Patti Naylor, an organic farmer from Churdan, will participate in the United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS) regional consultation for North America on the Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition taking place at the University of Maryland and hosted by the USDA Nov. 14-15.
“The number of people around the world, including in the United States, who suffer from malnutrition – which can mean not enough food as well as too much unhealthy food – is staggering. We must focus on human rights, food sovereignty, and agroecology as the clear path to addressing this critical issue,” Naylor stated.
Reflecting the CFS multi-stakeholder model to ensure all voices are heard, participants will come from the national governments of Canada and the United States, several UN agencies, civil society organizations (CSM), private sector associations, agricultural research systems, and academic institutions.
This process is repeated in six regions of the world to get comments and suggestions on the draft guidelines and ensure regional and national priorities and needs are reflected.
The resulting Voluntary Guidelines will be a reference document that provides guidance to governments on appropriate policies, investments and institutional arrangements needed to address the key causes of malnutrition in all its forms.
This process comes at a time when malnutrition and food insecurity are increasing around the world. As the CSM has declared: “It is unacceptable that in a world of plenty more than 821 million of our brothers and sisters go to bed hungry every night and over half a billion are obese. More than 150 million children suffer from stunting, over 50 million children are wasted, more than 40 million children are obese, and approximately 800,000 babies die every year because they are not optimally breastfed. It is time to act to tackle the injustice of malnutrition. Transition to healthy and sustainable food systems require democratic governance firmly grounded in human rights, with an understanding of food as a common good and a human right.”
Naylor will represent civil society as a member of National Family Farm Coalition and Family Farm Defenders, both of which are member organizations of La Via Campesina, the international movement that brings together millions of peasants, farmers, and rural people.
In preparation for this consultation event, Naylor attended the Committee on World Food Security annual meeting at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome in October. She had the honor of speaking on behalf of civil society at the CFS Plenary on the UN Decade of Family Farming emphasizing the need to transform our agriculture system to one in which family farmers provide the means to end hunger now and into the future.