About CFS [fr]
The Committee on World Food Security (CFS), the leading international multi-stakeholder platform for policy recommendations on food security and nutrition.
The food crises of 2007 and 2008 were triggers for a profound reform of the global governance of food security and nutrition.
Created in 1974, initially a technical committee of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) was thoroughly reformed in 2009 in order to: 1/ open up to a wide range of stakeholders, including civil society, the private sector and other international organizations, and 2/ integrate high-level scientific expertise, through the establishment of a High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) which provides scientific support for policy recommendations.
The CFS is today the leading international platform for policy recommendations on issues related to food security and nutrition. It is a space for dialogue between all actors involved in food security and nutrition: governments, NGOs, the private sector, research institutes, international financial institutions and UN organizations.
The CFS produces guidelines (voluntary, such as those on responsible governance of land tenure), principles (such as the Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investment), frameworks for action (such as the Framework for Action to Promote Food Security in Protracted Crises), and makes recommendations that governments and all CFS stakeholders can draw on to implement policies that aim to improve food security and nutrition. All CFS products are distinguished by their voluntary and non-binding status.
The work has covered a wide range of issues such as agricultural investment, the link between climate change and food security, excessive food price volatility, land governance, biofuels, the link between gender and food security, and the promotion of food security through social protection and nutrition.
The CFS has a structure that allows input from all stakeholders at global, regional and national levels. It consists of a Bureau (executive body), an Advisory Group (with representatives of the 5 CFS participant categories), a Secretariat and a High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE).
The Bureau consists of a Chair (currently Ambassador Mario Arvelo Caamano, Permanent Representative of the Dominican Republic to FAO) and twelve member countries.
The Advisory Group is made up of representatives from the following five categories
1/ Institutions and other bodies of the United Nations system;
2/ Civil society and non-governmental organizations;
3/ International agricultural research institutes;
4/ International and regional financial institutions;
5/ Private sector associations and charitable foundations.
These 5 types of actors participate in all the CFS works, except for the Bureau meetings (reserved to the States). They have the right to intervene in plenary and working groups, to contribute to the preparation of documents and agendas of meetings and to present documents and proposals. They do not, however, have the right to vote, which is reserved exclusively for States.
Civil society organizations and private sector actors participate in the CFS through "mechanisms", which organize themselves autonomously and coordinate the positions of their members.
The Plenary is the central body for debate and decision making. It is held annually in October and brings together 137 states and over 200 organizations from the five categories of the Advisory Group.
The permanent secretariat, housed at the FAO/FAO premises in Rome, is staffed by staff from FAO/FAO, the World Food Programme (WFP) ) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Since October 2013, the CFS has had a permanent secretary. Ms. Deborah Fulton (Australia) took office in October 2014.
France supports politically and financially the CFS, which it considers as one of the main governance fora for food security and nutrition. It was one of the main architects of the 2009 reform, which was a central element of the Global Partnership for Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition launched by the President of the French Republic in June 2008. It particularly appreciates the inclusive nature as well as the science-informed products of the HLPE, which are the specificities of the CFS.
From 2021 to 2023, Germany and Switzerland represent the European group. France was a member of the Bureau from 2013 to 2015. A lot of work is done between sessions on the basis of monthly meetings.
The Minister of Agriculture, Agri-Food and Forestry, Mr. Stéphane Le Foll, and the Minister Delegate for Development, participated in the CFS in 2012 and 2013.