Background of FSNSA

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World Summit on Food Security (WSFS) was held in November 2009 at Rome. The CSO participants who had the opportunity to participate in NGO parallel and to enter in FAO to follow the official discussion had mixed reactions. On the one hand they felt that the official declaration covered important aspects like good governance, transparency, cooperation at all levels, focus on reforms in agriculture and other primary sectors, stress on equity and justice and a divided approach of dealing with vulnerable groups immediately at the same time having long term strategies for eradication of poverty in general. But on the other hand disappointments were also there as it was observed with huge concern that the world leaders failed to propose any sustainable alternative to the mainstream development regime, which resulted in unprecedented world food price rise and hunger in the globe in recent years. For example in WSFS the head of states continued focusing on WTO and trade as a solution to food crisis and emphasized on the importance of bio-fuel as alternative sources of energy overlooking the threat of land grabbing and further loss in food production. Moreover, there were very limited opportunities for the CSO representatives to share their views and experiences as well as recommendations in the official forum to meet the world hunger and poverty scenario. The climate change issue received a lot of attention in both official and NGO parallel forums, as this would further intensify hunger all over the world but no concrete steps were agreed upon to face the crisis united. The official forum stressed on rural development and regional cooperation and vowed to implement existing commitments like Voluntary Guideline on Right to Food (VGRF), International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ICARRD) etc. to end hunger world-wide.

NGO/CSOs should take a more pro-active position and role in advocacy and lobby work with various actors for realizing existing national/regional/international human rights instruments/commitments and to ensure good governance from grassroots to the top. During WSFS NGOs/CSOs/CBOs discussed in length about different elements of a viable alternative development paradigm or in other words they discussed about realization of food sovereignty.

The need of the hour is to develop more clarity at South Asia level on the concept of food sovereignty and how this could be realized. A vibrant network is required which would adopt concept of food sovereignty as larger vision and would try to realize the core elements of it through advocacy lobby work at different levels on region specific context/issues with multi stakeholders; would enrich the endeavor of ending hunger and poverty in the globe. Hence further development and strengthening of the Food Sovereignty Network of NGOs/CSOs/CBOs at South Asia Level or FSNSA is proposed.

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