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Committee on Food Security


Rome, Italy



Description: CFS was established in 1974 as an intergovernmental body to serve as a forum in the UN system for review and follow-up of policies concerning world food security, including production and physical and economic access to food.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) serves as the secretariat for CFS. CFS’ structure includes: the annual Plenary, the main decision-making body; a Bureau; an Advisory Group, including representatives from UN bodies, civil society, international agricultural research institutions, international and regional financial institutions, the private sector, philanthropic foundations  and prominent individuals; a High-Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) on Food Security and Nutrition; and the Secretariat, supported by the three Rome-based agencies (RBAs), FAO, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and World Food Programme (WFP). CFS deliberations are based on country representation in FAO regional groups. Non-governmental actors are represented through the Civil Society Mechanism (CSM), and the Private Sector Mechanism (PSM).

Organization Type: International Inter-Governmental Organization
Issue areas covered:

The mandate of CFS is to: coordinate a global approach to food security; promote policy convergence; support and advise countries and regions; coordinate at national and regional levels; promote accountability and share best practices; and develop a global strategic framework for FSN. CFS went through a reformation in 2009. The reformed CFS broadens participation and aims to: give a voice to all stakeholders in the world food system; be inclusive and encourage an exchange of views and experiences; and build on empirical evidence and scientific analysis.

The CFS reports to the UN General Assembly through the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and provides contributions to the High Level Political Forum of the Sustainable Development Agenda. 

Policy recommendations and guidance are developed starting from the scientific and evidence-based reports produced by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE).

Key opportunities and dates for input: 

There are periodic opportunities for engagement through the Gateway to Animal Welfare. These include E-Consultations and expert meetings.

The CFS holds an annual Plenary session every October at the FAO in Rome, Italy.

Requirements for participation: 

There is an opportunity to sign up for newsletters from the Gateway to Animal Welfare and to submit information.

There is also an opportunity to sign up for CFS information.

Advocacy Opportunities:
  • The CFS provides good advocacy opportunities for organisations working on food policy issues, in particular because they hold regular meetings, plus occasional e-consultations.
    However, there may also be the opportunity for proactive lobbying, to influence the CFS focus and agenda.

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