CFS45 took place at FAO Headquarters in Rome from October 15-19, and the Private Sector Mechanism had its largest delegation to date, with 180 business leaders, including over 65 youth and representatives of youth organizations, registered from 40 countries.
This year's delegation was also balanced in terms of gender and area of specialty in the agri-food chain:
Other key highlights of the 45th Plenary Session of CFS include:
- A successful meeting between the FAO Director General Jose Graziano da Silva and the PSM Chair and nine elected PSM delegates, representing Food Producers, Inputs, Livestock, Trade, Food Processors, Finance and Investment, Fisheries, Forestry, and Youth. After a discussion of the epidemic of overweight and obesity in the world, the group had an excellent exchange about the importance of multistakeholder cooperation, the importance of committing to a balanced approach to good nutrition for all, and the goal to include Youth in Agriculture. Pictures from the meeting can be found here.
- 20 bilateral meetings, with representatives from 21 member states, providing the bedrock for effective engagement and negotiation at the CFS.
- In Plenary, PSM was able to make 15 interventions, from panels and from the floor, in plenary on a broad selection of topics in the CFS agenda.
- PSM members organized 5 side events this year, on the topics of fortification for improved nutrition; agroecology as a contributor to a sustainable food future; sustainable agricultural practices; the importance of trust in agripreneurship; and challenges and opportunities for youth in agriculture. These five side events together reached over 350 attendees. In addition, members of the PSM delegation had panelist or speaking roles at 6 other side events, reaching over 240 more attendees.
- This year’s High Level Dinner was hugely successful, bringing together over 200 guests, including ambassadors, representatives of CFS member states, UN agencies, NGOs, and companies, as well as the chair of the CFS, H.E Mario Arvelo of the Dominican Repbulic. The theme of the dinner was “Engaging, Recruiting, and Retaining Youth in Agriculture,” with a keynote address delivered by Ms. Cassie Hayward of the Youth Ag Summit. This year’s High Level dinner had more social media activity than any other HLD to date, using the hashtag #Youth4Ag.
- This year PSM participated in the World Food Day activities at FAO. 30 PSM delegates attended the high-level segment, one PSM delegate delivered a statement, and many delegates attended various other events.
- MYPoW: The CFS recommended that the CFS Bureau, in collaboration with the Advisory Group, and with the support and participation of interested CFS stakeholders, work on the preparation of the CFS MYPoW 2020-2023 to be submitted for consideration and endorsement at CFS 46. The CFS also requested that the HLPE undertake a study to be presented by the first semester of 2020: “Food Security and Nutrition: Building a Global Narrative towards 2030”.
- CFS Evaluation: The CFS endorsed the “CFS Evaluation: Plan of Action” and the “CFS Evaluation – Implementation of the Response to the Evaluation.”
- Food Systems & Nutrition: CFS endorsed the Terms of Reference for the preparation of the CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition, in support to the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition 2016-2025. It recognized that sufficient funds are not currently available, and invited CFS Members and stakeholders to provide adequate financial resources to enable the implementation of the policy convergence process, thereby ensuring that all the planned activities be carried out within available resources. The Committee requested that the Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition be submitted for endorsement by CFS at its 47th Session in 2020.
- Promoting Accountability and Sharing of Best Practice: CFS will oversee the preparation of the event to be held in 2019, subject to available resources, for monitoring CFS policy recommendations on (i) Investing in Smallholder Agriculture; (ii) Connecting Smallholders to Markets; and (iii) Sustainable Agricultural Development Including Livestock during CFS46.
- Critical and Emerging Issues: The Committee took note of the views expressed and the potential issues suggested during the session on critical and emerging issues for future consideration by the CFS as an important element for upcoming discussions on the preparation of the next CFS Multi-Year Programme of Work (MYPoW). The Committee also recommended that the CFS Bureau, in collaboration with the Advisory Group, and with the support and participation of interested CFS stakeholders, work on the preparation of the CFS MYPoW 2020-2023 to be submitted for consideration and endorsement at CFS46.
- HLPE Report on Multistakeholder Partnerships: It was suggested to use the HLPE report, including the questionnaire annexed to it, as the starting point of a follow-up process focusing on knowledge and lesson-sharing sharing on effective multistakeholder partnerships at different scales and requested the Bureau to define the details of such a process.
The PSM Secretariat would like to sincerely thank all the delegates who attended CFS45. It is thanks to you that this year was such a success!
CFS46 will be held from October 14 to October 18, 2019.
The official CFS photo album is available on FAO's Flickr account.