La Via Campesina opens the doors for FAO to food sovereignty

Press Release

Rome, 31-10-2006
Time for food sovereignty
La Via Campesina opens the doors for FAO to food sovereignty

Image At the beginning of the second day of the FAO Special Forum in Rome La Via Campesina together with representatives of other social movements have received FAO functionaries and governmental delegates at the main entrance inviting them to step through the door of food sovereignty.)° This was the start for the second day of the dialogue between organisations of civil society and the governmental members of FAO.

In several speeches to the plenary of the Forum)°° representatives of La Via Campesina raised critical situation in which the agricultural sector finds itself and critized the approach of FAO.
Henry Saragih, international co-ordinator of LVC said in the panel on trade: “the very principles of Food Security that were chosen by the FAO to eliminate hunger are based on the mistaken principles of trade  as the solution to all problems, and on the development of expensive and dangerous technology like GMO´s as the way to supposedly boost production.” 

FAO should put the Food Sovereignty at the hart of its strategies and actions. La Via Campesina expects a pro-active role of FAO together with IFAD to bring along real changes to combat hunger and poverty in the rural areas. Initiatives to protect peasant based production against dumping and low price imports are urgently needed.

It also includes the active promotion and support of genuine, distributive agrarian reform in those countries where this is desperately needed to give a perspective to people in the rural areas that at the moment live under miserable conditions and are forced to migrate to slums of the mega cities in the south or to the industrialized countries to work often under slavery like  conditions.

La Via Campesina also has insisted that the Committee on Food Security of FAO should decide the follow up of the ICARRD Conference that was held in March of this year. It should demand FAO to define concrete actions and mechanisms to support the implementation of  genuine agrarian reform as well as initiatives to support and strengthen peasant based production for domestic consumption.
Rafael Alegria made in the panel on Agrarian Reform a call to the FAO Committee on Food Security  “to define together with the CSO organisations  in the recently established joint working committee the concrete follow up and implementation mechanisms of the ICARRD-Conference and to allocate the necessary resources to support governments that put forward genuine agrarian reform programs.

In a meeting between La Via Campesina, representatives of other social movements and Mr J. Diouf Secretary General of FAO it was stressed that we expect concrete steps from FAO
regarding the implementation of the ICARRD Conference.