Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

Statement of the Madrid High-Level meeting on food security for all
27 January 2009
Madrid High-Level meeting on food security for all

Acknowledgements: FANRPAN acknowledges as the source of this article:

The Madrid high-level meeting on food security, convened by the Governmentof Spain and the UN, brought together a broad range of committed stakeholders from more than 126 countries. They came from national governments, civil society, trade unions, private sector, academia, donor agencies and multilateral organizations: the purpose was to accelerate progress in meeting MDG 1 and address the effects of price fluctuations in vulnerable populations. They worked together to review progress achieved since the Rome High Level Conference (June 2008), to agree on ways to move forward, quickly, with short-, medium- and long-term actions, and to establish mechanisms for better coordination.

  • Participants reaffirmed the conclusions of the World Food Summit in 1996 and the objectives confirmed by the World Food Summit five years later, to achieve food security for all through an ongoing effort to eradicate hunger in all countries, with an immediate view to reducing by half the number of undernourished people by no later than 2015, as well as their commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Participants also reaffirmed the Declaration of the High-Level Conference on World Food Security: the challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy convened in Rome in June 2008.

  • They reaffirmed that States have a primary responsibility to make their best efforts to respect, ensure, fulfil and promote the right to have regular and permanent access to adequate food, especially of children under-five years old, women and other vulnerable groups. In aiming to the right to food, the special problems faced by women, female small farmers need to be addressed effectively; States are encouraged to seek inspiration from the Voluntary Guidelines to Support the Progressive Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security adopted by the FAO General Council in 2004.

  • Participants were deeply concerned by the unacceptable global food security situation that affects over 960 million undernourished people. They were also concerned by the negative impact on food access and availability fluctuations exacerbated by the current financial crisis on the livelihoods of the poorest, most vulnerable in the world. They were convinced of the urgent need to strive even harder to achieve international commitments of increasing substantially financial resources and ODA, particularly in relation to nutrition, food, agriculture and hungerrelated programmes and policies.

  • They recognized the progress achieved in fulfilling commitments agreed by national governments and the international community at the Rome Conference, but also recognised that more still needs to be done. They support strongly the efforts of the UN Secretary General and the High Level Task Force (HLTF) on the Global Food Security Crisis in promoting a coordinated and adequately funded response to the current food insecurity situation.

  • Participants were convinced of the need to undertake short-, medium- and long-term actions in line with the Comprehensive Framework of Action (CFA) and to mobilize adequate, predictable, and flexible funding that have already been committed. They also indicated the urgent need to identify financing gaps and the additional resources needed for existing anti-famine mechanisms, including for food and nutrition assistance and social protection programs, and for supporting smallholder agriculture. They indicated the need for arrangements to coordinate the utilization of these resources.

  • They were convinced that these actions will only be effective and efficient if they are led by the governments of affected countries, their parliaments, local governments and citizenship, following the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action, focusing on the needs of the hungry, malnourished and food insecure people.

  • Participants stressed the importance of engaging civil society and the private sector in the implementation of coordinated actions for alleviating food insecurity among the most vulnerable populations, at community, locality, regional, national and global level.

  • They emphasized that all aspects of food security must be addressed, not only by increasing production, but also by developing social protection systems and eliminating all forms of competition-distorting subsidies, in order to stimulate and conduct agricultural trade in a fair way.

  • Participants stressed that the social and economic development of rural areas must become a primary policy objective, as the provision of food and agriculture fulfils a key function that must be consolidated and enhanced. Thus, enhancing sustainable rural development is essential – and in particular the entire agro value chain, associated services, and the policy environment in which it operates.

  • They supported the importance of including marginalized and excluded men, women, and children and indigenous groups in this process, giving them voice so that their views are prioritized when analyzing the problems, searching for viable solutions and implementing them.

  • They agreed on the importance of an inclusive and broad process of consultation on options leading to the establishment of a Global Partnership for Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition, which starts at the Madrid High Level Meeting. They emphasized the importance of the following elements of a consultation process, which should be convened and facilitated by the members of the UN HLTF:

    1. The consultations should be open to the full range of stakeholders involved in agriculture, food security and nutrition (including farmers’ organizations, civil society organizations, women’s organizations, private sector, developing country governments, and both regional and international organisations)
    2. A representative contact group, accountable to all interested partners, should be established to guide and oversee the consultation process.
    3. The process of consultation should have a sound methodology that is based on best practice, involves participation at multiple levels and includes regular feedback to all stakeholders
    4. The contact group should identify and highlight positive examples of ongoing partnerships

  • Participants were determined to ensure access to adequate food for all in a sustainable manner, to improve nutrition, to stimulate food production, to strengthen social protection systems, and to increase investment in all areas related to food security.

Participants committed to ensure that food security for all becomes a reality.

Madrid, January 27th 2009

This statement reflects the Chair’s summary of the proceedings

The Madrid HLC “Food Security for All” was attended by 62 Ministers from more than 126 countries

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