HIC and the Urban Food Insecure Constituency
For a decade now, HIC has represented the urban constituency of people living in food insecurity in the Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples Mechanism (CSM) for the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS). Since 2019, Mr. André Luzzi de Campos, of the HIC Member organization PÓLIS (Brazil) has served as HIC’s representative in the CSM Coordinating Committee (CC).
This year, the CSM has issued a series of policy proposals for healthy and sustainable food systems and prepared a global report on the impacts of COVID and people’s food security. Those inputs to the development of CFS policy instruments reflect a convergence of priorities affecting food insecurity and consumers in urban areas. These inputs were integrated into the CSM communication at the High-Level Event convening the CFS and stakeholders on the occasion of World Food Day (16 October).
Among the contributions of HIC to the CSM has been a collective diagnosis of the facilitation process of the CSM and the development of reference materials for skill development of civil society in this area.
One of the policy work streams within the CFS in 2020 has also been the food and nutrition policy challenges of urbanization and rural transformation, a contemporary phenomenon of particular interest to HIC Members and the urban food-insecure constituency, in general. Given the plethora of activities at CFS events, one of the strategies of participation, according to André, is to prioritize engagement in the main political CFS sessions that discuss the FAO Framework for Urban Food and the Milan Food Policy Pact, rather than side events.
Local and Global Dialog
In Brazil, the HIC representative has been able to bring the outcomes of the CSM’s deliberations and outputs to the local sphere. This has included presenting the CSM’s follow-up report on the decade since adoption of the CFS Guidelines on the Human Right to Food in the Bom para Todos program on the Television of the Workers popular TV station.
Local benefits of this global engagement have included formal consultations with institutions of higher education and research in fields related to food security and nutrition to explore the possibility to adopt a system for conducting distance education courses for members of CSM and an electronic platform for the production of papers and general discussions in a more dynamic way.
As an outcome of participation in a CFS event of School Feeding, André was able to help organize a webinar with the FAO Sustainable School Feeding team to present the experience of the city of São Paulo in this sector. This led to a representative of Brazilian civil society in Brazil’s Organic School Nutrition Commission in a seminar in Belarus organized by FAO, with the support of the Russian Federation.
More recently, in 2020, a virtual group was created to raise awareness and mobilize youth in urban areas. Initially this has involved Portuguese-speaking youth, but is intended to progressively include the participation of other regions.
Throughout the process, the experience of participating in the CSM has contributed to strengthening of the participation of organizations and social movements in the advocacy within FAO in Rome and in Brazil toward building a collective mechanism to facilitate communication and face-to-face meetings. Among the outcomes has been in the form of a funding proposal to the Federal Parliament, in accordance with current legislation, to support a project aimed at the participation of members of civil society and indigenous peoples of Latin America to participate in international advocacy.
Photo: André Luzzi explains that 7 to 12 corporations control the world food market and see food only as a commodity. Source: Ricardo Rocha/CMSP.