Results of the FAO Committee on Commodity Problems (CCP) and related Side Events (supply management and EPAs) and of the Agriculture Committe (COAG) (23-28 April 2007)

10 mai 2007

From 23 to 25 April 2007, the 66th session of FAO Committee on Commodity Problems took place in Rome. On this opportunity, two important side events were organized and your will find here the results of the 2 side events organised on the Civil Society’s initiative on 23 and 24 April. At the end of the same week, another Committee took place : the FAO Committee on Agriculture, held from the 25th to the 28th of April. An important result is about the follow up of the International Conference on Agrarian reform and rural development (ICARRD).

Committee on Commodity Problems
Committee on Agriculture (COAG)

Committee on Commodity Problems

Five regional networks and federations of Producers Organisations from Africa and the Caribbean, five Canadian Producers Organisations involved in supply management and a number of NGOs attended the 66th session of the FAO.
The agenda was extremely interesting given its relevance to family farming. The developments on commodity markets, the implications of the rapid economic growth of India and China for international agricultural commodity markets, the effects and control of import surges in Developing countries, the management of supply on international commodity markets and aid for trade for developing countries had all been covered in preparatory notes by the Secretariat and were « discussed » during the Session.
The Civil Society Organisations estimated it was very important to explain the need of controlling imports and strengthening the market position of producers through supply management measures.

Side event on Supply management
It is why they organised, on Monday 23 April, a first side event on Supply management and drew up a declaration which was presented at the CCP Session.
The presentation of the side event, the declaration and a comment on the CCP by Alex Danau from CSA can be downloaded at the end of this article.

Side event on the Economic Partnership Agreements
Another side event was also organised, on Tuesday 24 April, about the Economic Partnership Agreements. This second side event concerned the contribution that the FAO and other organisations could play in order to support the 5 of the 6 ACP Regional Networks of Farmers Organisations, an issue that was not on the agenda of the CCP Session.
The presentation of this side event and the declaration (that could not be read in the CCP Session, unfortunately) can be downloaded at the end of this article.

Committee on Agriculture (COAG)

At the agenda was an important point for Civil Society Organisations : the follow-up ot the International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ICARRD).
Due to the strong opposition from the Northern countries, it was not possible during the session of FAO’s Committee on Food Security (CFS) last November to reach an agreement on how to implement the final declaration of the ICARRD (the Conference that was held in Porto Alegre, Brazil in March 2006).
The issue was then referred to FAO’s Committee on Agriculture (COAG) Session from 2007.
After the CFS, the organisations members of the International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty (IPC) continued to ask their national governments in different countries the implementation of ICARRD’s recommendations. The EU organisations urged the EU governments not to obstruct ICARRD’s follow-up process if they are serious about its commitments to prioritize access to land and rural development policies aimed at combating hunger. Civil society’s mobilisation together with the strong commitment with the international ICARRD’s follow-up of countries like Brazil came to bear their fruits.
The results achieved at the COAG are decribed by Sofia Monsalve Suárez, Land Programme Coordinator at FIAN International. The text can be downloaded at the end of this article.

Daniel Van Der Steen
Collectif Stratégies Alimentaires (Collective for Food Strategies), Brussels
International Planning Committee (IPC) for Food Sovereignty Geographical Focal Point for Europe
Boulevard Leopold II, 184D
1080 Brussels – Belgium
Phone +32 (0)2 412 06 60 Fax +32 (0)2 412 06 66
e-mail : daniel.vandersteen@csa-be.org

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