Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Dialogue on UNFSS : counter mobilisation

25-28 July 2021. Over 300 global civil society organizations of small-scale food producers, researchers and Indigenous Peoples’ gathered online to protest against the UN Food Systems Pre-Summit. The People’s Counter-Mobilization to Transform Corporate Food Systems is the latest in a series of rejections of the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS), including a coalition of scientists who petitioned to boycott it.

The parallel counter-mobilization shared small-scale food producers and workers’ realities, and their visions for a human rights-based and agroecological transformation of food systems, highlighting the importance of food sovereignty, small-scale sustainable agriculture, traditional knowledge, rights to natural resources, and the rights of workers, Indigenous Peoples, women and future generations.

Discussions centered on real solutions: binding rules for corporate abuses, ending pesticide use, and agroecology as a science, practice and movement. The program included the following activities:
  • 25 July 2021: A Global virtual Rally with small-scale food producers and people’s voices.
  • 26 July 2021: A political declaration followed by three public roundtable discussions on the Covid-19 context, the hunger and climate crises and the Summit’s push for corporate capture of governance and science.
  • 27 July 2021: 15 virtual sessions on people’s alternatives and visions on food systems.
  • 28 July 2021: A closing Panel will present preliminary conclusions and discuss ways to challenge the UNFSS in September.
Related: 04/08 Food Tank. African Faith Leaders Call on The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Drop African Green Revolution

26 July 2021. Unmasking the UN Food Systems Summit

Description: this session discussed the critical fault lines of the summit, with special emphasis to the different domains where the corporate capture materializes. Representatives from small-scale food producers, Indigenous Peoples and Civil Society’s organizations were in dialogue with Member States, national governments, UN Agencies and Academia’s representatives. 

The session featured an initial analysis and political framing on the autonomous peoples’ response to the UNFSS, followed by two shorter presentations examining some of the false solutions portrayed by the Summit, which were then juxtaposed to a closing overview of real solutions from the ground. After these four initial interventions, a moderated panel of governmental representatives from different regions was invited to comment and respond. General debate followed. 
  • Ali Aii Shatu, Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordination Committee (IPACC) 
  • Paula Gioia, La Vía Campesina 
  • Tammi Jonas, Austrian Food Sovereignty Alliance 
  • Chukki Nanjundaswamy, La Vía Campesina 
  • Marianeli Torres, World Forum of Fisher People, WFFP 
  • Jim Tomas, ETC Group 
  • Facilitators: Svetlana Boincean, International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Association (IUF) Kirtana Chandrasekaran, Friends of the Earth International

26 July 2021. UNFSS and the Corporate Capture of Governance

Description: This session offered a substantive space of dialogue on some of the critical fault lines of the summit, with special emphasis to the different domains where the corporate capture materializes. Representatives from small-scale food producers, Indigenous Peoples and Civil Society’s organizations were in dialogue with Member States, national governments, UN Agencies and Academia’s representatives. 

The session featured a panel of 6 (3 from governmental/ intergovernmental experience and 3 from social movements/civil society), divided into 3 issue blocks. Each block was introduced with an overall framing by the co-moderators, who then addressed different questions appropriate for each panelist. 
  • Michael Fakhri, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food 
  • Mary Mubi, former Permanent Representative of Zimbabwe to the RBA 
  • Jomo Kwame Sundaram, former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development and Senior Adviser at the Khazanah Research Institute, Malaysia 
  • Isa Álvarez, Urgenci Sofia Monsalve, FIAN International 
  • Andre Luzzi, Habitat International Coalition, HIC Ahmed 
  • Sourani, Gaza Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture Platform (GUPAP) 

26 July 2021. Dialogue on UNFSS and the Corporate Capture of Science

Description: This session offered a substantive space of dialogue on some of the critical fault lines of the summit, with special emphasis to the different domains where the corporate capture materializes. Representatives from small-scale food producers, Indigenous Peoples and Civil Society’s organizations were in dialogue with Member States, national governments, UN Agencies and Academia’s representatives. 

Scientific assessments and advice are supposed to play an increasing role in the transformation of food systems, including on policy and governance matters. The session aimed to discuss power asymmetries in food systems, expose and explore conflicts of interest in science, and address the critical characteristics of an adequate Science-Policy Interface (SPI) in order to strengthen the existing High-Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) of the CFS. 
  • Victor Súarez Carrera, Vice-Minister of Self-Sufficiency, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mexico 
  • Cecilia Rikap, CONICET, the Argentinian public research system Jennifer Clapp, HLPE Steering Committee 
  • Zoltán Kalmán, Retired Ambassador and Former Permanent Representative of Hungary to the UN Food and Agriculture Agencies in Rome 
  • Nettie Wiebe, La Vía Campesina Jones Spartegus, World Forum of Fisher People, India 
  • Onel Masardule, Indigenous Forum of Abya Yala, Executive Director of the Foundation for the Promotion of Indigenous Knowledge, Nigeria
  • Facilitators: Elisabetta Recine, Observatory of Food and Nutrition Security Policies, University of Brasilia + Stefano Prato, Society for International Development

27 July 2021. Technology sovereignty, what kind of innovation & tech do small-scale food producers need & want? 

This session was organized by: European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC), Friends of the Earth Europe (FOEE), FIAN International, Centre for Agroecology Water and Resilience at Coventry University, Agroecology-in-Action, Schola Campesina, ETC Group. 

Description: One of the false promises of the Food Systems Summit (FSS) is that we simply need to unlock the potential of digital and other new technologies to solve today’s compounding crises and make food systems sustainable. But the proposals promoted by the FSS are silent about what they mean in practice for small-scale food producers and on how these solutions correspond to their actual needs and aspirations. The session will start from small-scale producers’ experiences with and views on technologies to open up bigger questions around innovation and technology from a food sovereignty perspective. This event aims to Stimulate discussion around technology politics in the food sovereignty moment; Contribute toward formulating characteristics of technology sovereignty that rests on small scale producers’ needs and aspirations as well as their autonomy, including regarding the technologies the use; Put forward proposals on how to build alternative forms of creating and governing technologies from a food sovereignty, solidarity economy and right to food perspective. 
  • Morgan Ody, European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC), France 
  • Ravindu Ishan Gunarathne, National Fisheries Solidarity Organization (NAFSO), Sri Lanka 
  • Hamadi Abbas Mohammed, ADJMOR- World Alliance of Mobile Indigenous Peoples (WAMIP), Mali 
  • Andrea Ferrante, Schola Campesina, Italy

27 July 2021. The True Costs of “Highly Developed” Industrial Food Systems

Session organized by: North American organizations participating in the Autonomous people's response to the UN Food Systems Summit 

Description: This panel, organized by members of CSM NA collective, explored the interconnection between industrial agriculture, settler colonialism, racial oppression and systemic violence in our food systems here in Turtle Island (Canada and the United States). As the UN Food System Summit gears up to rebrand more industrialization of North American food systems as “nature positive,” we are in a unique position to assert the social, economic, and ecological consequences of our dominant food system and how antithetical it is to the very transformation we need across global food systems. Organized as an informal moderated conversation, this panel will feature the voices and experiences of small producers, Indigenous peoples, farm workers and youth from across Turtle Island. 
  • Noah MacDonald, from SAAFON (USA) TBD, from Justicia for Migrant Workers (Canada
  • Jim Goodman, NFFC's Board President (USA) 
  • Bridget Larocque, Arctic Athabaskan Council (Canada
  • Qiana Mickie, QJM Multiprise (USA
  • Moderators: Tyler Short (Family Farm Defenders and CSM Youth) and Ayla Fenton (Loving Spoonful and National Farmers Union)

27 July 2021. Africa responds to the UNFSS: Let’s reclaim our food sovereignty and transform the industrial food system 

Organized by: African organizations participating in the Autonomous people's response to the UN Food Systems Summit. This event brought together small-scale food producers, agricultural workers and vulnerable consumers, to collectively voice priorities and solutions for the continent’s food systems and ecologies. 

Declaration: We Africans reject the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS), as a continuation of the neocolonial development and agrarian extractivist agenda on our continent. The UNFSS paints African food systems as deficient, and in need of more Western saviour technology, productivity and competitive enhancement. Yet this will only serve to further weaken systems already eroded by decades of state neglect and economic subordination. Strengthening African food systems, and food producers, needs to be grounded in human rights, biodiversity and broader socio-ecological wellbeingTogether, we can begin to outline a people’s pan-African vision for food system transformation, from the ground up. 
  • Moderators: Mariam Mayet, African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) and Mateus Santos, La Via Campesina (LVC) 
  • Introduction to the vision Pastoralist Yehia Ag Mohamed Ibrahim, Association des jeunes de la commune d'Essakane (ANMATAF) 
  • The vision we defend / Christiana Saiti Louwa, World Forum of Fisher Peoples, Lake Turkana, Kenya 
  • What we denounce / Elizabeth Mpofu, Zimbabwe Small Holder Organic Farmers' Forum (ZIMSOFF) – LVC 
  • What we call for / Dieudonné Pakodtogo, Réseau des Organisations Paysannes et de Producteurs de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (ROPPA
Voices from the Ground 
  • Fisherfolk / Christiana Saiti Louwa, World Forum of Fisher Peoples 
  • Pastoralists / Hamadi Ag Mohamed Abba, ADJMOR 
  • Youth and women / Nzira Deus, World March of Women 
  • Small-scale family farmers / ROPPA 
  • Peasants / David Otieno, Kenyan Peasant League 
Video: Seed Sovereignty, La Via Campesina 
  • Urban food insecure / Samuel Ikua, Habitat International Coalition (HIC) 
  • Indigenous people / Ali Ali Shatu, Indigenous Peoples of Africa Co-ordinating Committee 
  • Conclusion Summary of elements of a Pan-African vision and demands 
  • Discussion: Inputs from participants Next steps 
  • Closing performance / South African Poet Khadija Tracey Heeger

27 July 2021. How to build public support for food sovereignty and Right to Food in Asia?

Organized by: Asian-Pacific organizations participating in the Autonomous people's response to the UN Food Systems Summit 
  • Moderator: Joseph Purugannan, Focus on the Global South 
  • Mr. Anwar Sastro Maruf: Konfederasi Pergerakan Rakyat Indonesia (Confederation of Indonesia People Movement) 
  • Mr. Zainal Fuat: Serikat Petani Indonesia (SPI), LVC Southeast Asia 
  • Mr. Herman Kumara: National Convener- National Fisheries Solidarity Organisation (NAFSO), 
  • Ms. Kaniz Fatima- Coordinator of Right to Food Bangladesh, Bangladesh 
  • Ms. Roma Malik, All India Union of Forest Working People, India 
  • Mr. Pramesh Pokharel: All Nepal Peasants Federation (ANPFa)ICC youth La via Campesina South Asia 
  • Ms. Tammi Jonas: Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance and IPC

27 July 2021. The struggle for Food Sovereignty in the Caribbean and Latin America

Organized by: Organización Boricuá de Agricultura Ecológica de Puerto Rico CLOC-LVC International & FIAN Colombia 

Description: During this panel and discussion we will be accompanied by peasants, researchers, agrarian organisations, human rights and civil society organisations and food sovereignty activists from the Caribbean and Latin America who every day are building sustainable, healthy and people-owned agrifood systems, challenging the corporate interests of the industrial agricultural model and the commodification of nature. 
  • Jesús Vázquez Negrón, Organización Boricuá de Agricultura Ecológica de Puerto Rico (CLOC - La Vía Campesina Caribe) 
  • Islanda Micherline Aduel, Têt Kolé Haití (CLOC - La Vía Campesina Caribe) 
  • Lieser Ramirez Pujols Hernando 
  • Salcedo Fidalgo, FIAN Colombia

27 July 2021. Feminist economic alternatives for a systemic transformation of food systems

Session organized by: Action Aid
Description: The prevailing economic system serves to both exploit and exacerbate women’s relative position of economic, social and political exclusion. Feminist economists and academics, feminist activists, women’s rights organizations and labor movements working at local, national, regional and international levels have demonstrated how this intersects with systems of patriarchy, racism, (neo)colonialism and heteronormativity, resulting in the exploitation of the majority of the world’s women and the environment, with those in the Global South hit hardest. In addition to farming, women do most of the household labor: collecting water and firewood, cooking, cleaning and washing, as well as caring for family and community members. Women have always been active in producing food crops, processing food and marketing. However, despite comprising almost half of the world’s agricultural producers, women have access to and control less that 20% of the land globally.

As the world is emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic it is crucial that human rights and climate and social justice drive social reform. Although incredibly diverse and often context-specific, feminist economic alternatives (FEAs) demand and put in practice steps towards the systemic transformation of the rules of the economy. Systemic transformation entails calling out and dismantling unequal power relations that are rooted in interlocking systems of oppression and a reconstruction of the economic systems, structures, policies and institutions that both perpetuate and benefit from them, so that economic systems are instead focused on ensuring the democratic and accountable attainment of human rights for all and environmental preservation. FEAs are rooted in principles and value of care for all life forms, the promotion or women’s autonomy and leadership, cooperation and solidarity, democracy, and pluralism, valuing of local knowledge, and freedom from gender-based violence.
  • Moderator – Wangari Kinoti – Head of the Women’s Rights Team – ActionAid International
  • Keynote speech – Ruth Nyambura - African EcoFeminist Collective
  • Discussant 1 - Miriam Nobre - World March of Women
  • Discussant 2 – Sonia Vidal - La Via Campesina
  • Discussant 3 – Andrea Collins, University of Waterloo Debate with intervention from the audience

27 July 2021. Closing Ceremony of the People's Counter-Mobilization to Transform Corporate Food Systems

The Concluding Panel aimed at: providing a space for interregional perspectives and dialogue, present impressions and preliminary conclusions of Days 1-3 of the countermobilization, and discuss the way of the in the run-up to the Summit and beyond. 
  1. 14:00-14:45 Space for interregional perspectives and dialogue 
  2. 14:45- 15:30 Preliminary conclusions of Days 1-3 of the countermobilization 
  3. 15:30-16:00 The Way ahead …

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