The outcome of the Madrid High-Level Meeting on Food Security can be considered a victory for those who want to see the multilateral governance of the global food and agriculture system improved and strengthened, and conducted within the Right to Adequate Food framework. This was only possible due to:
- The strong and unified position of producers, organisations, civil society organisations and NGOs against the proposal to institute a Global Partnership on Agriculture and Food Security (GPAFS) by the G8, that could weaken the role of the UN in this governance, in particular the Rome-based agencies, and increase the influence of agroindustrial and food-related transnational corporations on national and international food security policymaking; and
- The strong position of FAO in defence of the multilateral system and the call for a World Food Summit as the appropriate political arena to discuss next steps.
At the same time, civil society welcomed the clear inclusion of the Right to Adequate Food as the third track in the global and national strategies against hunger and undernutrition, as spelled out in the UN Secretary-General's final speech. This guarantees a window of opportunity to effectively incorporate the provisions of the guidelines on the right to food into these strategies, increasing their effectiveness through adequate assessment, definition of rights-based goals and benchmarks, more participation and accountability.
Flavio Luiz Schieck Valente, Secretary General, FIAN International