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The Committee on World Food Security (CFS)

CFS and Advancing Nutrition
CFS Annual Sessions and UNSCN Contributions
CFS Products under a Nutrition Lens

The UNSCN vision of the CFS (video):

The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) was set up in 1974 as an intergovernmental body to serve as a forum in the United Nations System for review and follow up of food security policies.

In 2009 the Committee went through a reform process to ensure that the voices of other stakeholders were heard in the global debate on food security and nutrition. The vision of the reformed CFS is to be the most inclusive international and intergovernmental platform for all stakeholders to work together in a coordinated way to ensure food security and nutrition for all. For more information visit the official website here or download the brochure

The CFS Structure
divides into four parts which allows input from all stakeholders at global, regional and national levels. It includes:

The Plenary of the CFS

The Plenary is the central body for decision-taking, debate, coordination, lesson-learning and convergence by all stakeholders at a global level on food security issues. Regular Plenary Sessions are held annually.

The CFS Bureau and its Advisory Group

The Bureau is the executive arm of the CFS. It ensures coordination among all actors and performs tasks delegated by the Plenary. It is made up of a Chairperson and twelve member countries.

The Advisory Group helps the Bureau advance the Committee's objectives in particular to ensure linkages and communication with different stakeholders. The Advisory Group is made up of representatives from 5 constituencies, including UN agencies and bodies; civil society and non-governmental organizations particularly organizations representing smallholder family farmers, fisher folks, herders, landless, urban poor, agricultural and food workers, women, youth, consumers and indigenous people; and private sector associations and philanthropic foundations.

The High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE)
As directed by the CFS Plenary and Bureau, the role of the HLPE includes providing scientific and knowledge-based analysis and advice on specific policy-relevant issues; and identifying emerging issues helping CFS members prioritize future actions and attentions on key focal areas.

The Secretariat

The CFS has a permanent Secretariat located in FAO Rome which includes members from the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). 

The UNSCN as a member of the CFS Advisory Group

At the 36th CFS Annual Session in October 2010, the CFS committee decided to:

  • include the UNSCN into the Advisory Group of the CFS, taking into account UNSCN's special nature as a UN coordination platform, with its own stakeholder consultation mechanisms;
  • entrust the CFS Bureau with looking into ways to invite and include the UNSCN or one of its member organizations in the Joint Secretariat of the CFS;
  • suggest that the UNSCN and the CFS establish synergy and close coordination between their respective processes, mechanisms and proposals.

The UNSCN has been attending the CFS Bureau and Advisory Group meetings and will continue to play the role of nutrition advocate, communicator, catalyst and bridge builder towards the CFS community.

Through participating in the CFS, the UNSCN establishes a two way communication avenue between the food security and nutrition constituencies by:

  • exchanging information on nutrition with the food security constituency and bringing food security considerations to the attention of the nutrition constituency;
  • encouraging and providing advice so that nutrition considerations are included in all CFS work streams;
  • bringing to the attention of the CFS Member States new nutrition related issues as they emerge;
  • avoiding duplication of efforts related to improving food and nutrition security globally.
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