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PSM Statement: CFS OEWG on Nutrition

On June 14, a meeting of CFS’ Open Ended Working Group on Nutrition was held at the FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy. On behalf of its membership, the Private Sector Mechanism Secretariat made the following statement:

On behalf of the Private Sector Mechanism, we thank the Chair of the Open-Ended Working Group and the CFS Secretariat for their ongoing work preparing today’s session and the previous sessions. 

The PSM feels that the process has produced a thoughtful, robust, and actionable draft of the Terms of Reference. Using food systems, including supply chains, food environments, and consumer behaviour, as a framework is a rational conclusion, as it allows us to consider not only the interplay between producer and consumer but also factors that originate in production and play out in consumption. The fact that the guidelines acknowledge the existence of both under- and overnutrition – in the forms of hunger, malnutrition, micronutrient deficiency, overweight, and obesity – within all the world’s countries is an essential development in our opinion. 

PSM notes a few important enhancements to the current draft of the TOR as follows: 

PSM support the intervention from Argentina that sustainability needs to consider the three pillars social, economic and environment.  

With almost one-third of food produced for human consumption either lost or wasted globally, food losses and waste (FLW) are major challenges for FSN. We note that FLW is mentioned in the paragraph 29 and our proposal would be to add it to paragraph 32 and 36 to provide a cross cutting focus.  

PSM welcomes that the CFS guidance will be built on existing instruments developed within the UN systems as stated in point 40 of TOR. We would like to call out the important work by the CODEX in food safety and other topic as an example to prevent duplication of work and we would suggest having codex explicitly mentioned there. 

We are satisfied that the proposed Reference to Relevant Guidance will take the form of a separate document that no formal standing per se.  as PSM believes that this approach will encourage all stakeholders to focus on the quality and practicality of the ToR themselves. However, PSM would like to note that the section entitled “Endorsed Policy Guidance” is not accurate, as it includes references to documents not endorsed by member states. We propose that this section be renamed “Selected WHO / FAO documents,” with a note that these documents have been considered by WHO and FAO member states in different contexts and are subject to the relevant terms of accompanying resolutions and declarations. In addition, we would encourage the group to remember that the HLPE has already produced excellent resources that can be used by member states.

We hope to see member states focus on the core issues as represented within the ToR. Issues that we believe to be worth particular focus are food safety, use of data and knowledge sharing, the importance of institutional capacity-building, and food and nutrition education, among other key areas outlined in the draft. 

Finally, with regards to the proposed intersessional event, the PSM would like to indicate that it supports the Food Transformation concept note. 

In closing, the PSM would like to reiterate its appreciation for the group’s hard work and open-mindedness throughout this process. We look forward to finalizing Terms of Reference that contribute to a world free of hunger and malnutrition. 



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