Young peasants call for a “Radical transformation of the food system”, urges the UN Committee on Food Security to support food sovereignty

The Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples’ Mechanism (CSM) for relations with the United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS) is the largest international space of civil society organisations (CSOs) working to eradicate food insecurity and malnutrition. All participating organisations in the CSM belong to one of the following 11 constituencies: smallholder farmers, pastoralists, fisherfolks, indigenous peoples, agricultural and food workers, landless, women, youth, consumers, urban food insecure and NGOs.

While intervening at the 10th Anniversary Virtual Celebration of the CSM, the Youth Working Group described their pandemic experiences, how they have been responding, and what their demands to their governments and the international community are.

They called upon the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) to strongly advocate for immediate implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP), in addition to the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests. The working group has insisted that during this UN Decade of Family Farming (2019-2028), the CFS must promote food sovereignty and peasant agroecology as true solutions to the social and ecological crises that youth face.

The youth group reminded the CFS that smallholder food producers and organised communities have proven during the pandemic that economies based on solidarity, cooperation, and ecology are highly adaptive and resilient. Localised, diversified, direct, and democratically-controlled food systems are key to our survival as a species.

“To build the new – a regenerative economy of life, rooted in ancestral wisdom – Member States must divest from the paradigm of industrial food production, which relies so heavily on extraction, militarism, and human rights violations in the constant pursuit of profit and capital accumulation. Support local markets and informal, non-market food distribution! Assist with the expansion of schools operated by social movements, such as La Via Campesina, for training young people in the politics and science of peasant agroecology! Enact genuine agrarian reform!” read the Declaration.”

Read the full text of the intervention here.