Statement to the Extraordinary Meeting of G20 Agriculture Ministers - Call for urgent action to safeguard global food security and nutrition!

Trade unions, peasants’ organizations and civil society organizations deliver a letter recalling that the universal right to food, inseparable from rights for food producers, must be at the center of the G20 agenda, and not simply as a temporary crisis measure.  

 

The coronavirus pandemic has unleashed an emergency situation affecting people’s health, incomes and food security. The world will be soon facing social and economic consequences of dramatic dimensions, amplifying like never before the already existing inequalities within and among countries. Many actors have already agreed that global coordination will be key in building response measures. While the Food and Land Coalition has called upon global leaders for urgent action, and the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have also released a joint statement, much of the messages transmitted focus on the need of maintaining open trade as key to “mitigate impacts of COVID-19 on food trade and markets”.  With already 820 million women and men malnourished well before COVID-19, is this the message that is needed to ensure that the foundations of our food systems can be reshaped towards social, economic, environmental and health resilience?   

Trade unions, peasants’ organizations and civil society organizations endorsing the statement, and many of them active in the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), urge that existing human rights instruments “provide a foundation for concrete action to secure the right to food”. Furthermore, they warn that the crisis “panorama” should not distract from the urgent necessity to re-root our diets into local food systems which restore biodiversity, mitigate climate collapse and can be independent from external inputs and long supply chains.  

In one of the conclusions, they state: “The world can lurch from crisis to crisis, or we can begin now to start building the resilient, sustainable food system the world desperately needs.” 

 

The statement was supported by: 

Kirtana Chandrasekaran, International programme coordinator - Food Sovereignty, Friends of the Earth International  

Mauro Conti, President, Centro Internazionale Crocevia  

Prof. Olivier De Schutter, former Special Rapporteur on the right to food (2008-2014), Co-chair, International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems  

Fiona Dove, Director, The Transnational Institute  

Paula Gioia, International Coordination Committee, La Via Campesina  

Shalmali Guttal, Executive Director, Focus on the Global South  

Judith Hitchman, President, Urgenci  

Sue Longley, General Secretary, IUF  

Sofia Monsalve, Secretary General, FIAN International  

Rosa Pavanelli, General Secretary, Public Services International  

Tammi Jonas, Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance  

Stefano Prato, Managing Director, Society for International Development  

Jim Thomas, Co-Executive director, ETC group 

 

You can access the full statement here 

For more information please contact mackermann@sidint.org