Press Release
No new alternative for facing hunger

18 November 2009

Heidelberg, 17.11.09 - The human rights organization FIAN criticized the
final declaration of the World Summit on Food Security as a document that
presents no new alternative for facing hunger and promoting the right to
food. ”Neither the recognition of the right to food nor the finding that
agriculture in countries of the Global South must be promoted are new
explains Flavio Valente, Secretary General of FIAN International. “We miss
any new and obligatory commitment of funds to be invested into sustainable
rural development, and improved global and national governance of food and
nutritional security. Above all, we miss answers to the central causes of
hunger such as the unjust world trade, land grabbing by foreign enterprises
and states, speculation at the commodity stock exchanges and the publicly
promoted expansion of energy crops for agrofuels,“ Valente adds.

FIAN positively evaluates the support of the Summit towards the reformed UN World Committee on Food Security (CFS) and its coordinating role of world food policies. “The Committee must now quickly tackle those questions which were excluded from the Summit,” says Valente. In October, FAO State members had already unanimously approved a document that reformed the CFS fundamentally and opened it up for a broad civil society participation, in particular of those groups affected by hunger such as small farmers, indigenous people and pastoralists.

The right to adequate food based global framework strategy, which is to be prepared by the Committee, must not become only a piece of paper.
Governments and international organizations must recognize it as obligatory guidelines for agriculture, trade, social and development policies. That must also be valid for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund and all funds geared to support small scale producers
,” demands Valente.

The Peoples Forum on Food Sovereignty, which gathered more than 700
peasants, fisherfolk, indigenous peoples, pastoralists, youth, urban poor
and agricultural workers, took place parallel to the Summit in Rome from the
14th to the 17th of November. It reaffirmed that Food Sovereignty and
people´s participation in the elaboration, implementation, direct
participation and monitoring of food security and nutrition policies is the
solution to guarantee the realization of the right to adequate food for all.

Civil society will hold governments accountable to the commitments made in the CFS document and in the declaration of the World Summit on Food
Security. This will be done through the direct participation in the CFS
mechanism that was conquered as a result of the joint struggle of a broad
diversity of social movements.

Contact and background information:

Flavio Valente (+49-172-1394447) and Sofía Monsalve
(+49-173-7570286) are attending the World Food Summit on behalf of FIAN
International. They are available for interview or comment in Rome during
the Civil Society Forum that takes place in parallel to the Summit from
14-17th and during the official Summit from 16-18th.

Failure by national governments and international institutions to
ensure the right to food has led to rising numbers of malnourished and
starving people, as documented in the Right to Food and Nutrition Watch 2009 at