The Hanoi session (12-16 March 20120) is the first one of the regional conference after the 2010 reform of the Committee on Food Security (CFS), which grants Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) a status of equal partnership in the fight against hunger and malnutrition.
Organisations present at the conference immediately felt the difference between this post-reform CFS conference and previous ones. CSOs appreciated the fact that the voices of those most affected by hunger were heard during the different sessions alongside government delegates.
The weekend before the conference, CSOs met to discuss issues pertaining to increased regional participation into FAO processes and to conduct a consultation on the Global Strategic Framework (GSF). The results of the consultation reflected the issues that are of most relevance to the region in regards to the GSF:
Indigenous Peoples are of crucial importance in the Asia region and their rights to produce food should be protected, including their right to tenure and protection of ancestral lands. A focus on food sovereignty, food diversity and the rights of small scale food producers, including access to resources and protection, is crucial.
A meaningful GSF should have stronger monitoring mechanisms tied to already existing monitoring systems – there is a need for global binding agreements The GSF should be based on the respect of human rights and should focus on the human rights dimension of social protection, right to food, right to organise, as well as the rights of indigenous peoples, women and children.
In Hanoi, civil society also makes a strong statement against the corporate control of agriculture, proposing accountability mechanisms and stronger regulations for transnational corporations, including with regard to their role in agro-fuel production and the displacement of food crops.
The role of free trade in the efforts to eradicate hunger is far from evident and CSOs call on the CFS to further discuss the issue. Hence, the GSF should remove any reference to the conclusion of the Doha round.
Fishery is of significant importance for the Asia region and should be considered in any food security strategy.
There is also a need to integrate short term emergency interventions better into medium and long term hunger eradication strategies.