World Food Day 16 October

A blog by SI UN Representative, Rome, Liliana Mosca

“The official celebration of World Food Day on 16 October 2017 has the theme:

Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development.

The world is on the move. More people have been forced to flee their homes than at any time since the Second World War, due to increased conflict and political instability. But hunger, poverty, and an increase in extreme weather events, linked to climate change, are other important factors contributing to the migration challenge.

To celebrate World Food Day (WFD) 2017, the Director-General of FAO will be joined by Pope Francis and Ministers of Agriculture attending the Group of Seven (G7) meetings for the official ceremony on 16 October at FAO Headquarters. Whereas traditionally a message from His Holiness is delivered during the WFD ceremony, for the first time, the Pope will attend in person and call on the international community to change the future of migration. The presence of the G7 Ministers of Agriculture will be testament to the important link between food security, rural development and migration on the political agenda. Other special guests will include EU Commissioner Phil Hogan and the Heads of IFAD and WFP. View the programme HERE

The following is a report from the 44th Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS 44), 9-13 October 2017 at the Headquarters of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Rome, Italy.

Monday, 9 October to Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The forty-fourth Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS 44) convened under the theme, ‘Making a Difference in Food Security and Nutrition’. The agenda of the session covered: CFS and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); nutrition; policy convergence; work-streams and activity updates; an independent evaluation of CFS; and critical and emerging issues for food security and nutrition.

Image: The 44th plenary session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS 44).

Highlights for Monday, 9 October

On Monday, 9 October, Chair Amira Gornass (Sudan) opened the 44th plenary session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS 44) drawing attention to its theme “Making a Difference for Food Security and Nutrition.” The first day focused on CFS and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In the morning, participants discussed the 2017 Report on the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI 2017). In a video message, UN Secretary‐General António Guterres underlined the importance of investing in food security in the face of rising hunger. CFS Chair Gornass stressed that conflicts create long-lasting consequences on food security and nutrition, economic growth and development. FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva called on CFS to step up its guidance on nutrition. IFAD President, Gilbert Houngbo, said rural transformation is a precondition for the sustained impact of policies. WFP Executive Director David Beasley called on donors to work more cooperatively and efficiently. UN Assistant‐Secretary‐General Fabrizio Hochschild stressed improved collaboration within the UN system to create meaningful linkages with humanitarian aid. In his keynote address, Ghana’s former President John Agyekum Kufuor discussed the need to sustainably increase food production for a growing global population under increasingly severe impacts of climate change. He urged UN organisations, researchers, philanthropic organisations and civil society to collaborate in advancing global and national governance.

Kenneth Thesing, MM, The International Congregations of Religious, Liliana Mosca, SI UN Representative, Luciana Delfini, The International Federation of Women in Legal Careers, Cristina Gorajski Visconti, The International Federation of Business and Professonal Women, Roberto Fresia, Rotary International, Nanda Nobile, International Council of Women

In the afternoon, the plenary considered lessons learned from the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, based on the review of voluntary national reports (VNRs) presented to the UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in 2017. In the evening, participants discussed the outcomes of HLPF 2017 and its review of the implementation of SDG 2 (End hunger, achieve food security and promote sustainable agriculture), and how CFS can contribute to future sessions of the HLPF.

9 October also saw the release of a new edition of FAO’s annual flagship report The State of Food and Agriculture in the World. The new report looks at how population growth, increasing urbanization, modern technologies, and climate change are transforming the world we live in, how the world’s food systems are evolving to respond. In particular, it examines prospects in the developing world for employing the massive numbers of young people poised to enter the job market and feeding rapidly growing populations. At the heart of the report is a strategy for how agriculture and rural economies in the developing world can adapt, so that communities are in position not merely to survive such challenges, but to thrive.

Highlights for Tuesday, 10 October 2017

On Tuesday morning, CFS 44 launched the report of the High-level Panel of Experts (HLPE) on Nutrition and Food Systems and discussed follow up to the second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2).

Jessica Fanzo, HLPE Project Team Leader, outlined the HLPE Report’s findings and recommendations, highlighting barriers to improving nutrition, including failure to recognize the right to adequate food, imbalance of power across food systems, and inability to mitigate conflicts of interest.

Highlights for Wednesday, 11 October 2017

On Wednesday, 44 participants of CFS discussed policy convergence emerging from the HLPE report on Sustainable Forestry for Food Security and Nutrition, and the outcomes of the Forum on Women’s Empowerment in the Context of Food Security and Nutrition held during the inter-sessional period. Members endorsed CFS’s Multi-year Programme of Work for 2018-2019, the first periodic update of the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition, and a decision on monitoring the effectiveness of CFS.

In the morning, Akram Chehayeb, Chair of the FAO Committee on Forests (COFO) and François Pythoud, Rapporteur of the CFS policy convergence process on forestry, presented draft recommendations on sustainable forestry for food and nutrition, including on: cross-sectoral policy coordination; capacity building; and stakeholder involvement to integrate food security, nutrition and agriculture in forestry objectives

In the afternoon, keynote speaker, Helen Hakena, Leitana Nehan, Women’s Development Agency, Papua New Guinea, addressed the importance of women owning or governing land, the strain of climate change on women’s ability to make a living on agriculture, and the need for collective power amongst women for long-term sustainable solutions. She underlined that food security requires nutrition”.

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