Chapitre 3. Le Comité de la sécurité alimentaire mondiale dix ans après la réforme

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Lors de la flambée des prix des denrées alimentaires en 2007 et 2008, des pays considérés depuis longtemps en situation de sécurité alimentaire ont été confrontés à la baisse des importations du fait des mesures protectionnistes mises en place par les pays exportateurs (DEFRA, 2010 ; Sharma, 2011). Cette crise des prix alimentaires, amplifiée par la crise économique mondiale et par la crise environnementale persistante, a remis en cause les présupposés dominants relatifs à la sécurité alimentaire, l’agriculture et le développement. Les décideurs politiques ont dû déchiffrer un nombre croissant de variables, dont les enjeux environnementaux, les évolutions démographiques, la hausse des prix de l’énergie, la demande de biocarburants, la dépréciation du dollar américain, des conditions climatiques défavorables et des chocs commerciaux, des achats de panique et des restrictions aux exportations (Headey, Malaiyandi et Shenggen, 2009). Un effort international a été déployé pour répondre à la crise, qui se solda par le lancement d’un certain nombre d’initiatives et par la réforme d’organisations existantes (Duncan et Barling, 2012). L’une des réformes majeures fut celle du Comité de la sécurité alimentaire mondiale des Nations unies (CSA). Avec cette réforme, le CSA entreprit sa transformation de « l’organisme le plus ennuyeux de l’ONU » (entretien 2012) en « la première plateforme inclusive internationale et intergouvernementale de coordination des politiques de sécurité alimentaire

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Since the 2007/08 food price crisis there has been a proliferation of multi-stakeholder processes (MSPs) devoted to bringing diverse perspectives together to inform and improve food security policy. While much of the literature highlights the positive contributions to be gained from an opening-up of traditionally state-led processes, there is a strong critique emerging to show that, in many instances, MSPs have de-politicizing effects. In this paper, we scrutinize MSPs in relation to de-politicization. We argue that re-building sustainable and just food systems requires alternative visions that can best be made visible through politicized policy processes. Focusing on three key conditions of politicization, we examine the UN Committee on World Food Security as a MSP where we see a process of politicization playing out through the endorsement of the ‘most-affected’ principle, which is in turn being actively contested by traditionally powerful actors. We conclude that there is a need to implement and reinforce mechanisms that deliberately politicize participation in MSPs, notably by clearly distinguishing between states and other stakeholders, as well as between categories of non-state actors.
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The global surge in prices of food commodities in 2007–2008 led governments to identify gaps in the global governance of food security as a major obstacle to the realization of the right to food. The reform of the Committee on World Food Security, completed at the end of 2009, was to remedy that: its objectives were to introduce more consistency across policy areas, and to serve as an inclusive platform for a modest form of monitoring by peer review, and for collective learning. The reform is an ambitious one. But it is most remarkable for its recognition that unless food security policies are informed by the views of the victims of hunger and permanently tested and revised, they shall fail: participation and experimentalism are therefore key components of the new mechanism that has been established. Combating hunger and malnutrition is a complex task, and it can only be achieved through multiyear strategies and coordinated efforts at different levels and in different sectors: this chapter explores whether the reform, that has now entered its implementation phase, can meet the challenge it has set for itself.
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This article explores how human rights framing by the transnational agrarian movement La Via Campesina (LVC) has evolved over the last 20 years. It discusses how the movement has worked towards institutionalizing new categories of rights, such as the ‘right to food sovereignty’ and the ‘rights of peasants’, thereby contributing to the creation of new human rights standards at the United Nations (UN). It also critically addresses some of the challenges the movement has been confronted with when framing its demands in terms of rights. Its overall argument is that LVC has managed to tap the potential of the rhetoric of rights to find common ground, thanks to its innovative use of non-codified rights. This has enabled activists to ‘localize’ human rights and make them meaningful to their various contexts. However, it contends that further advancing the movement's goals will require serious consideration of some of the key limits of the human rights framework.
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In 2007–2008 world food prices spiked and global economic crisis set in, leaving hundreds of millions of people unable to access adequate food. The international reaction was swift. In a bid for leadership, the 123 member countries of the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security (CFS) adopted a series of reforms with the aim of becoming the foremost international, inclusive and intergovernmental platform for food security. Central to the reform was the inclusion of participants (including civil society and the private sector) across all activities of the Committee. Drawing on data collected from policy documents, interviews and participant observation, this book examines the reorganization and functioning of a UN committee that is coming to be known as a best practice in global governance. Framed by key challenges that plague global governance, the impact and implication of increased civil society engagement are examined by tracing policy negotiations within the CFS, in particular, policy roundtables on smallholder sensitive investment and food price volatility and negotiations on the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security, and the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition. The author shows that through their participation in the Committee, civil society actors are influencing policy outcomes. Yet analysis also reveals that the CFS is being undermined by other actors seeking to gain and maintain influence at the global level. By way of this analysis, this book provides empirically informed insights into increased participation in global governance processes.
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In 2008, the price of grain spiked internationally, leading to a series of events commentators began to call the global food crisis. Although low agricultural productivity was not the cause of the crisis or the high rates of food insecurity that followed, intergovernmental agencies fell into old patterns and largely responded with policies geared towards increasing agricultural productivity. The UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS), however, has offered alternatives to this productivity trap, providing a space for dialogue on different approaches. In this paper, I review CFS policy recommendations from 2010 to 2017, and argue that by focusing on small-scale producer livelihood rather than productivity rates and the availability of food on markets, the CFS has contributed to the normative elaboration of alternative paradigms. I argue further, that the CFS’s reformed structure and the inclusion of civil society in policy-making facilitated space for the promotion of these alternatives.
Being the public voice of over 180 member organisations across nearly 90 countries, La Vía Campesina, the global peasant movement, has planted itself firmly on the international scene. This book explores the internationalisation of the movement, with a specific focus on the engagement of peasants in the processes of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). Since the reform of the CFS in 2009, civil society actors engage in the policy processes of this UN Committee from a self-designed and autonomous global Civil Society Mechanism. The author sheds light on the strategies, tensions, debates, and reconfigurations arising from rural actors moving between every day struggles in the fields and those of the UN arena. Whereas most theories in the dominant literature on social movements expect them to either disappear or institutionalise in a predetermined pattern, the book presents empirical evidence that La Vía Campesina is building a much more sophisticated model. The direct participation of representatives of peasant organisations in the CFS is highlighted as a pioneering example of building a more complex, inclusive and democratic foundation for global policy-making. Foreword by Olivier De Schutter, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food (2008-2014).
The “Voluntary Guidelines for Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Forests and Fisheries in the Context of National Food Security” (VGGT) are a new international legal instrument, which was adopted unanimously in 2012 in the United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS). The document is a soft law instrument that does not create new legally binding obligations to states or responsibilities for private actors, but applies existing standards for governance, particularly including human rights standards, to the management of land. The following article describes in the first part the new instruments and its relevance to all actors involved in land governance issues. In the second part the article describes which implementation activities and follow-up actions have been taken by the different stakeholders since its adoption in 2012.
When the G20 took up food security in 2010, many were optimistic that it could bring about positive change by addressing structural problems in commodity markets that were contributing to high and volatile food prices and exacerbating hunger. Its members could tighten the regulation of agricultural commodity futures markets, support multilateral trade rules that would better reflect both importer and exporter needs, end renewable fuel targets that diverted land to biofuels production, and coordinate food reserves. In this article, we argue that although the G20 took on food security as a focus area, it missed an important opportunity and has shown that it is not the most appropriate forum for food security policy. Instead of tackling the structural economic dimensions of food security, the G20 chose to promote smoothing and coping measures within the current global economic framework. By shifting the focus away from structural issues, the G20 has had a chilling effect on policy debates in other global food security forums, especially the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS). In addition, the G20 excludes the voices of the least developed countries and civil society, and lacks the expertise and capacity to implement its recommendations.
This article critically examines the linkages between the literatures on depoliticisation, governance and political participation. To do so, it is divided into three substantive sections. The first section critiques Flinders and Wood's article which introduces this edited volume. Subsequently, the second section examines the links between forms of depoliticisation and modes of governance, arguing that a metagovernance approach allows the best understanding of the 'evidence' for depoliticisation. The final section then considers the changing nature of political participation, arguing that we are witnessing both depoliticisation and repoliticisation, and that it is crucial to recognise and respond to each of these processes.
In May 2012, the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) endorsed the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests. This article provides an overview on this new document. It puts the Guidelines in the context of the FAOs efforts to raise awareness on the importance of good governance of land and natural resource tenure, as emphasized in the 2006 final declaration of the International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ICARRD), as well as of the discussions on responses to the current new wave of land grabbing. The main objective of the Voluntary Guidelines is to provide practical guidance to governments to improve governance of natural resources, recognizing that secure tenure rights and equitable access to land, fisheries, and forests are crucial to achieve food security and the progressive realization of the right to adequate food. The article argues that despite being voluntary the Guidelines explicitly refer to existing human rights obligations related to natural resources and provide interpretation and guidance on how to implement them. It further looks back on the process that lead to the final document and analyses the roles of UN agencies, states and civil society. The article emphasizes that the inclusive and participatory character of the process gives the Guidelines a high level of legitimacy and political weight. Therefore all efforts are necessary to ensure implementation, with a special responsibility for states and UN agencies. The article further underlines the potential of the Voluntary Guidelines in improving accountability and monitoring on tenure issues. Finally, it addresses some controversial issues of the Guidelines, with a special attention to criticism raised by civil society. It concludes that despite these critiques the Voluntary Guidelines remain useful as a tool to advance progressive land tenure policies that are clearly anchored in existing international human rights obligations.
This paper brings geographical research on urban policy mobility into conversation with historical research on the transnational municipal movement. It argues that much of conceptual and methodological interest can be found in this second literature, especially in Pierre-Yves Saunier’s research on the ‘Urban International’ of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It also uses findings from Saunier’s work to identify and highlight salient characteristics and new lines of inquiry regarding contemporary urban policy mobility. These include that urban policy circulation in the 21st century is (dis)organized, geographically extensive, fast, and anti-political.
In this article I take issue with the view defended by Habermas and his followers that the critique of rationalism and universalism necessarily undermines the very basis of the modern democratic ideals. I show the important contribution that an anti-essentialist approach can bring to the understanding of the way democratic identities are constituted. I argue that it is only within a framework that relinquishes the epistemological tenets of the Enlightenment that it is possible to come to terms with the nature of pluralism and to reformulate the democratic project in a way that acknowledges the political in its dimension of power and antagonism.
An implicit assumption of most policy analysts and some academics is that globalization leads to a convergence of traditionally national policies governing environmental regulation, consumer health and safety, the regulation of labor, and the ability to tax capital. Some claim that globalization leads to a race to the bottom, where concerns about the regulatory standards are sacrificed on the altar of commerce. Others argue that the growth of transnational governance structures leads to a negotiated convergence of ample regulation. This essay reviews the arguments and evidence for how globalization affects the convergence of regulatory policies, in particular the setting of labor and environmental standards. It argues that the theories of policy convergence, which rely on structural factors to induce policy convergence, are largely unsupported by the empirical evidence. Theories that grant agents autonomous decisionmaking power perform better but remain underspecified. Ironically, the realist paradigm, which has generally denigrated the globalization phenomenon, could prove a fruitful source for theories of improved policy convergence.
We use two rounds of surveys, taken in 2000 and 2008 in the Zhili Township children's garment cluster in Zhejiang Province, to examine in depth the evolution of this industrial cluster. Firm size has grown on average in terms of output and employment, and increasing divergence in firm sizes has been associated with a significant rise in specialization and outsourcing among firms in the cluster. Although the investment amount needed to start a business has more than tripled, this amount remains low enough that formal bank loans remain an insignificant source of finance. Because of low entry barriers, the number of firms in the cluster has risen, driving down profits and bidding up wages, particularly since the year 2000. Facing severe competition, more firms have begun to upgrade their product quality. By the year 2007, nearly half of the sampled firms had established registered trademarks and nearly 20 percent had become International Office of Standardization (ISO) certified.
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