guidance on recommendations, policies and strategies for food security and nutrition, that is updated annually.

CFS 42 (12-15 October 2015, Rome) endorsed the Framework for Action for Food Security and Nutrition in Protracted Crises and recommendations on Water for Food Security and Nutrition. The meeting also launched new areas of work, such as the role CFS will play in nutrition and in the 2030 Agenda, and adopted its MYPoW for the next biennium.


On Monday, 17 October, CFS Chair Amira Gornass (Sudan) opened CFS 43, drawing attention to CFS’ 40th anniversary.

ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: Plenary adopted the agenda and timetable (CFS 2016/43/1/Rev.2 and 2016/43/Inf.1/Rev.1) and established a drafting committee to be chaired by Mathew Hooper (New Zealand). CFS Chair Gornass informed participants that Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Dominica, Mauritius and Suriname had joined CFS. Samoa and Lesotho also joined during CFS 43.


Opening the session, CFS Chair Gornass asked plenary to consider to what extent CFS can make a real step forward on implementation of its recommendations.

In a video message, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underlined CFS’ key role in the 2030 Agenda, and in ending world hunger; and urged combating malnutrition in all its forms.

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva noted that integration of food security concerns into the climate change agenda represents a recognition of FAO’s work. Underscoring that more than half of the world population suffers from malnutrition, including undernourishment and obesity, he drew attention to the failure of food systems to deliver healthy diets.

IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze drew attention to the 2016 Rural Development Report, noting that undernutrition can persist even when incomes rise. He urged moving beyond global policy-making to focus on implementation on the ground, with rural populations at the core of action.

WFP Assistant Executive Director Elisabeth Rasmusson underlined climate change and population increase as challenges for sustainable food systems, and highlighted the role of smallholders and social protection systems, such as WFP school meal programmes.

Patrick Caron, Chair of the HLPE Steering Committee, outlined reports produced by the HLPE, and highlighted its work on CFS’ contribution to implementing the 2030 Agenda with regard to food security and nutrition.

Plenary then heard from high-level representatives. In their opening statements, countries and stakeholders stressed the challenges arising from climate change for food security and nutrition.

Argentina recalled the responsibilities of national governments in implementing the 2030 Agenda. The Russian Federation outlined his country’s progress in sustainable agriculture. Nigeria underlined the lack of access to capital and credit for agricultural development, and poor road networks. Mentioning his country’s efforts to increase food production, Sudan highlighted: transportation challenges and the need to minimize food waste; the need for more information technology; and the impact of terms of trade on smallholder farmers.

The US emphasized knowledge exchange, investments throughout the value chain, and development of more platforms for building resilience, improving nutrition and promoting agriculture-led development. Norway said the GSF is an essential tool for SDG achievement and stressed women’s empowerment and secure tenure as central factors in poverty reduction. He supported the “One Health” perspective, and a ban on the use of antimicrobials in food. Iran proposed that CFS increase its focus on sustainable dryland management.

Brazil reported on its focus on low carbon agriculture, and public system on food security and nutrition, including investment of US$30 billion each year to ensure access to adequate food at the household level.

Highlighting its ratification of the Paris Agreement, and calling for CFS to deepen its inclusiveness, Slovakia for the EU, called for focus on nutrition.

The Philippines recommended: assistance by FAO to build countries’ capabilities for food security and nutrition in climate change; development of more productive and resilient technology platforms; and investments in food systems infrastructure to enable smallholders to access markets and cope with climate change.

Noting that approaches such as agroecology increase efficiency, reduce emissions and improve resilience, Switzerland suggested national multi-stakeholder committees are key to increasing impact of CFS products at the national level. The PSM called for adopting proven sustainable agricultural practices to reduce emissions, and for developing better performing technologies. The CSM cautioned against corporate control of agriculture and “false solutions” that do not address the root causes of climate change, and called for supporting agroecology and rights to territories and knowledge.

China underscored agricultural modernization, industrialization, urbanization and information technologies, and urged CFS to promote knowledge sharing. Samoa highlighted success stories regarding high-value products, such as coconut oil, vanilla and coffee. Sweden stressed that rich countries have a responsibility to help poor countries. France noted that the Paris Agreement recognizes agriculture’s contributions to climate change mitigation.

Venezuela said that the capitalist model of food production must be replaced with a model based on social equity and inclusion. Colombia stressed CFS’ role as an inclusive forum to discuss a participatory and equitable reform of global food systems. Kenya described national measures including mechanized rice production and improved access to credit. Ecuador proposed focusing on food sovereignty, which requires building the infrastructure and capacity that countries need to eliminate poverty.

Bangladesh highlighted the importance of introducing balanced diets to slow growth in demand for animal protein. India asked that the RBAs continue to provide technologies for agricultural transformation. Saudi Arabia supported improving the food supply, while using scarce resources more efficiently.

The WHO called for a radical transformation of the food system to address both climate change and major health issues such as diabetes. The World Farmers Organization (WFO) emphasized soil carbon stock management, and the need for a financing framework, partnerships, and affordable technologies.


SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT FOR FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION, WHAT ROLES FOR LIVESTOCK?: On Monday, CFS Chair Gornass noted that consensus was reached on the recommendations of the HLPE report in negotiations held in the previous week and on 8-9 September 2016 (CFS 2016/43/2/Rev.1). Rapporteur Yaya Olaniran (Nigeria) facilitated the discussion. 

HLPE Project Team Leader for the Report Wilfrid Legg (UK) presented the report and its recommendations (CFS 2016/43/3). He stated that livestock accounts for one third of agricultural production, and that the report presents a common approach for pathways to improve food security and nutrition for a growing population in a sustainable way. Plenary then endorsed the recommendations, negotiated by CFS and informed by the evidence-based HLPE report.

Burkina Faso drew attention to the country’s efforts for resilient and market-oriented livestock production. Brazil said the recommendations can assist with transitioning to more efficient, nutrition-sensitive and sustainable food systems, and drew attention to public policies promoting sustainable grazing practices. The EU underlined the importance of treating each livestock system in its context and welcomed the recommendation on preventing unnecessary use of antimicrobials. Afghanistan called for a plan of action based on the recommendations.

The PSM stressed the importance of access to veterinary services for all production systems. Malaysia underscored the need for resilience in the face of climate change and natural disasters, including through insurance and policies to support smallholders and reduce excessive price volatility. Argentina stressed the livestock sector is a major driver for development and emphasized an open and fair international trade system. Venezuela said the recommendations can support a sustainable and economically and socially fair model of livestock production. Bangladesh suggested establishing a sub-committee on livestock under the FAO Committee on Agriculture (COAG). The Russian Federation stressed monitoring of infectious animal diseases to prevent their transboundary transmission and improve animal health.

Kenya, for the African Group, proposed adding reference to gender empowerment and equal access to resources in a recommendation on gender-sensitive livestock policies and interventions. The Philippines underscored the need to pay more attention to livestock in agricultural policy development.

WFO stressed, among other issues: policy convergence at all levels; international standards for human, animal and plant health; and the need to phase out the use of antimicrobials as growth promoters.

China called for respecting the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities when developing policy measures. Egypt requested technical assistance by FAO to help implement the recommendations, including on cross-border diseases and antimicrobial resistance. Singapore underscored the need for enhanced cooperation to address antimicrobial resistance. Thailand highlighted its regulations to control antimicrobial use. Drawing attention to the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock and the Livestock Assessment and Performance Partnership, Switzerland highlighted the importance of actions on the ground to ensure the sector’s sustainability in an inclusive way.

The PSM said that improving the sustainability of all agricultural systems requires directing research to farmers and providing them with knowledge to serve their needs. Stressing that intensive and industrial production systems destroy smallholders’ livelihoods and the environment and result in land grabbing, the CSM highlighted that different production systems cannot co-exist in harmony, and called for addressing the impacts of intensification and for public policies that recognize the central role of smallholders.

Recognizing desertification and inadequate water resources as challenges that can lead to conflicts among pastoralists, Sudan called for addressing the impacts of drought and the scarcity of water. Ecuador emphasized the importance of small livestock species in the production of protein, calling for supporting smallholders. On synergies, New Zealand reported that his country had successfully doubled livestock production while reducing its environmental footprint. The International Livestock Research Institute noted the urgency for policies on livestock, specifically on food safety, transmissibility of infections between species, and natural resource protection. Senegal stressed the importance of: developing indicators for early warning systems for pastoralists; small animals at the household level; and monitoring implementation of the recommendations.

The PSM drew attention to the importance of the livestock sector for rural livelihoods, saying 1.3 billion people derive income from livestock. The CSM lamented the lack of language on protecting migrant workers from exploitation and exposure to pathogens, and called for anti-trust reforms to curtail buyer-owner abuses. The PSM called for mobilizing investments toward the “First 1,000 Days” initiative and for school food programmes to incorporate animal-based proteins. The CSM underlined the need to reduce overconsumption of animal-based foods for food security and nutrition.

HLPE Team Leader Legg responded to comments, recognizing: the need for a diversity of approaches that respond to the diversity of livestock systems and contexts; the importance of follow-up actions and sharing of experiences; and the need for further work on the link between animal and human health.

Gornass then read out the Committee’s conclusions. Participants agreed to add reference to: encouraging all stakeholders to disseminate the recommendations among their constituents, make use of them when formulating policies and document experiences and lessons learned; and request the OEWG on Monitoring to hold a stocktaking event at a future session.

Final Outcome: The adopted recommendations, included in the report of the meeting, address:

  • fostering policy coherence for food security and nutrition;
  • addressing nutrition, food safety, working conditions and services;
  • fostering gender equality and women’s empowerment, and youth empowerment;
  • protecting the environment and promoting sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources;
  • enhancing resilience against risks and variability;
  • promoting cooperation and collaboration in innovation, research and development, and addressing data needs;
  • improving animal health and welfare;
  • recognizing, protecting and supporting pastoral systems for livelihoods and sustainable resource management;
  • promoting and supporting sustainable grazing systems and mixed systems; and
  • promoting the sustainability of intensive systems.

CONNECTING SMALLHOLDERS TO MARKETS: On Tuesday, CFS Chair Gornass introduced the recommendations developed by the OEWG on Smallholders and a draft decision (CFS 2016/43/4 and 5), underscoring their importance for poverty reduction and rural livelihoods. Chair of the OEWG on Smallholders Anna Gebremedhin, Finland, presented the outcomes of the OEWG which was informed by the discussion during the 2015 High-level Forum on Smallholders. Participants endorsed the recommendations and decision.

The CSM highlighted the concept of territorial markets and called for increasing public investments in infrastructure. Speaking for indigenous communities, the CSM also called for recognizing women’s rights in markets.

Argentina emphasized support for farmers in meeting international standards and asked for reference to decisions under the World Trade Organization on eliminating agricultural export subsidies. The EU highlighted infrastructure investments, transparent prices, market demand information, education, and short supply chains.

India suggested using information and communication technologies, capacity building, and minimum prices for food products. Brazil shared experiences on institutional procurement and locally-sourced school food programmes. China, for Asia, stressed innovation to streamline market access and integrate farmers in food value chains, and using traditional practices to enhance food security.

Mexico, for GRULAC, highlighted that access to markets for smallholders requires ensuring economic, social and political rights for women and youth, including rights to education and health. The PSM stressed the need for investment in production capacity and in the surrounding physical, legal and commercial environments, calling for a farmer-centered approach to ensure benefits from increased market participation.

Norway underscored that cooperation, such as through cooperatives, is key for smallholders to succeed, and called for more research on the diversity of challenges faced by smallholders.

Thailand highlighted national initiatives, including on smallholder engagement in e-markets. South Sudan drew attention to women smallholders. Bangladesh stressed the need to reduce the role of middlemen in order for smallholders to benefit from access to markets. FAO underscored the need of placing smallholders in a broader context of economic development and diversification to make them not only more productive but also more resilient. The CSM suggested work on the impact of international trade on smallholders.

The PSM said it is important to enhance productivity to make farmers more competitive, including along the value chain, such as with skills and training. Japan noted national examples supporting value chain development.

IFAD said the terms on which smallholders are able to engage in markets affect poverty levels, calling for addressing this via policy measures and investments in capacity. WFP said that nutrition-sensitive value chain approaches provide opportunities to connect smallholders to new markets.

Egypt expressed support for gender equality and youth empowerment, fair trade and shielding smallholders from unfair practices. Noting statements on how markets and trade impact nutrition, the UN Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN) emphasized making markets and trade more nutrition sensitive. She highlighted use of correct indicators at appropriate scales for smallholders. Colombia underscored the importance of the recommendations to support internal processes at the country level. Sudan called for surveys of smallholders to determine their real needs.

WFO said securing smallholders’ access to markets should be a priority issue, but that other producers also need support, such as via fair prices, and training especially for women and youth. The PSM stressed investment in enhanced skills and training, infrastructure, and access.

OEWG Chair Gebremedhin stressed that data and evidence on markets and how they impact smallholders is important for continued work. She encouraged plenary members to disseminate the policy recommendations and take them up with UN governing bodies.

Final Outcome:In the report, the Committee endorses the recommendations and decides to transmit them to the governing bodies of FAO, WFP and IFAD, as well as request the UN General Assembly to consider and endorse them, and ensure their wide dissemination.

The recommendations (CFS 2016/43/5) aim to address the key challenges and opportunities for improving smallholder access to markets, and call for, among others:

  • regular collection of comprehensive data on diverse markets and food systems;
  • a more enabling market environment for smallholders that provides fair and transparent prices and that adequately remunerates smallholders’ work and investments;
  • affordable mechanisms for smallholders’ access to market and price information through information and communication technologies;
  • promoting and expanding opportunities, including implementing institutional procurement programmes;
  • establishing policy and institutional arrangements that empower smallholders to have an effective and equitable role in the design and implementation of contractual arrangements;
  • improving access to inclusive financial systems; 
  • developing or improving smallholder-targeted infrastructure, such as irrigation and small-scale centers for processing and packaging;
  • promoting: smallholder products, which increase income and can respond to consumer demand while preserving traditional practices and knowledge and agricultural biodiversity; and short food supply chains;
  • investing in capacity building, research and smallholder-adapted innovative technologies and technology transfer;
  • empowering smallholders by strengthening their access to and control over productive assets and resources;
  • targeting education and training, particularly to youth; and
  • facilitating smallholders’ capacity to increase their economic influence and participation in food value chains by acting collectively and forming cooperatives.


On Tuesday, Willem Olthof, EU Delegation, Chair of the OEWG on SDGs, introduced the Proposal for CFS engagement in advancing the 2030 Agenda, including the draft decisions developed by the OEWG (CFS 2016/43/6) and the guidance note for CFS contribution to the 2017 HLPF, including a proposed outline (CFS 2016/43/Inf/16), suggesting this contribution be developed by the OEWG, and endorsed by the Bureau mandated by plenary.

Plenary endorsed the draft decision. The Russian Federation stressed that human rights issues should be addressed by specialized UN bodies, and recorded a declaration of position dissociating itself from a paragraph stating that CFS “provides an enabling space which emphasizes the centrality of human rights,” noting it contains non-consensus language in the context of CFS activities, and will not constitute a precedent in the work of CFS and other UN bodies.

The PSM stressed focus on SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), explaining that nutrition and the eradication of hunger are key for business. Cuba suggested that CFS’ work in 2017 take into account regional fora, and that CFS should: be guided by the internationally recognized right to food; work towards achieving SDG 2; and recognize that food should not be used as a tool for economic nor political oppression.

On CFS’ contribution to the 2017 HLPF, Switzerland suggested it should not be limited to SDG 2, but highlight interlinkages with other SDGs. The EU called for highlighting: CFS’ work on cross-cutting issues, including the VGGT; and upcoming work on nutrition and food systems, and gender. For Asia, the Republic of Korea, stressed CFS’ work on policy convergence. The Russian Federation requested that plenary approve future contributions to HLPF and cautioned against going beyond CFS’ mandate.

Afghanistan stressed the importance to retain flexibility in reaching agreement on CFS’ contribution to the 2017 HLPF until the context and structure of the HLPF work is better known. He further underlined the importance of SDG 2, 5 (Gender Equality) and 14 (Life below Water). Brazil emphasized the centrality of human rights and women’s empowerment and suggested the OEWG focus on interlinkages between poverty and food security. A representative of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the 2030 Agenda David Nabarro said it is important to agree on key messages and advised to keep the outline as flexible as possible.

FAO stressed the need to address not only SDG 2 but also linkages with other SDGs. The US emphasized contributions on cross-cutting issues, such as gender equality and economic growth, and partnerships to leverage financial and other resources. Japan prioritized sharing good practices and disseminating CFS outcomes. Viet Nam highlighted contributions to SDG 17 (Partnerships and Means of Implementation). Colombia stressed CFS’ coordinating role. Argentina emphasized contributions to women’s and children’s rights.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation called for roadmaps to garner consensus and action for agricultural development. The CSM underscored: conveying the role of human rights for food security; promoting key recommendations; and promoting a holistic framework and inclusive platform for analyzing root causes of hunger and malnutrition. The PSM suggested raising awareness of completed CFS work focusing on concrete solutions to rural poverty. WFO called for greater participation of farmers at CFS and HLPF meetings.

Participants then endorsed the conclusions, with a footnote to record the declaration of the Russian Federation. The EU noted the “universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated” nature of human rights and their importance for food security and nutrition, and suggested this be added to the focus of the 2017 HLPF contribution.

Final Outcome: In the report, CFS endorses the document prepared by the OEWG on SDGs (CFS 2016/43/6) on CFS engagement in advancing the 2030 Agenda, which addresses how CFS will support country-led implementation of the 2030 Agenda and national achievement of the SDGs in accordance with its mandate.

It further decides that CFS will provide regular, timely agreed inputs directly to HLPF. For the 2017 meeting of the HLPF, CFS decides to mandate the Bureau to endorse the contribution elaborated by the OEWG on SDGs, following plenary guidance highlighting that:

the contribution should be introduced by a few key messages drawing attention to CFS work on cross-cutting issues and emphasizing its multi-stakeholder approach, and tailored to HLPF needs; and

the proposed outline should serve as a starting point.


On Friday, CFS Chair Gornass opened the special event, organized to share early efforts to address food security and nutrition in the context of the 2030 Agenda at the country level (CFS 2016/43/Inf/22 and 23).

Moderator David Nabarro, Special Adviser of the UN Secretary General on the 2030 Agenda, said the event will be organized in three panel discussions, to address successes, challenges and opportunities from implementing the 2030 Agenda. 

LEVERAGING EXISTING INSTITUTIONS AND LEGAL FRAMEWORKS FOR THE SDGS: Amr Mostafa Kamal Helmy, Egypt, drew attention to funding gaps for implementing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and presented the national vision for implementing the 2030 Agenda, with focus on bringing together housing, public health, and food security and nutrition perspectives.

Diego Alonso Simancas Gutierrez, Ministry of External Relations of Mexico, presented lessons learned in monitoring implementation of the MDGs to meet commitments under the 2030 Agenda, underscoring: policy coherence at all levels; centrality of human rights; incentives and transparency to empower participation; and budget-related challenges.

Gunnvor Berge, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, outlined experiences from a collaborative inter-ministerial process set up to prepare the post-2015 negotiations and maintained for SDG reporting, noting that it created strong momentum by: creating shared belief that transformative change is possible; and linking national work to emerging global issues.

Valerie Nicolas, United Cities and Local Governments, described how local communities working with local governments in France can impact food security by promoting local food production and consumption, generate multiple positive externalities and establish new forms of cooperation.

In the ensuing discussion, the CSM reiterated the need for broad participation in decision making. Afghanistan described diversifying levels of commitment among ministries and questioned how SDGs integrate with the budget process at the country level, especially for countries relying on official development assistance. Venezuela noted their establishment of farmers, women, and youth councils. The PSM said the SDGs are a driving force creating new markets for women and girls, commenting that creating equal access is good business.

INTEGRATING THE THREE DIMENSIONS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND THE SDGS WITH NATIONAL PRIORITIES FOR FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE: Xie Jianmin, Deputy Representative of China to the UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome, described the focus of agriculture policy in his country, including on: an agriculture support framework; continuous investment in agricultural improvement and irrigation of arable land; science, technology and innovation and the breeding of high quality varieties of grain, cotton and sugar; a circular agriculture system which increases production but reduces environmental footprint; and minimizing damage from disasters.

Sylvie Lemmet, Ministry of Environment, Energy and the Sea, France, discussed her country’s public food policy, which focuses on social justice, youth, reducing 50% of food waste by 2030, and limiting the transport of local agricultural produce. She also described an agroecological programme aimed at assessing different production methods, limiting use of antimicrobials, and increasing research and innovation.

Arne Cartridge, Yara International, PSM, highlighted the private sector’s potential to contribute to SDG implementation. As the sustainability agenda shifts to the commercial mainstream, he said, business can deliver new market priorities through product innovation and engagement with the public sector.

Rob Vos, FAO, on behalf of RBAs, emphasized: challenges regarding adoption of new technologies by smallholders due to cost and lack of access to credit, markets and information; and IFAD’s financing programme linking producers’ organizations to microcredit schemes and restored land.

In the ensuing discussion, Germany presented its draft national sustainability development strategy, including national priorities for better diets and biodiversity management, and global priorities on fighting hunger and malnutrition.

Sudan presented on legislative developments, highlighting challenges regarding sectoral interventions, climate change implications and financial gaps. The Philippines urged greater understanding of the social dimension of sustainable development and stressed the need for integrated cross-sectoral implementation, taking into account synergies and trade-offs.

The CSM underscored traditional knowledge and agroecology, market concentration as a threat to smallholders, and opportunities for rural youth. The PSM stressed the role of investment and innovation in agriculture.

CREATING OWNERSHIP OF THE 2030 AGENDA FOR THE PEOPLE, THROUGH ALL LEVELS OF COLLABORATION: Bernard Lehmann, State Secretary for Agriculture of Switzerland, explained how Switzerland’s traditional participation mechanisms and new partnerships are being used to integrate SDGs into policies on food security, food sovereignty and sustainable trade.

Veronica Cristina Vargas Román, Ministry of Health of Ecuador, presented Ecuador’s law on food sovereignty, which: guarantees access to resources; preserves traditional production models; prioritizes local value chains and markets; supports healthy consumption of nutritional foods; and mandates participation at all levels.

Sirpa Sarlio-Lähteenkorva, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health of Finland, described local initiatives providing free nutritional support for maternal and child health clinics and free school meals. At the national level, she highlighted: collaboration with other Nordic countries in developing common dietary guidelines; and political commitment within all sectors using a network of focal points ensuring all aspects of the SDGs are taken up. She drew attention to advisories on climate-friendly plant-based diets and an upper limit of red meat consumption, and introduced the national multi-stakeholder initiative “Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development.”

Indigenous peoples’ culture and identity is intrinsically linked to ecosystems, said Taina Hedman, International Indigenous Treaty Council, CSM, adding that without specific targets and indicators to measure progress on human rights, achieving the SDGs is unlikely. She underlined territorial rights, free, prior and informed consent, and the duty of states to establish specific initiatives to implement and monitor their commitments.

In the ensuing discussion, the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) urged countries to identify indigenous people in their censuses and to prioritize dialogue on traditional knowledge and cultural heritage.


TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR SHARING EXPERIENCES AND GOOD PRACTICES: On Tuesday, CFS Chair of the OEWG on Monitoring Robert Sabiiti, Uganda, provided an overview of the draft ToRs (CFS 2016/43/7).

The CSM said the ToRs represent a sound and flexible foundation that can be adapted to national circumstances, and called for clear policy on avoiding conflicts of interest. Brazil and Switzerland proposed developing a mechanism to consider results of national and stakeholder events at CFS, with Switzerland suggesting holding a monitoring day in advance of CFS sessions. Switzerland also asked to monitor use of major CFS products at regular and predictable intervals.

The EU encouraged stakeholders to make use of multi-stakeholder platforms where possible. Tanzania, for the African Group, stressed the ToRs lay the groundwork for all stakeholders to participate in monitoring, and supported continuing work beyond 2017. Japan called for a future thematic event on implementation of the RAI. WFO said farmers are in the best position to report on challenges and best practices for implementation.

Plenary then endorsed the decision text as read by CFS Chair Gornass, including the ToRs providing guidance to stakeholders on sharing their experiences and good practices in implementing CFS decisions and recommendations as a contribution to the incremental development of an innovative monitoring mechanism.

Final Outcome: In the report, the Committee endorses the ToRs to share experiences and good practices in applying CFS decisions and recommendations through organizing events at national, regional and global levels (CFS 2016/43/7), which include guidance on: objectives of events; main expected results; recommended approach at national, regional and global levels; identification of good practices; and organization of global thematic sessions at CFS.

CFS also encourages stakeholders to continue to share their experiences and best practices on a voluntary basis through events described in the ToRs; and recommends that the OEWG on Monitoring continue its work to agree on how to regularly monitor the implementation of CFS products.

GLOBAL THEMATIC EVENT: VOLUNTARY GUIDELINES ON THE RESPONSIBLE GOVERNANCE OF TENURE: On Wednesday, Moderator Gregory Myers, Lead Land Administration specialist, World Bank, said the event’s objectives include: sharing good practices and learning from experiences; monitoring progress in implementing the VGGT; and increasing awareness and understanding of the VGGT. He said 62 submissions were received on experiences with, and use and application of the VGGT, focusing on awareness raising, capacity development, reform of legal and policy frameworks, operationalization of the VGGT and multi-stakeholder platforms.

A. M. Camara, on behalf of Modou Mboup, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Equipment of Senegal, presented on the land reform process, involving a multi-stakeholder platform with activities linked to the VGGT, and highlighted strong political will at the government level, mobilization of civil society, and dissemination and capacity-building initiatives.

Ir. Wiratno, Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Indonesia, presented on national tenure reform in the forestry sector, aiming to transfer 2.7 million hectares of state-owned forest land to forest-dependent communities in the next five years. He drew attention to its multi-stakeholder approach, resulting in changing bureaucratic cultures, improving land and forest governance and strengthening governance at the village level. Noting how participatory management helped both improve resource use and resolve conflict, he drew attention to challenges, including lack of coordination between central and provincial governments and recognition of customary rights.

Juan Pablo Diaz Granados Pinedo, Vice Minister of Rural Development of Colombia, called the VGGT a “guiding light” for government reforms as his country recovers from a long history of conflict. He described land tenure-related developments, including: a specific agency on tenure governance; the Law for the Restitution of Land, which focuses on returning tenure to victims of armed conflict, noting 180,000 hectares have been returned to original owners; draft legislation aimed at sanctioning illegal fisheries; and an agreement signed with FAO and WWF designating EUR4 million to applying VGGT to national parks.

Naseegh Jaffer, World Forum of Fisher Peoples and Coordinator of the CSM Monitoring Working Group, presented a report of civil society on experiences in 44 countries. He stated VGGT implementation reasserted visibility of land rights but did not generate accountability and human rights-based tenure. Furthermore, he said implementation led to increased use as a standard and reference document in policy reform processes, but did not automatically translate into national laws and policies. He noted VGGT can be especially useful for communities asserting rights over land where national laws are weak. He further emphasized: violence and persecution suffered by land rights defenders; the need to link land tenure and small-scale fisheries guidelines; ancestral and customary tenure rights; and attention to women’s rights and youth.

John Young Simpson, PSM, said the private sector is the biggest driver of poverty reduction, including 60% of gross domestic product and 90% of jobs in developing countries, and reported that several large agribusiness companies are committed to the VGGT. He highlighted that the PSM raises awareness of VGGT through regular newsletters to over 1,000 companies, and stressed challenges regarding the complex wording of the Guidelines, which does not allow easy use and application on the ground.

In the ensuing discussion, many stressed the importance of the VGGT for inclusive land reform and for securing access to natural resources, in particular for vulnerable groups and women. Participants also shared insights on successful VGGT implementation through establishing multi-stakeholder platforms and developing guidelines or manuals as dissemination tools. Many also called for more capacity building, awareness raising and translation into local languages.

Sierra Leone reported applying the VGGT resulted in strong national ownership of land reform and mainstreaming of VGGT in relevant legal and policy frameworks. Mexico reported on establishing a consolidated land registry and using the VGGT in developing a strategy to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

FAO stated that the VGGT have become the global standard for land tenure and induced a culture change towards true stakeholder participation. The EU stressed that adoption of a land indicator under the SDGs helps maintain momentum around land governance, and called on investors and governments to translate the VGGT into operational tools and incorporate them into their due diligence responsibilities. The UK urged establishing a monitoring mechanism for all stakeholders, noting this will also mobilize investments.

The CSM underlined the VGGT’s importance for analyzing women’s access to resources, addressing youth unemployment, and monitoring legal and policy frameworks. Noting that he speaks for the Global Donor Working Group on Land, the US said the VGGT represent a common vision for legitimate land and resource rights, which have, among other actions, helped address threats of “land grabbing.” Venezuela stressed the need for political will to implement a legislative framework applying the VGGT and reject criminalization of land rights defenders.

Brazil reported on developing a guide for VGGT implementation and a people’s manual to support their use in Portuguese speaking countries. Bangladesh said national land titles are now issued for both men and women as a result of the VGGT. Argentina drew attention to disseminating the VGGT to those with no access to technology.

Tanzania, for the African Group, drew attention to the African Union’s Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy. Haiti called for identifying countries with land conflicts. The PSM stressed that addressing tenure insecurity is key for all stakeholders, calling for awareness raising among agricultural investment funds.

The CSM flagged abuse of VGGT to manage corporate social responsibility reputations. Sudan noted that customary law causes tensions among tribes and reported on use of VGGT to support smallholders in Darfour. Brazil, for the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries, described their establishment of food security and nutrition councils at the national level to improve regional reporting to CFS.

China reported on seminars on land use and land tenure. The CSM urged addressing violations of land and human rights in conflict situations. Palestine urged support for its smallholders. 

CFS Chair Gornass presented draft conclusions, including that: the VGGT have been widely used; challenges include effective representation of main beneficiaries, limited knowledge and understanding, and violence against human rights defenders; and good practices include empowering all stakeholders, establishing multi-stakeholder platforms, promoting political engagement, and mainstreaming VGGT in legal and policy frameworks. The CSM proposed reflecting the need for qualitative methods for monitoring. The EU added reference to women’s empowerment, awareness raising and capacity building.

CFS Chair Gornass presented the revised conclusions. The Russian Federation questioned the meaning of “independent” monitoring, and participants eventually agreed to “robust, evidence-based and inclusive” monitoring. Participants further agreed to refer to “empowering all stakeholders, especially most vulnerable and marginalized groups, and people in all situations of conflict, including protracted crises.”

Final Outcome: The report notes that the VGGT should be monitored on a regular basis.


On Wednesday, plenary endorsed the proposal for CFS engagement in advancing nutrition prepared by the OEWG on Nutrition (CFS 2016/43/9).

Khaled El-Taweel (Egypt), Chair of the OEWG on Nutrition, presented the OEWG outcomes, including a proposal for areas of focus for the forthcoming HLPE report on food systems and nutrition, and a proposal for CFS contribution to addressing global malnutrition in all its forms.

Many supported the workstream on nutrition and drew attention to the upcoming HLPE report and to the resulting policy work.

Underscoring that nutrition is based on ancestral and local knowledge in harmony with nature and culture, the CSM warned against systems that break the culture of food. The Dominican Republic, for the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), lauded efforts to raise the human right to food to a legal framework and mobilize resources. She further stressed the need to: consolidate coordinated mechanisms; improve gender equality; and refrain from unilateral measures inconsistent with international law or using food as an instrument of political or economic pressure.

The EU stressed that the joint UN Global Nutrition Agenda and the Decade of Action on Nutrition accelerates implementation of food security and nutrition policies. She highlighted nutrition education, and gender equality and women’s empowerment. Japan introduced a number of its global actions on nutrition including collaborative initiatives in Africa and its work through G7 working groups to raise awareness of food security and nutrition and empower women.

The UNSCN and FAO expressed readiness to participate in the intersessional process. UNICEF emphasized “The First 1,000 Days” initiative and sustained interventions in cases of conflict and crisis, noting that investing in nutrition can help break the intergenerational cycle of poverty. WHO suggested CFS discussions contribute to ensuring that agricultural investments improve quality, rather than quantity of production. The Russian Federation stressed the need for interagency coordination. The US highlighted CFS’ role in addressing policy gaps and other challenges, adding it should refrain from monitoring or evaluating countries’ progress on nutrition targets. The African Group said future OEWG work should focus on the UN Decade’s work programme and proposals for CFS 44 consideration.

Cuba commended the reference to the right to food. Ecuador and the CSM requested work on addressing potential conflicts of interest. Stressing that current food systems fail to deliver healthy diets to one-third of the global population, Switzerland highlighted the need to promote diverse food production using agricultural biodiversity.

The PSM underlined the private sector’s commitment to finding solutions for women’s empowerment and improving women’s nutrition. Norway proposed acknowledging the ocean as a source of nutrition and the need to reduce food loss in the seafood value chain. WFP highlighted: ensuring consumers’ access to nutritionally adequate diets; considering the fight against malnutrition in a humanitarian context; and partnerships. WFO prioritized specific initiatives to support women, and stressed the role of partnerships.

Final Outcome: In the report, CFS endorses the document on CFS Engagement in Advancing Nutrition (CFS 2016/43/9), which proposes a framework for CFS to step up its contribution to the global fight against malnutrition in all its forms. It invites the OEWG on Nutrition to: discuss the HLPE draft report on nutrition and food systems; discuss the work programme of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition 2016-2025; and submit to CFS 44 potential contributions. It also requests the Secretariat, subject to available resources, to organize nutrition events to develop common understanding of issues and lay the basis for informed CFS policy convergence and coordination of work.


On Wednesday, Md Mafizur Rahman (Bangladesh), Chair of the OEWG on the MYPoW, presented the outcome of the OEWG’s work, including a proposal for an HLPE report on multi-stakeholder partnerships to finance and improve food security and nutrition in the framework of the 2030 Agenda (CFS 2016/43/10). CFS Secretary Fulton explained that CFS has a financing gap of US$1.5 million for the work of the HLPE, and other gaps for the workstreams, including on women’s empowerment and activities on nutrition and monitoring.

The UN Global Compact for the PSM proposed food safety as the theme of the 2019 HLPE report. Indonesia, for Asia, encouraged mobilizing all available resources and bridging SDG 2 with SDG 17. Algeria, for the African Group, emphasized participation of the research community.

Switzerland preferred a four-year MYPoW and, with Bangladesh, encouraged OEWG members to consider critical and emerging themes a priority. The Russian Federation suggested that the MYPoW for 2018-2019 be less ambitious. The EU called for a selective and realistic MYPoW and supported HLPE work on multi-stakeholder partnerships, including innovative mechanisms for partnerships with the private and academic sectors.

On Thursday, Mexico for GRULAC said selection of topics for HLPE work should be based on consensus, not simply the results of a ranking exercise. Mexico asked that interdependence between agriculture and biodiversity be included in the list of criteria for selecting future work themes. Brazil stressed the need for synergies with other UN agencies and initiatives.

The CSM expressed concern about the limited scope of the 2018 report theme. WFO welcomed focus on partnerships with farmers and farmer organizations.

CFS Chair Gornass presented revised decision text including: requesting the HLPE to prepare a note on emerging issues for 2017 and a study on multi-stakeholder partnerships for financing for 2018; a recommendation to the OEWG to prepare a realistic proposal for the 2018-2019 MYPoW; and encouraging stakeholders to contribute to the CFS budget.

On contributions to the CFS budget, participants agreed to a proposal by Ecuador and Egypt to stress the importance of resources for translation and interpretation services for stakeholder participation. They also agreed to include references to exploring a long-term solution to ensure budget predictability, as requested by CSM; and to exploring the possibility to switch to a four-year cycle for MYPoW, as suggested by the Russian Federation and the EU.

Final Outcome: In the report, the Committee:

  • requests the HLPE to conduct a study on multi-stakeholder partnerships to finance and improve food security and nutrition in the framework of the 2030 Agenda for 2018;
  • takes note of the Bureau decision to mandate the HLPE to prepare a note on critical and emerging issues for food security and nutrition;
  • adopts additional selection criteria for future CFS work; 
  • recommends that the OEWG develop a proposal for CFS activities in the 2018-2019 biennium, taking into account available resources and the need for a manageable workload;
  • encourages CFS Members to: contribute unearmarked extra-budgetary resources to the CFS budget and to ensure that resources are available for translation and interpretation; and explore long-term solutions to address CFS budget predictability based on consensus.


CFS Chair Gornass opened the Forum on Thursday morning, explaining it includes presentations and discussion on: changing rural-urban dynamics, their implications for food security and nutrition and potential policy shifts required to address them; practical experiences on integrated policy approaches across rural and urban areas; and a decision on the way forward.

Moderator Corinna Hawkes, Centre for Food Policy, City University of London, called for an integrated approach and new policy thinking to keep up with the changing dynamics of the global food system.

Preeti Ahuja, World Bank, identified major trends, including: demographic shifts, such as a growing youth population and an ageing farmer work force; conflict, violence and forcibly displaced people; mega-cities and secondary towns, and a vast number of people living in slums; climate change, and the challenges for, and potential of, agriculture; and the multiple issues related to malnutrition. 

Cecilia Tacoli, International Institute for Environment and Development, underscored a shift from a world of producers to a world of consumers and trends in population growth resulting in growing slum populations. She stressed the need to tackle rural and urban food insecurity through a holistic approach.

On policy shifts required, Ahuja highlighted the need for multi-sectoral and multidimensional systems thinking in: promoting climate-smart and nutrition-sensitive agriculture; enabling the business of agriculture and youth participation; using a territorial and spatial approach, linking the city level with national planning on agriculture, water and health; and addressing data gaps. Tacoli stressed the need for local action and for a holistic approach to discuss how sectoral policies may limit such action.

Nima Nango Dembele, Minister of Livestock and Fisheries of Mali, presented challenges and opportunities of a managed liberalization of agricultural markets, noting: increases in labor and land productivity; benefits to women and youth through technologies enabling new jobs in food processing; and a multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholder platform to coordinate stakeholders and develop holistic policies.

Bernard Lehmann, Secretary of State for Agriculture, Switzerland, talked about his country’s evolving food system characterized by high production costs and urban expansion into rural production areas. He highlighted opportunities from direct interactions between producers and consumers enabled through the internet, rapid food distribution systems, urban agriculture, and multi-functional farms.

Christiane Araujo Costa, Instituto Polis, Brazil, said more than 19 million people have been lifted out of poverty in Brazil through coordinated policies, such as the municipal plan for food security of São Paolo, which includes measures to increase the proportion of organic food purchased from local family farms in school food programmes, support for urban and peri-urban agriculture, a reform of public markets, and food banks to avoid food waste.

Fernando Correa Peláez, General Counsel to the Mayor of Medellín, Colombia, presented efforts to enhance food access for marginalized populations while supporting producers. He described: school food provision; creating associations to reduce intermediaries and increase producers’ income; establishing food centers in poor areas to expand the provision of low cost staple foods; and providing loans and low cost technological assistance.

In the ensuing discussion, Germany noted that policies linking local urban producers to regional markets must be improved and rural and urban development must coincide. Cameroon, for the African Group, commented on the need to harmonize concepts, terms and policies regarding the borders between rural and urban areas, especially to prevent inequalities, and emphasized synergies between CFS and COAG. The EU said inclusive rural transformation could increase rural employment and slow down migration.

Afghanistan called for investing in rural areas and diversifying rural economies to reduce migration towards urban areas and meet changing dietary needs. India stressed the role of public food distribution systems and direct cash transfers in urban areas.

Nigeria highlighted practical legal tools and infrastructure development, and suggested CFS address the impacts of food imports on food security and nutrition in developing countries. China suggested linking urbanization to changing diets. Venezuela called for public policies reducing inequality and empowering the excluded.

The CSM expressed concern that the urbanization process is considered inevitable, noting that drivers include forced displacement, land grabbing and international market pressure. He suggested the workstream can contribute to the regeneration of rural areas. Brazil called for policies that improve productivity and increase production while ensuring sustainability, such as agroecology, infrastructure and education to rural communities. The PSM stressed the need to improve the quality of rural life, to keep rural youth in their areas and attract urban youth.

Panelists highlighted, among others: the role of small towns; pathways of production to consumption; direct purchasing, infrastructure and public provision services; motivating youth; and multi-level policy action, coordination and an integrated approach. Malaysia, for Asia, stressed urbanization challenges in the region. Ecuador requested stronger focus on peri-urban areas.

On future work, the Office for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights underlined that future CFS work must take a human rights-based approach, noting major impacts of urbanization on the right to food. Emphasizing that urbanization is uprooting indigenous peoples, the UNPFII emphasized the need for full and effective participation and inclusion. The CSM stated that further work must integrate climate change, be coherent with the SDGs, be rooted in human rights, and promote policy coherence. Noting obstacles to participation, she proposed a task team to define the scope and content of further work. The PSM stressed that work should be tailored to available resources. The EU and the US requested that additional work be subject to availability of funds. The EU further called for reference to gender equality. Brazil, with Ecuador, Argentina, Colombia and the CSM called for aligning CFS work with outcomes of the third UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (HABITAT III).

Plenary discussed whether the OEWG on Urbanization and Rural Transformation should develop policy recommendations or a compendium of effective policy approaches; and whether to ask the HLPE to prepare a report on the overall topic. Extended discussion also sought to clarify that the decision to set up an OEWG on Urbanization and Rural Transformation had been made at CFS 42 upon adoption of the 2016-2017 MYPoW.

Final Outcome: In the report, plenary requests the OEWG on Urbanization and Rural Transformation to agree on a process to compile experiences and effective policy approaches for addressing food security and nutrition in the context of changing rural-urban dynamics; and encourages the MYPoW OEWG to consider whether to include an HLPE report on the issue in 2018-2019 priorities, taking into account the workload of CFS and available resources.


On Thursday, Fernanda Mansur Tansini, Brazil, Chair of the OEWG on the GSF presented the fifth version of the GSF based on the OEWG’s outcomes (CFS 2016/43/13). Plenary then endorsed the decision on the GSF (CFS 2016/43/12).

Final Outcome: In the report, CFS endorses the fifth version of the GSF (CFS 2016/43/13), which includes the policy recommendations on water for food security endorsed at CFS 42, updated statistical figures from the 2015 SOFI Report, and a paragraph on the Framework for Action for Food Security and Nutrition in Protracted Crises endorsed at CFS 42.


On Tuesday, Pietro Gennari, FAO Chief Statistician, on behalf of the RBAs, presented on monitoring food security and nutrition in the 2030 Agenda. He highlighted that the 2017 report on the state of food insecurity in the world will be broadened to nutrition, and the RBAs will partner with WHO, and collaborate also with UNICEF and the World Bank. He said the report will include sections on: monitoring hunger and malnutrition; and synergies and trade-offs with other SDG targets, noting the 2017 version will focus on peace, conflict and food security. He presented statistics showing that, while significant progress has been made in reducing the prevalence of undernourishment, large disparities remain between and within regions and 793 million people remaining undernourished, and all regions report rise in the prevalence of obesity. He further discussed information gaps and measurement and monitoring challenges.

WHO suggested the report address all malnutrition-related targets and elements, and examine food quality, in addition to quantity, and, with UNICEF, highlighted the UNICEF/WHO/World Bank joint child malnutrition estimates. The EU called for promoting inter-agency collaboration at the country level. Brazil called for guidance on aligning national indicators to global ones. GRULAC emphasized the need to strengthen national statistical systems. Afghanistan inquired as to potential inputs by other agencies, including regional institutions and US Agency for International Development, and suggested prioritizing countries for inclusion and data collection. The US supported processes that reflect the most up to date data. Sudan called for attention on the impact of climate change and desertification on stunting and malnutrition. WFO called for farmers’ involvement in indicator development and progress monitoring.

Highlighting a wave of pending mega-mergers in the agrochemical sector, which would result in three companies controlling 60% of global commercial seed sales and 71% of pesticide sales, the CSM proposed discussing their impact on food security as a matter of urgency, during an available timeslot in the plenary schedule. In response, the US, the EU and the Russian Federation expressed concerns regarding lack of preparation and bypassing the rules of procedure. Australia, with Canada and Argentina, suggested holding an informal discussion on mega-mergers. Iceland highlighted the need to create a space in the future for plenary to discuss emerging issues. On Wednesday, CFS Chair Gornass clarified that the discussion on mega-mergers will be organized as a CSM event.


On Friday afternoon, plenary heard a progress report on the evaluation of CFS’ effectiveness, presented by CFS evaluation manager Angela Bester. Bester: welcomed suggestions, emphasizing that the evaluation is independent; underscored efforts to speak to as a broad range of people as possible; and emphasized support by the RBAs, the CSM and the PSM. She concluded that the evaluation team will conclude its work in early 2017 and propose recommendations, but responsibility for decision rests with CFS.

Ecuador emphasized the role of governments and their responsibilities towards their citizens, and suggested this be taken into account in the evaluation of CFS participation processes. The EU said the evaluation can help CFS adjust in the context of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement, and to prioritize activities. Bangladesh recommended involving people at the grassroots level. The CSM stressed that the evaluation ensure space and voice for those most affected by food insecurity, the centrality of the human rights approach, and inclusion of emerging questions and issues related to conflicts of interest.


On Friday afternoon, plenary approved Brazil and Mexico as new GRULAC Bureau members, with Argentina and Ecuador as alternates, and Germany as a new European Region member, with Italy as alternate.

CFS Secretary Fulton announced CFS 44 will be held from 9-13 October 2017, in Rome. She noted that attendance at CFS had grown by nearly 450 participants since CFS 41.

Drafting Committee Chair Matthew Hooper (New Zealand), presented the report of the meeting (CFS 2016/43 DRAFT REPORT), which was adopted by acclamation.

FAO lauded that CFS was “opening new grounds of knowledge” on food security and nutrition and using a “model that works in the UN system.”

On participation, the CSM requested CFS address the confusion regarding the roles of participants and observers, clarify the terms of participation of the private sector within CFS, and develop robust safeguards against conflicts of interest. Liberia urged countries to focus on implementation and monitoring.

CFS Chair Gornass closed the meeting at 4:04 pm.


Seventh International Conference on Agricultural Statistics: The conference will take place under the theme “Modernization of agricultural statistics in support of the Sustainable Development Agenda.”  dates: 26-28 October 2016  location: Rome, Italy  contact: Kafkas Caprazli, FAO  phone: +39-6-570-54916  email:  www:

Fourth session of the CFS OEWG on Nutrition: The OEWG will discuss the HLPE draft report on nutrition and food systems.  dates: 4 November 2016  location: Rome, Italy  contact: CFS Secretariat  email: www:

FAO Council: The 155th regular session of the Council will address administrative and financial issues.  dates: 5-9 December 2016  location: Rome, Italy  contact: Council and Protocol Affairs Division  phone: +39-6-570-57051  email: www:

International Symposium on Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy Diets and Improved Nutrition: Co-hosted by the WHO and FAO, and as a follow-up to the 2nd International Conference on Nutrition, the Symposium will concentrate on: supply-side policies and measures for increasing access to healthy diets; demand-side policies and measures for increasing access and empowering consumers to choose healthy diets; and measures to strengthen accountability, resilience, and equity within the food system.  dates: 1-2 December 2016  location: Rome, Italy  contact: WHO  email: www:

Sixth session of the CFS OEWG on SDGs: This session will work on CFS’ contribution to the 2017 session of the HLPF. dates: 10 January 2017  location: Rome, Italy  contact: CFS Secretariat  email:  www:

2017 Global Forum for Food and Agriculture: Organized by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture of Germany, this Forum focuses on central questions concerning the future of the global agri-food industry. The 2017 theme is “Agriculture and Water: Key to Feeding the World.”  dates: 19-21 January 2017 location: Berlin, Germany  contact: GFFA Secretariat  email: www:

Sixteenth session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture: CGRFA 16 will address, among other items, preparation of reports on the State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture and the State of the World’s Aquatic Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, and its work programme on climate change.  dates: 30 January-3 February 2017  location: Rome, Italy  contact: CGRFA Secretariat  email:  www:

Fifth session of the CFS OEWG on Nutrition: The OEWG will discuss the work programme of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition.  dates: 2 February 2017  location: Rome, Italy  contact: CFS Secretariat  email: www:

40th session of IFAD Governing Council: This session will appoint a new president with a four year term, to take office on 1 April 2017.  dates: 14-15 February 2017 location: Rome, Italy  contact: IFAD  email: www:

First session of the CFS OEWG on Urbanization and Rural Transformation: The OEWG will discuss compiling experiences and policy approaches for addressing food security and nutrition in the context of changing rural-urban dynamics. dates: 11 May 2017  location: Rome, Italy  contact: CFS Secretariat  email: www:

CFS 44: The 44th session of CFS will address, among other issues, engagement in nutrition and in advancing the 2030 Agenda, and monitoring of CFS decisions.  dates: 9-13 October 2017  location: Rome, Italy  contact: CFS Secretariat  email: www: