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CFS 50 was completely stalled by geopolitical interests 

October 14, 2022

The day after the closure of the 50th Committee on World Food Security (CFS), I’m not sure if I’m more angry or depressed.  

While millions of people are starving due to climate disasters, inflation, and conflicts, governments gathered at the CFS 50 expecting to coordinate a response to the global food crisis. Instead, they spent hours and hours negotiating only a few words on sanctions and the responsibility of the war, effectively wasting hours of well-paid interpretation services only to end up without a conclusion (since it’s impossible, and also not equitable, to continue the sessions without interpretation services). This is the first time CFS suspended without a proper conclusion.  

It’s alarming that the only pending decision is on the CFS’s core mandate, which is to coordinate response during global crisis to fulfill the right to food for all. After the disappointment of the failure to adopt the Guidelines on Gender Equality and Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment due to the opposition of some Governments to accept gender diversity, intersectionality, and LGBTQIA+ rights, this is a further blow to multilateralism and the rights of people. 

Global social movements gathered for the past few days eager to actively participate and encourage movement on addressing the most pressing food system issues we’re facing today, but we have left upset and frustrated at what we’ve witnessed. Before the closing plenary, the Special Rapporteur on the right to food said:  

“CFS50 is an opportunity. I can tell the UN General Assembly in NY, that the CFS had an opportunity to do something and did nothing. Or I can take a message of hope.”

If you ask me, CFS 50 did not deliver that message of hope and was completely stalled by geopolitical interests. This is unacceptable.