EU — Council conclusions over food security challenges

Coun­cil con­clu­sions on an EU pol­i­cy frame­work to assist devel­op­ing coun­tries in address­ing food secu­ri­ty chal­lenges 3011th FOREIGN AFFAIRS Coun­cil meet­ing

Brus­sels, 10 May 2010
The Coun­cil adopt­ed the fol­low­ing con­clu­sions:

1. Food inse­cu­ri­ty, which affects over 1 bil­lion peo­ple, is chal­leng­ing the achieve­ment of the Mil­len­ni­um Devel­op­ment Goals (MDGs) espe­cial­ly in sub-Saha­ran Africa and in Least Devel­oped Coun­tries in oth­er regions, and in par­tic­u­lar in frag­ile sit­u­a­tions. The recent glob­al food and finan­cial crises accen­tu­at­ed the chal­lenges to food secu­ri­ty. The EU remains com­mit­ted to achiev­ing the inter­na­tion­al goal of halv­ing the num­ber of peo­ple suf­fer­ing from hunger by 2015. These Con­clu­sions are part of the over­all process of estab­lish­ing the EU posi­tion for the MDG High-lev­el Ple­nary Meet­ing to be held in New York in Sep­tem­ber 2010, which will fur­ther define the EU response to the most off track situations. 

2. In this con­text the Coun­cil wel­comes the Com­mis­sion Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and its pro­pos­al for an “EU pol­i­cy frame­work to assist devel­op­ing coun­tries in address­ing food secu­ri­ty chal­lenges”. The Coun­cil sup­ports a com­pre­hen­sive approach aligned with the “Five Rome Prin­ci­ples for Sus­tain­able Glob­al Food Secu­ri­ty“1 and ful­ly endors­es its objec­tives and pri­or­i­ties, built around the four pil­lars2 of food secu­ri­ty, to con­sti­tute the basis for a com­mon frame­work for action for the EU and its Mem­ber States. Fur­ther­more, the Coun­cil val­ues the coher­ence and com­ple­men­tar­i­ty this Com­mu­ni­ca­tion shares with the par­al­lel Com­mis­sion Com­mu­ni­ca­tion on Human­i­tar­i­an Food Assistance.

3. The Coun­cil empha­sis­es the poten­tial of poor and small­hold­er pro­duc­ers to sus­tain­ably con­tribute to meet­ing future food demand, and doing so, sub­stan­tial­ly con­tribute to the achieve­ment of MDG1, reduc­ing rur­al pover­ty while reduc­ing hunger. The Coun­cil also stress­es the need to improve access to food for peo­ple who suf­fer from hunger or mal­nu­tri­tion due to pover­ty or oth­er kinds of vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty and who lack resources for farm­ing. The Coun­cil calls on the EU and its Mem­ber States to increase the sup­port to agri­cul­ture, food secu­ri­ty and nutri­tion, in accor­dance with the aid effec­tive­ness prin­ci­ples, with­in the frame­work of exist­ing finan­cial and polit­i­cal com­mit­ments such as the Con­clu­sions of the Euro­pean Coun­cil of June 2008 and recall­ing the com­mit­ment made by African lead­ers in the Maputo Dec­la­ra­tion of 2003.

4. The Coun­cil calls on the EU and its Mem­ber States to act togeth­er and focus instru­ments and tools of EU devel­op­ment assis­tance in food secu­ri­ty on key pri­or­i­ty areas, such as:

• sup­port­ing inten­si­fi­ca­tion approach­es for small scale farm­ers, par­tic­u­lar­ly women, that are sus­tain­able and eco­log­i­cal­ly effi­cient, respect­ing the diverse func­tions of agri­cul­ture and fos­ter­ing equal­i­ty in secure access to assets (in par­tic­u­lar land and water) and ser­vices;
• sup­port­ing pro-poor, demand-led agri­cul­tur­al research for devel­op­ment, exten­sion and inno­va­tion with clear ben­e­fits for small-scale farm­ers and suit­ed to their needs, in par­tic­u­lar through the Con­sul­ta­tive Group on Inter­na­tion­al Agri­cul­tur­al Research (CGIAR), as well as sup­port­ing agri­cul­tur­al edu­ca­tion, espe­cial­ly for women;
• assist­ing devel­op­ing coun­tries in address­ing cli­mate change and its effects on food secu­ri­ty and agri­cul­tur­al devel­op­ment through adap­ta­tion and mit­i­ga­tion mea­sures;
• sup­port­ing the devel­op­ment and imple­men­ta­tion of inclu­sive and par­tic­i­pa­to­ry nation­al and region­al poli­cies on agri­cul­ture, rur­al devel­op­ment, food secu­ri­ty and nutri­tion, in par­tic­u­lar in Africa through the Com­pre­hen­sive Africa Agri­cul­ture Devel­op­ment Pro­gramme (CAADP), pro­vid­ing spe­cial atten­tion to secur­ing access to land and ensur­ing effec­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion of farm­ers and farmer organisations;

1 Con­tained in the Dec­la­ra­tion of the World Sum­mit on Food Secu­ri­ty held at FAO in Rome in Novem­ber 2009.
2 1) increas­ing avail­abil­i­ty of food; 2) improv­ing access to food; 3) improv­ing nutri­tion­al ade­qua­cy of food intake; and 4) enhanc­ing cri­sis pre­ven­tion and management. 

• exam­in­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties to deal with price volatil­i­ty and pol­i­cy options that address extreme volatil­i­ty and the risks and impacts asso­ci­at­ed with it;
• con­tribut­ing to employ­ment and income cre­ation, notably by improv­ing the reg­u­la­to­ry and insti­tu­tion­al con­di­tions for respon­si­ble pri­vate invest­ments in all stages of the agri­cul­tur­al val­ue chain and stim­u­lat­ing pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ships;
• rein­forc­ing infor­ma­tion sys­tems, pri­mar­i­ly at region­al and nation­al lev­els, in sup­port of agri­cul­ture, food secu­ri­ty and nutri­tion poli­cies, includ­ing those for ear­ly warn­ing pur­pos­es;
• con­tribut­ing to the inte­gra­tion of food secu­ri­ty and nutri­tion objec­tives and tar­gets into part­ner coun­tries’ sec­tor poli­cies in such areas as trans­port, infra­struc­ture, agri­cul­ture, forestry, fish­eries, water and san­i­ta­tion, ener­gy, trade, health and edu­ca­tion;
• sup­port­ing nation­al, region­al and inter­na­tion­al ini­tia­tives for the imple­men­ta­tion of the Vol­un­tary Guide­lines on the Right to Food, par­tic­u­lar­ly the process of the elab­o­ra­tion of the FAO Vol­un­tary Guide­lines on Respon­si­ble Gov­er­nance of Land Tenure and oth­er Nat­ur­al Resources, and for the devel­op­ment and imple­men­ta­tion of prin­ci­ples and a code of con­duct gov­ern­ing sus­tain­able large-scale invest­ments in land;
• estab­lish­ing and oper­at­ing tar­get­ed and flex­i­ble pro­duc­tive safe­ty nets and oth­er social pro­tec­tion mech­a­nisms adapt­ed to local con­texts, in par­tic­u­lar for vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tion groups in both rur­al and urban areas, includ­ing in frag­ile sit­u­a­tions and tran­si­tion coun­tries;
• pro­mot­ing com­pli­ance with “Link­ing relief, reha­bil­i­ta­tion and devel­op­ment” (LRRD) prin­ci­ples, in par­tic­u­lar local and region­al pur­chas­es; and
• accel­er­at­ing progress on tack­ling hunger and improv­ing nutri­tion by scal­ing-up EU fund­ing for pro­grammes on chron­ic and acute mal­nu­tri­tion. In this regard, the Coun­cil invites the Com­mis­sion to present a Com­mu­ni­ca­tion on Nutrition.

5. Recall­ing the pri­ma­ry respon­si­bil­i­ty of part­ner coun­tries in achiev­ing food secu­ri­ty, it is impor­tant to rein­force all lev­els of food secu­ri­ty gov­er­nance, includ­ing the local lev­el. This should be based on the Right to Food prin­ci­ples, imple­ment­ing par­tic­i­pa­to­ry plan­ning, deci­sion-mak­ing and bud­get­ing in a trans­par­ent and account­able way. Sim­i­lar­ly, gov­er­nance is par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant with respect to land issues. Involve­ment, capac­i­ty build­ing and empow­er­ment of key stake­hold­er groups, such as com­mu­ni­ty devel­op­ment groups, farmer organ­i­sa­tions and women’s asso­ci­a­tions, should receive pri­or­i­ty atten­tion in this respect. 

6. At the glob­al lev­el the EU and its Mem­ber States, with­out prej­u­dice to respec­tive com­pe­ten­cies, shall fos­ter the imple­men­ta­tion of the Glob­al Part­ner­ship for Agri­cul­ture, Food Secu­ri­ty and Nutri­tion (GPAFSN) by improv­ing the coher­ence of the inter­na­tion­al food secu­ri­ty gov­er­nance sys­tem through sup­port to the Com­mit­tee on World Food Secu­ri­ty as a cen­tral com­po­nent for food secu­ri­ty gov­er­nance, with sup­port from its High Lev­el Pan­el of Experts (HLPE). This shall be done in close col­lab­o­ra­tion with the UN Sec­re­tary Gen­er­al, the Rome based UN agen­cies and the UN High Lev­el Task Force on food secu­ri­ty issues, and by encour­ag­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion and divi­sion of labour between the rel­e­vant UN agen­cies as well as oth­er bilat­er­al and mul­ti­lat­er­al insti­tu­tions involved in agri­cul­ture, food secu­ri­ty and nutri­tion, in accor­dance with their man­dates and com­par­a­tive advantages.

7. The Coun­cil sup­ports a com­pre­hen­sive, ambi­tious and bal­anced con­clu­sion of the Doha Devel­op­ment Round which would be impor­tant to improv­ing glob­al food security.

8. The Coun­cil urges the EU and its Mem­ber States to deliv­er their sup­port to food secu­ri­ty and nutri­tion accord­ing to the prin­ci­ples of the Paris Dec­la­ra­tion on Aid Effec­tive­ness, the Accra Agen­da for Action, as well as the EU Code of Con­duct on Divi­sion of Labour, focus­ing their sup­port on nation­al and region­al poli­cies and pro­grammes, enhanc­ing aid effec­tive­ness and pol­i­cy coher­ence for development.

9. To this end, the EU and its Mem­ber States will iden­ti­fy regions and coun­tries where tasks may be divid­ed, respect­ful of coun­try own­er­ship, on the basis of com­par­a­tive advan­tage. Actions may be coor­di­nat­ed under the guid­ance of a lead donor or inter­na­tion­al organ­i­sa­tion. The EU and its Mem­ber States will con­tin­ue to finan­cial­ly sup­port nation­al and region­al agri­cul­ture and food secu­ri­ty poli­cies and strate­gies, includ­ing through blend­ing of resources, and encour­age fur­ther region­al inte­gra­tion. In Africa the EU and its Mem­ber States will sup­port CAADP nation­al and region­al com­pacts and apply effec­tive divi­sion of labour in all agri­cul­ture-based Sub-Saha­ran African coun­tries by 2015.

10. The Coun­cil under­lines the need for coor­di­na­tion with­in the EU and its Mem­ber States regard­ing dif­fer­ent food secu­ri­ty and nutri­tion ini­tia­tives includ­ing the oper­a­tional­i­sa­tion of this pol­i­cy frame­work, and invites the Com­mis­sion to pro­pose an imple­men­ta­tion plan before the end of 2010.” 

Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union 

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