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FAO Committee on Commodity Problems, Side Event on Supply Management and other events: Side event on EPAs, Committee on Agriculture, NGO-CSO meeting

6 April 2007
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1. From 23 to 25 April 2007 : FAO Committee on Commodity Problems (66th session). Supply Management is on the agenda


As it’s often the case, FAO Committee on Commodity Problems meeting is an event always interesting for the organisations concerned with agriculture and trade issues and for those looking for food sovereignty.
Indeed, many themes on the agenda are interesting (see below) and it’s advisable to put the point of Supply Management to raise international agricultural commodity prices on the agenda (see FAO preparatory document : CCP 07/10).
It’s already interesting for the FAO to approach this point, probably further to a demand from the African group that asked this question within the scope of the WTO.
Moreover, that’s an important opportunity, for the Civil Society Organisations, to transmit to governments their positions on this issue, while many CSO mobilize in order to have the best regulation possibilities on national and international markets. Except the possible statements on this point on the agenda, another opportunity is the organisation of a side event concerning this theme on Monday at 12:30h (see below, point 2).

Finally, other interesting themes will be discussed. The other themes will be :
- the current situation and outlook on world commodity markets;
- implications for world commodity markets of rapid growth in China and India;
- the development of multilateral trade negotiations and consequences on markets and commodity trade;
- special products for the development in multilateral trade negotiations;
- aid for trade in multilateral trade negotiations;
- analysis, preliminary findings and lessons learned from import surge;
- the international action in the commodity sector.

All documents relating to the Committee on Commodity Problems (agenda, preparatory documents, etc) are available in different languages on the FAO site (for English):

http://www.fao.org/unfao/bodies/ccp/ccp66/index_en.htm

Be careful, the NGO and CSO can participate (as observers) to the Committee on Commodity Problems only if they are accredited by FAO for the meeting. To be accredited, they have to represent an international organisation (for example : CONCORD or FIAN for Development NGOs, IFAP, VIA CAMPESINA or ROPPA for farmers).

The responsible persons for the Civil Society should be contacted and should receive the following informations : your first and second name, your address and phone/fax /mobile numbers, your e-mail address; the same details for your (international) organisation and also the dates and meetings for which you need accreditation (Committee on Commodity Problems, Committee on Agriculture, NGOs-CSOs meeting on the 22nd) :

Thomas Price : Thomas.Price@fao.org
Diego Colatei : Diego.Colatei@fao.org
Adress: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00100 Rome
Italy
Tel: (39) 06-570 54 775
Fax: (39) 06-570 55 175

It’s also possible to be accredited under the name of the PIC. Contact me in this case and also for any question or problem in relation with it.

2. On 23 April 2007 from 12.30 to 14.30 : side events about the FAO roles concerning the regulation of national and international markets in order to support family farming


As we noticed in the preceding point presenting the Committee on Commodity Problems, the fact that FAO broaches the Supply Management issue and the national and international markets regulation is obviously interesting, probably further to the African Group demand which asked this question within the scope of the WTO agricultural group.
It’s an opportunity for the Civil Society Organisations in order to transmit to governments their position on the issue while many CSO are mobilizing to reach better regulation possibilities on national and international markets.

The side event concerned with the regulation of agricultural markets is the opportunity to show the interest of many CSO in these issues and the support they would give to FAO so that the organization could broach more decisively these issues particularly crucial for food security and the participants of the rural world in the North and the South of the planet.
From that point of view, several organisations, driven by ROPPA and CSA, organised a side event over that theme on Monday at 12:30 h.

The issues of the debate would be:
Core question
Is Supply Management not a way to solve some of the problems related to family farming?

Specific questions
- How could the FAO contribute to improve the control over certain international agricultural markets and to a better supply management on national markets, notably by supporting the group of African States that have brought forward the proposal to improve the regulation of agricultural markets during the extraordinary session of the WTO Agricultural Committee?
- Will the definitions of Special and Sensitive Products at the WTO not be determining in order to ensure supply management on domestic markets?

Other groups are concerned in the organisation, including Oxfam magasins du monde (Bruxelles), Canadian Dairy, Poultry and Eggs Industry, East African Farmers Federation – EAFF (Nairobi), Terra Nuova (Rome) and Crocevia (Rome).

A presentation of the event, still a draft (the room has still to be determined within FAO), is is to download at the end of this article.

3. On 24 April 2007 from 15 to 18 : side event on the Economic Partnership Agreements : working together for regional integration and food sovereignty

This other side event, concerning the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the EU and the ACP countries will take place on Tuesday 24 April from 15 to 18 in the prestigious FAO “red room”.
Representatives of peasant organisations networks from different ACP regions and other representatives (FAO, IFAD) whill participate to the side event.

The presentation of the event is to download at the end of this article.

4. From 25 to 28 April 2007 : FAO Committee on Agriculture (20th session). On the agenda is the follow-up of the International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ICARRD)

Other important issues will be discussed in the FAO Committee on Agriculture after the Committee on Commodity Problems.

Among the interesting themes, there is, in particular the follow-up of the International Conference for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development. This follow-up, discussed during FAO General Conference at the end of the year 2006, didn’t lead to a conclusion. The debate was postponed the Committee on Agriculture in April 2007.

Other topics :

- Managing Livestock – Environment Interactions;
- Review of FAO’s Programme of Work in the Food and Agriculture Sector;
- Challenges of Agribusiness and Agro-industries Development;
- Environment and agriculture;
- Agriculture and water scarcity, Programmatic Approach to Water Use efficiency and Agricultural Productivity.

All the documents concerning the Committee on Agriculture (agenda, preparatory documents, etc.) are available in several languages on FAO website at the following e-mail address :

http://www.fao.org/unfao/bodies/coag/coag20/index_en.htm

5. Sunday 22 April : meeting of Civil society organisations and NGOs to prepare the Committee on Commodity Problems


On Sunday morning (10h30) the 22nd will take place ,at the FAO, a meeting in order to inform the Civil Society Organisations and NGOs about the practical issues of participation during the Committee on Commodity Problems.
The meeting, held with the participation of representatives of the FAO and the IPC, will also allow the attending organisations to prepare efficiently intervention during the Committee’s sessions.
As the meeting takes place in the FAO building, it is necessary to forseen accreditation also for the Sunday 22nd if you wish participate at that meeting.
During the Sunday afternoon will take place the preparation of the side events by the organisations at the initiative of these events.

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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