Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Plus

CFS Bulletin

Volume 184 Number 8 | Sunday, 18 October 2015

Summary of the Forty-second Session of the Committee on World Food Security

12-15 October 2015 | Rome, Italy

Languages: EN (HTML/PDF)
Visit our IISD/ENB+ Meeting Coverage from Rome, Italy at:

The 42nd session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS 42) convened from 12-15 October 2015, at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN, in Rome, Italy. Approximately 1060 participants attended the session, which addressed a series of agenda items related to: CFS and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) challenge; the 2015 report on the State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI); policy convergence, including recommendations on Water for Food Security and Nutrition, and the Framework for Action for Food Security and Nutrition in Protracted Crises; coordination and linkages between CFS and other food security and nutrition stakeholders at the global, regional and national levels; ongoing workstreams, including the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition (GSF), the outcomes of the High-Level Forum (HLF) on Connecting Smallholders to Markets, the report on the findings of the CFS effectiveness survey, and the Multi-year Programme of Work (MYPoW) and priorities for 2016-2017; the role of CFS in advancing nutrition; and organizational issues. Special events were held on youth for food security and nutrition and resilience building for sustainable food security and nutrition.

Marking the culmination of some areas of work, CFS 42 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 the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda), and adopted its MYPoW for the next biennium, including Open- ended Working Groups (OEWGs) on nutrition and on the SDGs.


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. 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, 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 Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT); the 2014 Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems; and the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition, a reference document containing practical guidance on recommendations, policies and strategies for food security and nutrition, that is updated annually.

CFS 42 deliberations were also informed by: the UN Summit for Sustainable Development (25-27 September 2015, UN Headquarters, New York), which adopted the 2030 Agenda with 17 SDGs and 169 supporting targets, including SDG 1 (ending poverty in all its forms everywhere) and SDG 2 (ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture); and the FAO/World Health Organization (WHO) Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) (19-21 November 2014, FAO headquarters, Rome), a high-level intergovernmental meeting, which endorsed the Rome Declaration on Nutrition and a Framework for Action.


On Monday, 12 October, Chair Gerda Verburg (the Netherlands) opened CFS 42, drawing attention to the meeting’s ambitious agenda, developed to support the vision and role of a reformed CFS.

ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: Plenary adopted the agenda and timetable (CFS 2015/42/1 Rev.3 and CFS 2015/42/Inf.1 Rev.2); and established a drafting committee.

CFS Secretary Deborah Fulton informed plenary of new CFS members, including Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Bahamas, Cook Islands, Croatia, Fiji, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Monaco, Moldova, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Timor-Leste.


Drawing attention to the 2030 target of zero hunger, Chair Verburg stressed that “every day lost in the fight against hunger and malnutrition costs 20,000 lives, and the dignity of many more”; and noted that the 2030 Agenda, which explicitly recognizes CFS’ role, calls for a holistic and inclusive approach and shared responsibility.

David Nabarro, UN Special Representative for Food Security and Nutrition, on behalf of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said that achieving food security, improving nutrition and building inclusive, resilient and sustainable food systems are central to the success of the 2030 Agenda; at the same time, achieving zero hunger, requires delivering on all SDGs. Hedrew attention to the VGGT and the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems as important elements for SDGs implementation. He concluded that achieving zero hunger is a shared commitment towards ensuring the right of food for all.

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva emphasized the relevance of FAO’s work in the implementation of SDGs 1 and 2, noting the importance of partnerships and social protection to ensure that the current generation becomes the first zero-hunger generation. 

Kanayo Nwanze, President, IFAD, emphasized that meeting the SDGs will demand a profound change in food systems at all levels. He underscored the need for action, and drew attention to the three-quarters of the poor who live in rural areas. He highlighted the need to help rural communities become more resilient in the face of climate change. 

Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director, WFP, emphasized the importance of ending hunger for global peace and security, and underlined the principle to address those furthest behind first. She highlighted the need for access to clean water and sanitation and to prioritize women, stressingthat business partnerships must be a part of the process.

Per Pinstrup-Andersen, Chair of the HLPE Steering Committee, introduced the HLPE’s new report on Water, Food Security and Nutrition. He stressed that evidence-based analysis should underpin the work of CFS, highlighting the scientific openness and inclusiveness in the drafting process. He noted the need to strengthen food systems for the benefit of health and nutrition, and the importance of building on ICN2.

Daniel Constantin, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Romania, reiterated the importance of combatting food loss while addressing economic growth and social protection to ensure food security.

Proceso Alcala, Secretary of Agriculture, the Philippines, underlined support for smallholder farmers, linkages to markets, gender mainstreaming, efficient land use and rural employment to address poverty.

Sudan reported his country’s achievements in reducing hunger, including establishing a high council on food security, collaboration with Arab countries, and continued investments in agricultural development. Noting the need for a new economic model to end hunger, Venezuela stressed the importance of South-South cooperation and support for measures to achieve food self-sufficiency at the local level.

Switzerland identified CFS as the most appropriate platform to support progress on SDG implementation on food security and sustainable agriculture. Brazil noted the 2030 Agenda calls for global solidarity and collaboration and goes beyond the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by addressing the root causes of poverty. India said that, by providing an inclusive, multi-stakeholder platform, CFS can play a key role in SDG implementation. The Russian Federation said the fundamental responsibility for achieving the SDGs is with governments, but effectiveness requires participation of non-government actors. Argentina underscored the role of the three Rome-based agencies in the 2030 Agenda.

Afghanistan stressed the SDGs will not be realized without a globally agreed financial package. Cuba underscored the usefulness of an intersectoral approach for implementation of the right to food. The EU underscored challenges for CFS, including addressing the variety of SDGs and their interrelations and sharing with others the inclusive and participatory governance model of CFS.

Summarizing discussions for inclusion in the meeting report, Chair Verburg noted that: CFS is the most inclusive intergovernmental platform to address SDGs on hunger and malnutrition, including by sharing good practices and addressing policy gaps; existing policy instruments such as the VGGTs and the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems can support CFS’ contribution; and future MYPoWs should consider activities in light of their added value for implementation of the SDGs.


Pietro Gennari, Chief Statistician, FAO, on behalf of the Rome-based agencies, presented the 2015 report on the State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI) and the new requirements for monitoring food security and nutrition in the context of the 2030 Agenda. He explained that the SOFI has been published annually since 1999, with SOFI 2015 concluding the process of monitoring progress on the MDG targets on hunger reduction. He noted that: the proportion of hungry people decreased from 23.3% to 12.9% in developing regions; that 73 of 129 countries had achieved MDG 1 (halving the number of hungry people); and that since 1990 the number of hungry people has decreased by 216 million. He stressed the need to build the statistical capacity of developing countries, and noted the FAO’s work to develop guidelines, strengthen regional training activities, provide technical assistance for sector-specific strategies, and support countries in data collection. 

Bangladesh, on behalf of G-77/China, emphasized chronic global undernutrition and noted the role of the International Year of Soils in enhancing food security, and called for building on ICN2 to develop new recommendations for implementing food security and nutrition.

Ecuador, on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), highlighted the key role of states and the importance for political commitments and for adequate funding. 

CSM recognized SOFI as the most authoritative report on food security worldwide, but expressed concern with, inter alia, its: over-emphasis on partial solutions; incomplete analysis of drivers of change; imbalanced discussion on agriculture; and absence of discussion on improving domestic markets and on protection of human rights from the private sector. She called for, among others, including human rights-based and long-term indicators, and addressing overnutrition, which leads to increased prevalence of non-communicable diseases.

Algeria, for Africa, emphasized that forced migration and human tragedies serve as impetus for poverty eradication. Drawing attention to the continent’s high level of economic growth but persistent poverty and hunger, Liberia added that economic growth needs to be inclusive, and smallholders are key to achieving progress. India further noted the role of social protection. Peru highlighted measures to support smallholders and family farmers, including to promote access to means of production and create community associations.

The Russian Federation stressed that inclusive economic growth and social protection are key to food security,underlining the need to focus on the most vulnerable populations. The US noted the need to use all available means to increase agricultural productivity while reducing its impact on the environment. The EU highlighted uneven progress among regions, and investment in agriculture and adequate safety net programmes, in addition to economic growth and increase in productivity.

Sudan, for Near East, noted that uneven progress among regions and countries is often linked to epidemics, natural disasters, war or political instability. Bangladesh drew attention to minimizing food waste as a key factor for addressing food insecurity, as well as challenges related to climate change.

CFS took note of the 2015 SOFI report.


Under this workstream, CFS seeks to provide negotiated policy convergence products on topics of major importance for food security and nutrition. CFS 42 addressed recommendations on water for food security and nutrition, and the Framework for Action for Food Security and Nutrition in Protracted Crises.

WATER FOR FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION: This item was discussed from Monday to Wednesday, in plenary and a Friends of the Rapporteur group.

On Monday, Deborah Fulton, CFS, opened the roundtable, calling for concrete actionable policy recommendations based on a draft “decision box” (CFS 2015/42/3). 

Lyla Mehta, HLPE, presented the summary of the HLPE’s report on water for food security and nutrition and eight draft recommendations (CFS 2015/42/2), emphasizing that the report makes the case for strengthening the relationship between the right to water and sanitation and the right to food. She stressed that there is enough fresh water and food globally but it is unevenly distributed among countries. She underscored the need to focus on the factors underlying access to water, including human-induced scarcities, as well as the reality that women and girls are usually responsible for water collection but have limited access to decision making. She expressed hope that members will not “water down” the recommendations.  

Nicola Lamaddalena (Italy), CFS Rapporteur, summarized the drafting process clarifying that consensus needs to be reached on a few issues. 

Discussion: India, for Asia, stressed Asia’s reliance on irrigation and its twin challenges of accessing water and energy for food. He discussed: appropriate pricing policies; spiritual and cultural values of water; and managing water as a common-pool resource, noting that ill-adapted market tools can come at the expense of food security and nutrition. Japan called for focus on vulnerable populations. Thailand supported collaborative water management of international water basins and community-based local water management.

Ethiopia, for Africa, highlighted underuse of water resources in the region, and called on the international community to support access to water for smallholder farmers, women and vulnerable communities. Mentioning recurring climatic changes and the unequal distribution of arable land as challenges to producers, Côte d’Ivoire, additionally called for monitoring and evaluation tools, investment in irrigation infrastructure and improved transboundary watershed management.

CSM opposed water privatization and underlined the importance of state sovereignty in managing water resources, noting the need to improve access to technologies for water availability. PSM said water privatization should be part of good governance while safeguarding against prices that exclude users. She recommended recognizing the role of water policy to ensure water availability for future generations and the importance of access to technology for more efficient and equitable water management.

Australia said that improving agricultural water efficiency is key to improving food security and stressed leveraging private-sector partnerships and investments. Norway emphasized the major role of forests in water use and a rights-based approach.

PSM highlighted the need to increase the water productivity in agriculture using an example of a public-private partnership in Africa relying on hybrid maize. CSM underscored that water is a public good with cultural value, but privatization makes it a commodity to be exploited for profit or military purposes. He stressed disadvantages to smallholder farmers, who must buy water for irrigation at high prices, leading to negative health, social and cultural impacts. 

Switzerland pointed to the increasing demand for water, appreciated that the HLPE report emphasized eliminating silos between agriculture, industry, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and food security and nutrition, and proposed strengthening references to nutrition. The Republic of Korea stressed the importance of science, technology and adequate investment for sustainable water management. Finland highlighted multi-sector collaboration, stakeholder involvement and partnerships for integrated water management. Angola underlined country-level coordination of water users and the need to ensure that water polices ensure equitable access to smallholders. FAO described its comprehensive approach, which integrates water issues in development work and takes into account the link between the right to food and the right to water.

Recommendations: Asia proposed amendments to stress awareness raising and enhancing and strengthening transboundary water systems. Afghanistan, for Near East, requested including additional recommendations on awareness raising, advocacy, capacity building and the role of the private sector.

The EU said the draft represents a good balance of members’ views. Venezuela called for strengthening references to the human right to water and to water as a public good, and for highlighting the importance of education on responsible use of water.

PSM underscored: improving water productivity and efficiency; exploring opportunities for water reuse; improving consistency of methodologies regarding water use; and involvement of the private sector in providing solutions. CSM stressed that both the right to food and the right to water are recognized in UN human rights instruments; drew attention to widespread violations of the human right to water, particularly for marginalized groups; and highlighted the opportunity to reaffirm the human right to water in the context of CFS.

Mexico called for reference to Indigenous Peoples’ role in water governance, and Costa Rica requested that language on water access make clear reference to Indigenous Peoples. Argentina stated that: every state has a duty to guarantee the human right to water for individuals in its jurisdiction and that a country’s natural resources are the inalienable property of its population; and CFS should refrain from addressing commercial issues beyond its mandate. Brazil called for strengthening references to human rights and non-discriminatory access to water sources and, with Bangladesh, requested reference to transboundary water management.

Plenary established a Friends of the Rapporteur group to revise the draft recommendations contained in the “decision box,” in light of the discussion. The group held negotiations on Monday evening and all-night on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Lamaddalena introduced to plenary the draft recommendations on Water for Food Security and Nutrition, noting that extended negotiations had produced an outcome containing the “wisdom of all participants.” Plenary then adopted the recommendations by acclamation.

In the ensuing discussion, Bangladesh welcomed a reference to promoting collaborative management of transboundary water resources. CSM expressed concern about diminishing awareness of countries’ obligations under international law, in particular with regard to fundamental human rights and economic, social and cultural rights.

The US stated that the decision: does not alter existing obligations under international law, including under trade and investment agreements; does not imply extraterritorial obligations with regard to the right to water or the right to food; and does not imply any obligation regarding agreements to which the US is not a party, in particular the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, further noting that protection of traditional knowledge does not affect obligations regarding intellectual property rights.

Egypt stated that the recommendations are applicable under international law and existing international and bilateral agreements, and reiterated that water cannot be used as an instrument for political or economic pressure, including in cases of occupation.

Final Outcome: In the report of the meeting, CFS encourages states and other relevant stakeholders to join forces, within their mandate, competencies and responsibilities, to address the challenges related to water’s contribution to food security and nutrition through an ecosystem approach and a people-centered approach; and offers recommendations addressing:

  • Promoting sustainable management and conservation of ecosystems for the continued availability, quality and reliability of water for food security and nutrition, including an ecosystem approach and collection of water-related information in all sectors;
  • Improving coherence between water and food security and nutrition-related policies, strategies and plans;
  • Achieving equal access to water for all, prioritizing the most vulnerable and marginalized at all ages and empowering women and youth, including implementing policies for equal opportunities and security in access to water and land for food producers, respecting the rights and addressing the needs of the most vulnerable, and refraining from using water as an instrument for political or economic pressure;
  • Improving the efficiency and diversity of water use and the productivity of agricultural systems for food security and nutrition, including strengthening capacities to adopt water-saving practices and technologies for water storage and reuse;
  • Managing risk and increasing resilience to water variability for food security and nutrition, including preventing and minimizing significant food price volatility risks and respecting traditional knowledge on sustainable water management;
  • Developing and sharing knowledge, technologies and tools related to water for food security and nutrition, including supporting cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder participatory and independent platforms;
  • Fostering inclusive and effective collaboration and national and local governance on water for food security and nutrition, including promoting collaborative water management and best practices for the sustainable use of transboundary water basins; and
  • Promoting the full and meaningful implementation of international human rights obligations and instruments as they relate to water for food security and nutrition, including acknowledging the linkages between the right to water and the progressive realization of the right to food, and assessing the effects of water and land-related policies, such as large-scale land acquisitions, on the progressive realization of these rights.

FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION FOR FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION IN PROTRACTED CRISES: On Tuesday, Amb. Josephine Gaita (Kenya) and Elizabeth Kvitashvili (US), Co-Chairs of the OEWG, introduced the Framework (CFS 2015/42/4), noting it represents a “hard won” consensus on many controversial issues. Chair Verburg presented the draft decision endorsing the Framework (CFS 2015/42/5), which was adopted by acclamation.

The Russian Federation welcomed the Framework’s multi-faceted character, and with Morocco, and Nicaragua, for GRULAC, stated that humanitarian aid cannot be diverted for political or military means. Morocco and GRULAC stressed the need for a new vision and approach to humanitarian aid. Egypt, for Near East, called for financing and debt relief to countries affected by crises. Indonesia, for Asia, highlighted the Framework’s features, including that it examines the root causes of crises, integrates human rights principles, and seeks to develop permanent solutions.

CSM called on stakeholders to disseminate the Framework, and on the CFS to develop a community-based approach to implementation. PSM said the private sector can support resilience of local value chains, for example, by ensuring that they become suppliers of food aid. The EU noted the Framework promotes a human rights-based approach, resilience, women’s empowerment, and linkages between humanitarian assistance and development activities. Uganda, for Africa, stressed the Framework is voluntary, and its context-specific implementation should be guided by national legal frameworks.

Highlighting the close collaboration of Rome-based agencies, FAO noted the concept of resilience provides a valuable framework by integrating food security and nutrition into humanitarian action. WFP highlighted collaboration and institutional strengthening of capacities for implementation. IFAD underscored the Framework’s attention to smallholders, gender issues, and evidence-based analysis to inform action and support responsible investments, which can create economic opportunities for affected populations. CSM urged CFS to support voluntary efforts to implement the Framework and organization of a multi-actor workshop.

Discussions continued on Wednesday. Argentina said all three Rome-based agencies have a role in implementation of different parts of the Framework. The US stated that humanitarian action can help but not substitute political action governed by the rule of law, and the Framework is non-binding and does not change the interpretation of current international law obligations.

Final Outcome: In the report of the meeting, CFS: endorses the Framework; notes that it is voluntary; transmits it to the Governing Bodies of FAO, IFAD and WFP; and requests the UN General Assembly to endorse it and ensure its dissemination.

The voluntary Framework (CFS 2015/42/4) includes an introduction, 11 principles and a section on dissemination, use and learning. Its purpose is to mobilize high-level political commitment and promote coordinated multi-stakeholder processes, to inform policies and actions aimed at preventing, mitigating, responding to, and promoting early recovery from food insecurity and malnutrition in protracted crises. The principles address:

  • Meeting immediate humanitarian needs and building resilient livelihoods;
  • Focusing on nutritional needs;
  • Reaching affected populations;
  • Protecting those affected by or at risk from protracted crises;
  • Empowering women and girls, promoting gender equality and encouraging gender sensitivity;
  • Ensuring and supporting comprehensive evidence-based analyses;
  • Strengthening country ownership, participation, coordination and stakeholder buy-in, and accountability;
  • Promoting effective financing;
  • Contributing to peacebuilding through food security and nutrition;
  • Managing natural resources sustainably and reducing disaster risks; and
  • Promoting effective national and local governance.


This agenda item aimed to strengthen linkages and encourage dialogue between CFS and other food security and nutrition stakeholders at the global, regional and national level.

FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION IN THE POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA: GOALS, ACTION AND OUTCOMES: Held on Tuesday, this dialogue was moderated by Frank Sesno, international journalist, and Director, School of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University.

In her keynote, Mary Robinson, President, Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, stressed, among other issues, that: progress on poverty and hunger requires progress on all SDGs, noting that linkages provide opportunities for co-benefits; human rights must inform action on SDGs, in particular on climate change, to ensure participation and inclusive development in dignity; and gender equality is a precondition to achieve the SDGs as it ensures better allocation of resources, including to children and education. She suggested three areas for CFS work: coordinating multiple actors on all SDGs, including through indicator development for SDG 2; developing standards and guidelines to ensure respect of key principles, such as gender equality; and developing and linking knowledge on emerging issues.

During the ensuing discussion, participants addressed: resource mobilization for SDG implementation; women’s empowerment and links to structural poverty; the importance of a holistic, integrated and inclusive approach to SDG implementation, including involving the WHO in CFS deliberations on nutrition; food security in the climate change context; coordination of the work of UN agencies on SDG implementation within their specific mandates; and Indigenous Peoples’ role in informing data-focused indicators. Others highlighted: private sector projects, including on microfinancing and women’s empowerment, nutrition and sustainable agriculture; challenges related to demographics, urbanization and emerging diseases; “unacceptable” practices of multinational corporations; and a proposal for governments to dedicate 1% of their defense budget to establish a fund on sustainable development.

Robinson stressed the need to think about innovative means of financing, including a carbon tax and financial transaction tax, and to honor the target of committing 0.7% of gross national product (GNP) to official development assistance. She drew attention to specific funding needs in the climate context, particularly for least developed countries and small island developing states, and to seriously reconsidering overproduction, overconsumption, food waste and food distribution. She highlighted the opportunities related to the 2030 Agenda being a universal and integrated agenda, unlike the MDGs which focused on aid to developing countries.

She noted that the lack of awareness on human rights and entrenched cultural norms are the biggest obstacles to women’s empowerment; and stressed challenges regarding holistic and inclusive implementation of the SDGs, including the need for coherence and streamlining of UN work, and taking into account Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge.

Chair Verburg summarized the session for inclusion in the report, noting that: implementing the 2030 Agenda and achieving the SDGs will require innovative financing and concerted action on food security and nutrition, while making progress on factors that contribute to persistent hunger and malnutrition; implementation strategies should be participatory and inclusive, cut across sectors and adopt people-centered interdisciplinary approaches; investing in sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition must also address other SDGs such as on climate change, gender and poverty; and CFS should continue efforts to bring together global and regional initiatives aiming to eliminate hunger and malnutrition, and foster solidarity and improve coordination.

ENHANCING REGIONAL FOOD SUPPLY SYSTEMS AND PROCESSES TO IMPROVE NUTRITION: This dialogue was held on Tuesday and was moderated by Frank Sesno.

In his keynote, Marc Van Ameringen, Executive Director, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, discussed the regional approach and provided feedback to questions from participants. Noting that one of every two people on the planet suffer from malnutrition, he said the global community faces a significant nutrition crisis, whether by malnutrition, obesity, or the double burden of both. He called the food system “broken,” because it leads to, rather than addresses, malnutrition. He said regional approaches can be used when there are insufficient country-level data, and suggested that CFS can support policy alignment by convening regional platforms. He supported a member who proposed that CFS evaluate how regional structures can be effective. He further discussed policy alignment and fragmentation, particularly the need for strengthening integration between agriculture and nutrition, and eliminating silos to build more coherence at the global level. He encouraged governments to take on that challenge, to seek the low-hanging fruit, which in the case of nutrition is stunting. 

On multi-stakeholder partnerships, he underlined they must: have government at their core for legitimacy; address conflicts of interest up front; have clear targets and measurements; and use a “backbone” structure such as the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement. Regarding concern over the conflict between agricultural productivity and nutrition, he advised integration, such as through better cooperation between ministries of agriculture and health, and the need for common agendas. He proposed that investments be conditional on incorporating both.

Stating lack of new investment was the biggest obstacle, he recommended drawing on models from other sectors, such as sustainable palm oil, and reviewing whether regional economic structures incorporate food security and nutrition. Trade agreements, he emphasized, define the future of food and nutrition but lack an underlying food security and nutrition strategy, which can lead to destruction of local diets. To those who stressed that regulatory mechanisms are needed to prevent undue corporate influence, he responded that civil society needs to play a strong role in ensuring accountability, that regulatory instruments should be on the agenda, and that pressure was a better means than exclusion when it came to the private sector. Noting the need for increased investment in specific areas, he acknowledged that the private sector is making unique contributions, such as on food safety.

Chair Verburg summarized the dialogue, for inclusion in the report, stressing: that meeting SDG 2 requires broad partnerships, including regional and sub-regional stakeholder partnerships; that policy coherence across sectors can be achieved through better information exchange; and the need to identify entry points for partnerships and transparent multi-stakeholder collaboration.

NATIONAL MULTI-STAKEHOLDER APPROACHES AND EXPERIENCES TO IMPROVE NUTRITION: This dialogue, held on Wednesday, was moderated by David Nabarro.

In her keynote, Amb. Mary Mubi, Senior Principal Director in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Zimbabwe, presented an overview of her country’s enabling environment with regard to a multi-stakeholder approach to nutrition. She highlighted how a “defined results framework” can improve multi-sectoral collaboration to achieve key benchmarks; and that monitoring systems need to enable reality checks and ensure accountability to people on the ground. She stressed that: stakeholder platforms can produce results only if power asymmetries are addressed; community knowledge needs to be taken into account and shared using evidence-based dialogue; and their people-centered approach can empower citizens and encourage community-based initiatives. She called for an integrated approach, noting that “people on the ground do not think in sectors” and that sometimes development partners disintegrate rather than integrate work, for instance through different funding streams on climate change and development.

Mubi then responded to topics highlighted by plenary and via comments from Twitter. 

On encouraging local ownership and leadership, she said platforms have been useful, particularly for informing local officials how their community compares to another; and needs-based training on targets at the community level. On private sector involvement, she said partnerships are important for creating markets for traditional crops. She stressed that governments need to create robust enforceable legislative frameworks that protect citizens. Regarding gender, she noted the strong local-level representation of women, although they still bear the burden of tending labor-intensive traditional crops. 

On nutrition education, she stressed: the challenges arising from increased processed foods and refined sugars; the role of television in dietary behavior; and imports, such as wheat, which affect local dietary traditions. To a question on how local communities can achieve bottom-up success in states that limit the democratic policy space, she said land reform is a discussion in its own right, and structural issues cannot be resolved without addressing issues of power. 

A number of countries presented country-level success stories. Comments were also heard on: the “farm to fork” approach to policy; the need for CFS to support members to improve technology transfer; facilitating multi-stakeholder dialogues; using guidance from ICN2; and training communities to effectively use disseminated information.

Chair Verburg summarized the session, highlighting: improving nutrition at the community level; multi-sectoral monitoring that is meaningful at the community level with common benchmarks; agreement on key areas for directing resources wisely; need for evidence-based dialogue; acknowledgement that multi-stakeholder engagement is complex and goes beyond bringing ministries together; and defining indicators and monitoring as key to achieving nutrition for all. 


GLOBAL STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK FOR FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION: On Tuesday, plenary discussed the fourth version of the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition (GSF 2015) (CFS 2015/42/7 and 8). 

Candice Sakamoto Vianna (Brazil), Chair of the OWEG on the GSF, introduced the text, saying it is a living document, which intends to improve coordination amongst stakeholders and policy coherence and is updated annually. She noted it includes policy recommendations agreed at CFS 41; is aligned with SOFI results; and is reviewed periodically in line with major international outcomes. 

The EU encouraged all stakeholders to use the GSF and said implementation of VGGT is important for smallholders. Timor-Leste highlighted the role of the regional multi-stakeholder platform of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries in promoting smallholder farmers. CSM said dissemination of GSF should be a priority for CFS, and noted: its importance as a reference for monitoring; that the periodic update should not include renegotiation of adopted text; and that it be consistent with human rights. 

PSM hoped for deeper commitment to partnerships, greater operationalization of products and more promotion within other processes. The UN Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN) said the periodic update is critical, and that outcomes of ICN2, and the problem of overconsumption should be included.  

Equitorial Guinea, for Africa, calling GSF 2015 “high value,” said it should continue to play a role as the reference and guidance document particularly to promote technology transfer, and market integration and access. Mexico noted the need for good governance at all levels, and encouraged coordination and mobilization of resources and the integration of social protection. Special representative David Nabarro called CFS a “leading example of modern global governance” for its participatory, multi-stakeholder, and multicultural approach. Angola said the GSF should put more attention to fisheries at all levels and emphasize mobilizing resources. 

Chair Vianna noted the intention to improve dissemination of GSF 2015 in the upcoming workstream.

Final Outcome:The Committee endorsed GSF 2015 (CFS 2015/42/7) and encouraged stakeholders to promote and use it, noting it is voluntary. 

The GSF uses a twin-track approach aimed at: direct action to immediately tackle hunger and malnutrition for the most vulnerable; and medium/long term actions to build resilience and address the root causes of hunger. 

It contains six chapters on: introduction and background; root causes of hunger, lessons learned and emerging challenges; foundations and overarching frameworks; policy, programme and other recommendations; uniting and organizing to fight hunger; and issues that may require further attention. 

The GSF contains policy recommendations adopted at CFS 41, including on Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture for Food Security and Nutrition, and Food Losses and Waste in the Context of Sustainable Food Systems; as well as new paragraphs on Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems and on Promoting Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems. It also aligns with updated statistical information in SOFI. 

The report states that the GSF will undergo a periodic update within the MYPoW 2016-2017. 

OUTCOMES OF THE HIGH-LEVEL FORUM (HLF) ON CONNECTING SMALLHOLDERS TO MARKETS: On Tuesday, Chair Verburg introduced background documents on the outcomes of the HLF on Connecting Smallholders to Markets (June 2015, Rome) (CFS 2015/42/9 and Inf.14), which brought together a wide range of stakeholders to discuss policy implications, challenges and lessons learned from concrete examples of how farmers engage in beneficial and sustainable linkages to markets, with a view to reaching a common understanding on areas for priority action to strengthen smallholder access to markets. Plenary supported the suggestion for follow-up work, including developing policy recommendations.

Equatorial Guinea proposed focusing on measures encouraging youth to participate in markets. The Philippines, for Asia, called for value chain enhancement, noting that market access can trigger the formation of farmer organizations and cooperatives and increase farmers’ bargaining power. Noting the lack of coherence and definitions in the HLF report rightly reflects the current lack of data, CSM asked for more research and requested an OEWG. PSM stressed that access to markets requires training, support for youth, and government engagement on infrastructure and investment. The EU, with Turkey and Serbia, said standards help smallholders to differentiate their products, and proposed assessing progress of VGGT implementation at CFS 43. Japan stressed capacity building, access to opportunities, and collective action to enhance bargaining power. Afghanistan, for Near East, emphasized: linkages across the value chain; support from public institutions for infrastructure; access to microfinance; trading with small agribusiness; public-private partnerships in research and extension services; and awarding “scrupulous” trade practices. CSM noted that market access recognizes the value of farmers’ work and assures their dignity.

Australia drew attention to national initiatives, including its market development facility. India noted its public stockholding programme for food security purposes and stressed that trade rules should be in line with food security objectives. Brazil described how its local food purchase programme, which links to school feeding and public purchase programmes, had positive results. China highlighted education initiatives aiming to upgrade the capacity of smallholders.

PSM said collectives promote access to markets for smallholders and family farmers, increase their bargaining power and enable development of high-value products.

Bangladesh highlighted access to markets and to financing facilitates for smallholders to sell their own produce. Argentina drew attention to the transformative power of the HLF and called for action.

Chair Verburg summarized discussions for inclusion in the meeting report, saying that CFS: considered the HLF outcomes with a view to reaching a common understanding on areas of priority action to strengthen smallholder access to markets; and welcomed the proposals for follow-up action as presented for approval in the context of the MYPoW.

Final Outcome:The relevant section of the MYPoW (CFS 2015/42/12) states that CFS will develop policy recommendations on connecting smallholders to markets prior to CFS 43.

TOWARDS A FRAMEWORK FOR MONITORING CFS DECISIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: REPORT ON THE FINDINGS OF THE CFS EFFECTIVENESS SURVEY: On Wednesday, Robert Sabiiti (Uganda), Chair of the OEWG on Monitoring, introduced the findings of the CFS effectiveness survey (CFS 2015/42/10), stressing that: in-depth analysis is required to identify how CFS can become more inclusive and improve coordination and strategic linkages with relevant actors and institutions; and effective communication is critical to support CFS outcomes. He drew attention to draft recommendations in a decision box (CFS 2015/42/11).

GRULAC drew attention to funding constraints, and proposed that: the OEWG develop basic terms of reference (ToRs) to ensure participation, inclusiveness and regional representation in events to be organized by CFS stakeholders; and CFS 43 hold a global thematic event, to share experiences and take stock of progress in the use and application of VGGT. Many supported the proposals.

CSM lamented lack of progress to promote accountability through an innovative monitoring mechanism. PSM suggested CFS engage in discussions on technical aspects of agricultural products and encouraged two seats for farmer participation on the Advisory Group. The EU with Turkey supported setting up a monitoring mechanism to help countries assess progress achieved and challenges ahead, and called for further reflection on involving farmers and addressing nutrition. France urged finalizing work on the monitoring mechanism for adoption at CFS 43, noting the “very credibility of the Committee is at stake.”

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights drew attention to existing monitoring mechanisms under human rights processes, including information on best practices and existing challenges regarding the right to food. Ghana, for Africa, supported by Canada, said any monitoring mechanism should build on existing approaches.

Plenary endorsed the recommendations proposed by the OEWG, along with those proposed by GRULAC as amended by the US, to state that: the OEWG shall develop in 2016 basic ToRs, to be approved by the Bureau and adopted by CFS, to ensure participation, inclusiveness and regional representation in events organized by CFS stakeholders aiming to share experiences and best practices; and hold a global thematic event during CFS 43 to share experiences and take stock of the use and application of VGGT.

Final Outcome:In the report of the meeting, CFS: requests that the external evaluation to assess CFS’ effectiveness since its reform, as endorsed by CFS 40, be completed by 2016, subject to available resources, building on the CFS effectiveness survey findings; invites volunteer member countries to pilot the implementation of voluntary in-depth country-level assessments of CFS effectiveness; encourages CFS stakeholders to continue sharing experiences, and requests the CFS Secretariat to promote it, including through global, regional and national events; agrees that the OEWG on monitoring should take into consideration the implementation of the CFS workstreams as outlined in MYPoW to develop best practices for future monitoring activities; requests the OEWG to develop basic ToRs for these events; and agrees to hold a global thematic event on the VGGT during CFS 43.

MYPoW AND PRIORITIES: On Wednesday, Luca Fratini (Italy), Chair, OEWG on the MYPoW, presented the draft MYPoW for 2016-2017 and a revised guidance note for the selection of CFS activities (CFS 2015/42/12). He outlined proposed activities, including: OEWGs on nutrition and on the SDGs; follow-up work on smallholder access to markets; thematic fora on women’s empowerment, and urbanization and rural transformation; and HLPE reports on sustainable agriculture and sustainable forestry. The Secretariat provided an update on progress in implementation (CFS 2015/42/Inf.13/Rev.2), noting a substantial funding gap for MYPoW implementation.

All delegates supported the MYPoW and the revised guidance, with many highlighting specific issues and raising concerns about the funding gap. Pakistan, for Asia, and Nicaragua, for GRULAC, stressed smallholder access to markets, with GRULAC also emphasizing nutrition, noting many GRULAC countries face the double burden of malnourished and overweight populations. Cameroon, for Africa, suggested follow-up work to the HLPE report on water for food security and nutrition.

PSM underlined CFS’ role in learning and sharing of experiences. CSM regretted that activities on agroecology and genetic resources are not reflected in the MYPoW. The US suggested also considering land tenure. Afghanistan, for the Near East, asked to delay the OEWG on the SDGs until lead agencies for SDG implementation have been established and indicators developed. The EU cautioned against overlaps, in particular with UNSCN.

On funding, the Russian Federation said CFS’ agenda should match available human and financial resources. WFP highlighted the support of the Rome-based agencies to CFS, noting funding needed to reach those furthest behind first. The US and UNSCN suggested prioritizing actions given budget constraints. CSM noted that MYPoW already reflects a balance of members’ priorities. Noting its already high financial contribution, the EU encouraged other countries to contribute.

Canada stressed evaluating CFS’ effectiveness to identify opportunities for enhanced impact. Brazil recalled the 2006 International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development, noting its intention to evaluate progress on the Conference’s recommendations.

Delegates adopted the MYPoW and the revised guidance note by acclamation.

Final Outcome:The relevant section of the meeting report states that: the Committee adopts the CFS MYPoW for 2016-2017 (CFS 2015/42/12) and the annexed revised guidance note for the selection of CFS; and urges all stakeholders to close the existing financial gap.

Document CFS 2015/42/12 contains sections on: CFS objectives and outcomes; CFS workstreams and the MYPoW; an indicative budget; and the annexed revised guidance for the selection of CFS activities.

The document states that prior to CFS 43, CFS will: convene OEWGs on nutrition, the SDGs, and policy recommendations on connecting smallholders to markets; and prepare an HLPE report on sustainable agriculture. A CFS Forum on urbanization and rural transformation will be held back to back with CFS 43.

Prior to CSF 44, CFS will hold an OEWG to finalize the GSF review; and prepare HLPE reports on sustainable forestry for food security and nutrition, and nutrition and food systems. A CFS Forum on women’s empowerment will be held back to back with CFS 44.

The section on the budget shows a total budget for CFS plenary session and related workstreams of US$10,570, 212, with a funding gap of US$5,051,574.

The guidance for the selection of CFS activities lays out the process for the selection of CFS activities including an explanation of CFS workstreams, selection criteria, and a description of the process.


On Wednesday, Chair Verburg moderated the session, inviting views on members expectations on document CFS 2015/42/Inf.18. 

Noting the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution welcoming the Rome Declaration on Nutrition adopted by ICN2, Ecuador, for CELAC, urged members to support the proposal for an international Decade on Nutrition. Brazil underlined that CFS should: strengthen participation of international nutrition actors, and add WHO to its Advisory Group; strengthen UNSCN; and address overnutrition and non-communicable diseases. Bangladesh, for Asia, supported the OEWG on nutrition should address policy convergence at the global level.

Switzerland underscored addressing nutrition challenges on a food system level. She said the OEWG on nutrition should: clarify public and private stakeholders’ roles; fully involve the private sector; and emphasize the essential role of women in education, consumer choices and family budget. She further stated CFS should play a role in food and agriculture policies, such as on subsidies and processing, which impact nutrition. 

The EU, with Turkey and Albania, said the OEWG should: agree on priorities; create synergies, in collaboration with UNSCN, WHO, and initiatives like the SUN movement; and guide implementation of the Rome Declaration’s Framework for Action at the country level. Germany added that: it would welcome a joint UN nutrition agenda between FAO, UNICEF, WFP, WHO, and IFAD, which should include agriculture, food security and nutrition, health systems, education, and WASH; UNSCN should be revitalized as a platform for technical guidance; and, with the Russian Federation, WHO must become a CFS participant. 

Citing historic focus on reducing prices of food, Sudan, for the Near East, stressed refocusing on diverse diets with sufficient range of nutrients to have “healthy food at accessible prices.” CSM said: the role of CFS should be complementary and ensure policy coherence while putting smallholders at its heart; the role of WHO in the Advisory Group should be enhanced; and nutrition should be a standing issue in the CFS.

South Africa, for Africa: noted the economic consequences of malnutrition; highlighted the African regional nutrition strategy 2005-2015; and stressed CFS’ role to monitor and pursue implementation, calling for focus on facilitating transfer of technology and expertise to the most vulnerable and marginalized.

PSM said SDG Target 2.2 on stunting must be a priority and CSF should focus on: improving livelihoods of farmers; furthering nutrition goals on production, particularly for women; and promoting diverse diets, consumer choice, and food safety and quality. Pointing to the trends in obesity and non-communicable diseases, the UNSCN opined that food systems should respond to the nutrient needs of the world’s population, therefore leveling deficiencies and excesses. He referenced the work of existing bodies, such as the World Health Assembly and the Codex Alimentarius, and supported CFS as an inclusive space for policy convergence, adding value by enabling healthy food systems from production to consumption.

The US encouraged focusing on sustainable food systems and addressing them in the context of healthy diets. She said CFS can disseminate and incorporate more evidence and knowledge on agriculture, and should play a complementary role on coordinating action on health, agriculture, and WASH. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation suggested that CFS should complement SUN, focus on nutrition-sensitive agriculture, provide a forum to discuss specific case studies on agriculture and nutrition, and share lessons learned on metrics and indicators. Norway asked to take into account the role of fisheries and aquaculture for nutrition. FAO said CFS can serve as platform to report on progress on ICN2.

Delegates then approved Chair Verburg’s summary to be included in the meeting report, stating, among other things, that CFS should: support practical mainstreaming of nutrition; focus on adding value through cooperation; involve organizations with a mandate on nutrition in the CFS Advisory Group; and serve as forum to share lessons learned. The OEWG will consider these suggestions. 


YOUTH IDEAS INCUBATOR: Held on Monday, this event served to empower youth to invest and engage in the food system via an innovative approach, with youth presenting their small business projects from around the world. Ten pre-selected youth “pitched” their business models to a panel of experts in youth food system entrepreneurship. The feedback from the experts consisted of means to improve business success, ways to attract investors, and perspectives on highlighting unique artisanal techniques and products.

DEVELOPING THE KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND TALENT OF YOUTH TO FURTHER FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION: On Thursday, a special interactive event convened to raise awareness of the challenges and lessons learned in building the capacity of youth in agriculture and food systems. Drawing attention to the background document (CFS 2015/42/Inf.15), moderator Sithembile Ndema Mwamakamba, Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network, introduced panelists, including: Luz Mery Benavides Orrillo, International Movement of the Catholic Agricultural and Rural Youth; Jaime Albarillo Manalo IV, Philippine Rice Research Institute; and Hlamalani Ngwenya, Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services.

Via a video message, Ahmad Alhendawi, UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, stressed that engaging youth in agriculture can create jobs and build resilience for food security and nutrition. He urged improving the integration of agriculture into education and engaging youth in policy making.

Moderator Ndema Mwamakamba polled participants around three main challenges to youth engagement in agriculture: making agriculture attractive and remunerative; adapting curricula to address current trends and issues; and lack of skills and access to training. Discussion focused on ways to make agriculture attractive and remunerative.

Benavides Orrillo highlighted his organizations work on developing and strengthening local-level organization through community programmes, including education, training, production, entrepreneurship and participation-building initiatives; and stressed the importance of relevant and high-quality education. Manalo presented the Infomediary Campaign, which engages schools to serve as a nucleus for youth engagement in agriculture, by reaching out to high school students who serve as “infomediaries” and facilitate access to information for their communities. Ngwenya underscored government policies in South Africa that coordinate skills development, including the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) systems. Noting that young people need role models, Moderator Ndema Mwamakamba stressed the need to identify role models in agriculture.

In the ensuing discussion, participants discussed a wide range of issues, including: ways to incentivize youth to pursue careers in agriculture; emphasis that food systems comprise more than farmers and include fisherfolk, traditional knowledge holders, shepherds and food gatherers; access to finance, including seed funding; the need to address what drives youth away from land, including suffering and seizure of land; and the lack of jobs in agriculture. Many participants underscored the underlying issue of lack of access to land. 

Proposals to advance youth participation included: fostering youth leadership skills and membership to agriculture-related groups; involving youth in the decision-making process; raising awareness of the many different careers in food systems; evaluating the actual opportunities for young people in rural areas; enhancing communication, networking, engagement and entrepreneurial skills; developing mentoring programmes for youth; and improving the social profile of farmers. Participants also suggested: policies for sustainable farming and sustainable enterprises; short-term jobs and one-year visa programmes, which can help change perspectives on farming; and media platforms.

Participants underscored three main conclusions: implementing policies that engage youth in the whole food system; giving youth a voice; and rebranding agriculture.

RESILIENCE BUILDING FOR FOOD AND NUTRITION: Chair Verburg introduced the event on Thursday, noting that CFS will discuss for the first time how concepts of resilience are related to food and nutrition. Willem Olthof, EU delegation to the Holy See, the Order of Malta and UN Organizations in Rome, moderated the session. He said resilience requires a pro-active approach to investment in the capacity to deal with shocks. Amb. Josephine Gaita (Kenya) described policies and initiatives to build community resilience in the arid and semi-arid areas of Kenya, highlighting: Kenya’s new Constitution, which recognizes the right to freedom from hunger and devolves powers for disaster management, agriculture and health to the county level; an insurance and risk management scheme for livestock holders and food enterprises; a disaster management programme and drought contingency fund; and a national food security and alimentary policy to ensure that food is accessible to all.

Mariam al Jaajaa, the Arab Group for the Protection of Nature, CSM, noted that local communities have always had their own mechanisms to adapt to change and deal with crisis. She outlined three requirements for international and civil society organizations promoting resilience for food security and nutrition: a holistic approach linked to human rights, that focuses on root causes and structural issues such as those related to trade embargoes and lack of access to water, land and commodities; building humanitarian and development work on the basis of sustainable development principles; and integrating civil society into political structures, with examples of land rehabilitation and tree-planting efforts in Palestine.

Cesarie Kantarama, East African Farmers Federation Board, PSM, presented successful experiences regarding cassava production, which led to improved income, processing facilities and establishment of a cooperative, and called for technology transfer and strengthening information systems.

Adolfo Brizzi, IFAD, drew attention to the work of the three Rome-based agencies on resilience with a focus on absorption of shocks, and adaptive and transformative capacity. He urged: addressing the poverty trap leading to debt and environmental degradation through social protection safety nets, insurance schemes and financial inclusion; and learning from indigenous peoples with regard to risk management through diversifying farming systems.

Carlo Azzarri, International Food Policy Research Institute, said resilience embraces the capacity to address environmental and economic shocks, natural disasters and political instability, and involves preventing, anticipating, preparing for, coping with and recovering from shocks. He called for shifting from a sectoral to a multi-sectoral approach, and addressing the various political economies and cultural contexts of farming.

In the ensuing discussion, participants emphasized: understanding those who go hungry; measuring resilience; addressing root causes of protracted crisis; measures to build smallholders’ resilience to climate change shocks; understanding areas of successful coordination between the CSM and PSM on resilience; and refraining from increasing subsidies. 

Proposals to address resilience included: incorporating climate change adaptation into resilience building and introducing and expanding credit markets; using existing resilience tools like the FAO Resilience Index and IFAD multi-dimensional poverty assessment tools; recognizing the value of social empowerment schemes at the grassroots level as the “first line of defense”; supporting multi-stakeholder dialogues; and ensuring that the private sector provides basic staple crops before growing cash crops. 

A youth representative from Palestine reported that small-scale projects run by women are more resilient than other projects, and another called on the international community to address the root causes of crisis, including occupation.

In their closing remarks, the panelists: urged international collaboration and partnerships; suggested exchanging success stories; cautioned against fragmented approaches to resilience; and noted that small-scale projects are often more resilient because they generate trust and social cohesion.

Moderator Olthoff said the diversity of views shows that resilience deserves more attention, and suggested that CFS continue considering the issue.


On Thursday afternoon, Plenary elected the new Bureau, to include: Afghanistan and Egypt, for Near East; Argentina and Ecuador, for GRULAC; Bangladesh and China, for Asia; Côte d’Ivoire and Morocco, for Africa; Iceland and Italy, for Europe; New Zealand, for Southwest Pacific; and the US, for North America. Amb. Amira Gornass (Sudan) was elected to be the new CFS Chair.

Incoming Chair Gornass said CFS will play a leading role in building on the SDGs and ICN2 outcomes, and called on members to support CFS financially and technically, referencing the importance of a funding mechanism. She emphasized that fluctuation in prices but also climate change and conflicts undermine food security, and stressed the need to strengthen the link between nutrition and food production. 

All regional groups and several countries and other participants acknowledged their support for Gornass as the incoming Chair, with Liberia and Argentina highlighting the importance of female leadership. Participants and the CFS Secretary unanimously extended their great appreciation for the strong vision and leadership of outgoing Chair Verburg, who received a standing ovation, with PSM noting Verburg put a “great mark on agriculture and food.” 

CSM asked the incoming Chair to focus her leadership on “those actually feeding the world.” Noting that CFS is founded on the principle of inclusiveness, he said it was important to put those most excluded at the center of the decision making. Egypt urged addressing the issue of financing.

CFS Secretary Fulton announced CFS 43 will be held from 17-22 October 2016, in Rome.

Drafting Committee Chair Jon Erlingur Jónasson (Iceland), presented the report of the meeting (CFS 2015/42 DRAFT REPORT), which was adopted by acclamation. CSM noted the need for: an independent monitoring mechanism; public funding to protect CFS integrity; and better definition of CFS objectives with regard to youth.

In her closing remarks, outgoing CFS Chair Verburg, stressed that CFS must: stay focused; be ambitious and confident in tackling complex issues; and stay results-oriented to deliver at the grassroots level. She described her dream that one day the entire UN system will adopt the CFS multi-stakeholder model of inclusive engagement, partnership and trust to address the world’s most pressing problems. She then gaveled the meeting to a close at 6:00 pm, and offered the gavel to the incoming CFS Chair Gornass.


Expo 2015: Expo 2015 is convening on the theme, “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.” Recognizing the role of food and nutrition in achieving sustainable development, the event focuses on related themes, including improving food quality and security, ensuring healthy and high-quality nutrition, and promoting innovation in research, technology and business practices. dates: 1 May-31 October 2015 location: Milan, Italy contact: Expo 2015 Planning Office phone: +39-02-89459400/499 www:

Seventh International Conference on Agricultural Statistics: The Seventh International Conference on Agricultural Statistics will take place under the theme “Modernization of agricultural statistics in support of the Sustainable Development Agenda.” The conference, which will bring together economists, statisticians, researchers and analysts working on agricultural and rural statistics, is expected to discuss changing needs and opportunities for agricultural statistics, particularly in the context of the development of the indicator framework for the SDGs. dates: 26-28 October 2015 location: Rome, Italy contact: Kafkas Caprazli, FAO phone: +39-6-570-54916 email: [email protected] www:

IFPRI at 40 - Looking Back, Looking Forward: This invitation-only event will mark the 40th anniversary of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), a member of the CGIAR Consortium. The event will address the historic evolution and current challenges of food policy. Keynote addresses, panel discussions and other presentations will cover issues such as policies for facilitating sustainable food supplies, making agricultural markets and trade work for the poor, and linking agriculture and nutrition. IFPRI’s contributions to gender-focused food policy research and the development of food policies at country and regional levels will also be a focus. date: 18 November 2015 location: Washington, DC, US contact: IFPRI phone: +1-202-862-5600 fax: +1-202-467-4439 email: [email protected] www:

FAO Council: The 153rd regular session of the FAO Council will address the CFS 42 report, among a series of administrative, financial and governance-related matters. dates: 30 November - 4 December 2015 location: Rome, Italy contact: FAO Council and Protocol Affairs Division phone: +39-6-570-57051 email: [email protected] www:

World Soil Day: World Soil Day 2015 will focus on the theme “Soils, a solid ground for life.” date: 5 December 2015 location: worldwide contact: Global Soil Partnership Secretariat email: [email protected] www:

FAO Symposium on the Role of Biotechnologies in Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition: This international symposium for representatives of governments, intergovernmental organizations and of non-state actors aims to address how science and technology, particularly agricultural biotechnologies, can benefit smallholders in developing sustainable food systems and improving nutrition in the context of climate change. The symposium will address the full range of available biotechnologies in the crop, livestock, forestry, and fishery sectors. date: 15-17 February 2016 location: Rome, Italy contact: Wang Ren email: [email protected] www:

FAO International Workshop on Pastoralist Nexus for Food Security and Sustainable Management: This meeting will be organized by the FAO Animal Production and Health Division. date: 9-13 May 2016 location: Rome, Italy contact: Irene Hoffmann phone: +39 06 570 52796 email: [email protected] www:

2016 Global Summit of Women: The 2016 Global Summit of Women will be held under the theme “Building an Inclusive Economy in the Digital Age.” It will provide a forum for public, private and nonprofit actors to discuss how women’s economic opportunities can be expanded globally. date: 9-11 June 2016; location: Warsaw, Poland contact: Globewomen phone: +1-202-835-3713 email: [email protected] www:

CSF 43: This meeting will address items under its workstreams arising from its MYPoW, including, inter alia: nutrition and food systems; CFS engagement with the SDGs; connecting smallholder farmers to rural markets; urbanization, rural transformation and implications for food security and nutrition; and sustainable agricultural development for food security and nutrition, including the role of livestock. dates: 17-22 October 2016 location: Rome, Italy contact: CFS Secretariat email: [email protected] www: