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Results of the FAO-CSOs Regional Consultation for Europe and Central Asia and about the FAO Regional Conference (Armenia, May 2010)

Daniel Van Der Steen, 26 February 2010
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European Consultation, Conference and Commission on Agriculture
Which countries are member of the FAO Region for Europe and Central Aisa ?
At the agenda of the Consultation
Registration for the Consultation of Yerevan
Administrative requirements to enter Armenia
At the agendas of the Conference and the Commission on Agriculture
The organization of the Consultation in Yerevan
An upgraded role of Regional Conferences in 2010 after the FAO reform and external assessment
Presentation of speakers during the Consultation
Important documents for the European FAO-CSOs/NGOs Consultation

European Consultation, Conference and Commission on Agriculture

The FAO-CSOs Regional Consultation for Europe and Central Asia took place in Yerevan (Armenia) on 10 and 11 May 2010.
The Consultation will enabled the NGOs, CSOs and Social movements to prepare the statements for the 27th Regional Conference (biennial) for Europe and Central Asia, that followed on 13 and 14 May 2010, also in Yerevan. On 12 May, the FAO European Commission on Agriculture has also met in the same place.
In 2010 and in the future, the Regional Conferences have and will have an increased importance, due to the renewed world context after the food and other crisis that the world faced from the year 2008 on. In addition the increased importance of the regional Conferences is also due to the ongoing FAO reform.
The CSA was participant or organizer for the consultations of 1996 (Israël), 2000 (Porto), 2002 (Nicosie), 2004 (Montpelier), 2006 (Riga) and 2008 (Innsbruck).
For most of the consultations, information is available, in several languages, on this address.
For the last consultation of Innsbrück, see this article.

Which countries are member of the FAO Region for Europe and Central Aisa ?

Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan.

At the agenda of the Consultation

The third draft of the agenda of the FAO-CSOs Consultation can now be downloaded. It takes into account the agendas of the Governmental meetings that will take place the 3 days after the FAO-CSOs Consultation: the European Regional Conference (ERC) and the European Commission on Agriculture (ECA).
The Consultation will discuss about the following 3 main issues:
- what are the the main impacts of the food prices crisis and the economic crisis in the Region on food security and in rural areas particularly ?
- what can be done in order to mitigate the impact ofthe food prices and to avaoid negative impacts in the future ?
- how can the Civil society of the Region Europe and Central Asia organize itself in order to make an input in the revewed Committee on Food Security (CFS) ?
The 2 first issues about the crisis in the Region will be addressed with a special attention to the following aspects:
- the milk crisis in the Region;
- the importance of livestock keeping in the Region;
- access to land and natural resources in the Region;
- what concrete programs are needed to improve the situation in the Region ?
The full agenda can be downloaded (see after).

Registration for the Consultation of Yerevan

It is necessary to register to participate at the Consultation in Yerevan and you can ask us to book for a hotel. It is possible to participate at the other meetings in Yerevan (Regional Conference, Commission of agriculture...) as observer if you hacve registered for the Consultation.
The Registration forms can be downloaded (see after).
A very limited budget is available to support some participants, but given the limits of this budget, the candidates will be accepted in the limits of the available budget and in the respect of a set of criteria: mandate given by a concerned organization, geographical balance (priority to poorest countries), kind of organization (sectorial balance), capacity of the organization to support the representative.
The form for demand for support can be downloaded (see after).

Administrative requirements to enter Armenia

For your information, no entry visa is required for the holders of valid passports issued by some countries (list of February 25, 2010): Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.
Concerning the EU citizens, they need a visa, but it is possible to receive the visa at the entrance of the country (airport).
To obtain the visa, an application form has to be fill in and other documents are needed, such as a valid travel document, a passport sized colour photograph, the eventual invitation and other documents if requested, and a visa fee is to be paid.
Please check also in your country.
If you want some help from the FAO to ask for a visa, an official invitatiopn can be sent but all the needed information has to be sent as soon as possible.
The visa application can be downloaded (see after)

At the agendas of the Conference and the Commission on Agriculture

The FAO European Regional Conference (ERC) is the regional FAO political body for Europe and Central Asia, gathering every two years on the specific regional issues or on global issues that have a link with the Region.
In 2010, the ERC will address the impact of the global financial and economic crisis on agriculture (in addition to review and work on FAO activities in the Region).
The Conference is attended by representatives of the 54 FAO Member States from the European Region as well as by observers from other regions, UN system specialized agencies and other inter governmental organizations. The languages of the Conference are English, French, Russian and Spanish.

The FAO European Commission on Agriculture (ECA) is a technical body, that meets the day immediately before the ERC and discuss about selected technical issues that of priority in the Region. The outcomes and recommendations are presented to the ERC.
In 2010, the ECA will look at climate change impacts, water resources management and livestock breeding and rural livelihoods.

Other events will take place during the same week in Yerevan:
- meetings are scheduled with important actors in FAO: the new chair of the Committee on Food Security (CFS), the new independant chair of the Council (Luc Guyaux) and the DG of FAO (to be confirmed);
- the Host Country Government takes generally advantage of the event to show achievements and challenges of its agriculture and rural areas, including organization of a study tour;
- a side event on biodiversity for sustainable development of agriculture is also planned by the European Region of FAO;
- side events can also be proposed by NGOs or CSOs during the Yerevan events.

For more information and preparatory documents for the FAO meetings in Yerevan, see the website of the FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia
Phone: +36 1 4612000 Fax: +36 1 3517029.
For the ERC, the FAO contact is Mr Tomasz Lonc, ERC Secretary, at the following e-mail: Tomasz.Lonc@fao.org
Phone: +36 1461 2023.

The organization of the Consultation in Yerevan

At the previous 26th ERC held in Innsbruck, Austria in June 2008, it was agreed that the next Consultation in Armenia, that has to be organized for the CSOs at the Armenian level, by a national Host Committee, should be taken in charge by the national organization “Protection of consumers’rights” (contact Mr Abgar Yeghoyan, Tel.: +374 10 543818, Fax: +374 10 543843, E-mail: upcr@web.am).

The Armenian consumers’ organization is responsible to set up a national NGO-CSO national Armenian Host Committee that includes organizations of different sectors, with components such as development organizations, farmers‘ organizations, breeders’ and pastoralists’ organizations, rural development organizations, fishers’ organizations, environment ‘ organizations, consumers‘ organizations, health organizations, etc.
The role of this CSOs Host committee is to organize the civil society activities at national level and to help the European civil society organizers for their work in Yerevan. Generally, it is also this Committee that proposes an overall chairperson for the Consultation.

At European level, a Steering Committee was set up on the initiative of the Geographical Focal Point for Europe of the International Planning Committee (IPC) for Food Sovereignty, a role played until now by the Collective for Food Strategies (Collectif Stratégies Alimentaires) based in Brussels (contact Daniel Van Der Steen, Tel.: +32 2 412 06 60, Fax +32 2 412 06 66, e-mail : daniel.vandersteen@csa-be.org, website : http://www.csa-be.org).

The role of the European Steering committee is to achieve the agenda for the Consultation, to invite the participants at the Consultation, to chose and to invite the spokes persons, to find solutions in order to fund the interested organizations that are not able to support the cost of their participation (travel costs and/or staying costs), to stay in contact with the regional FAO office for Europe and Central Asia, etc.

The FAO- NGOs/CSOs Consultation, that addresses technical themes that are on the ERC agenda, is supported by FAO and the outcomes of the Consultation will be reported to the Conference and included in its report.

An upgraded role of Regional Conferences in 2010 after the FAO reform and external assessment

The new importance of the Regional Conferences in 2010 is related to the renewed world context after the food and other crisis the world faced from the year 2008.

As the FAO points out concerning the consultations from 2010,

the world leaders have renewed their commitments made in global summits that culminated at the "L’Aquila" G8 Summit, the World Summit on Food Security and the UN FCCC Copenhagen Conference of Parties in 2009.
The framework for a new architecture for global governance in food and agriculture that will address the endemic weaknesses in the fight against hunger and malnutrition has been agreed upon as a goal for the reform of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). This is in relation and parallel to the ongoing implementation of FAO Renewal with Growth.

According to a review process of FAO’s Strategy and Policy for Cooperation with CSOs and NGOs conducted in 2008, FAO’s comparative advantage as an honest broker provides a neutral space for negotiating government commitments in the context of international treaties, codes of conduct and other agreements, in providing policy advice to governments at national and regional levels, and in facilitating a constructive dialogue between governments and civil society. The review highlighted the need to further build national, regional and international alliances among stakeholders and bring their experiences to the fore in order to keep food security on the top of the agenda.

The FAO Regional Conferences in 2010 will be extremely important given the ongoing FAO reform, the need to establish and increase partnerships between FAO, other UN food related agencies, donors and existing regional integration mechanisms and the need to explore modalities for CSO and NGO participation at regional level in the new world food governance system. It is also important to update information on the existence of regional spaces for civil society engagement in policy dialogue and advocacy for agriculture, rural development and food security in order to consider possible synergies.”


by Daniel Van Der Steen, Geographical Focal Point for Europe of the International Planning Committee (IPC) for Food Sovereignty

Presentation of speakers during the Consultation

See the presentation of Shelby Matthews, of Jacques Berthelot, of Noel de Luna and of Thomas Price.

Important documents for the European FAO-CSOs/NGOs Consultation

info portfolio

Overall picture of the meeting room during the FAO/Civil Society (...) Jacques Berthelot during his talk at the Consultation Genevieve Savigny during her talk during the Consultation D De Luna (chair of CFS) and D Van Der Steen during the Consultation picture of the gallery during the FAO/Civil Society Consultation J Diouf (DG FAO) and F Guerrieri (Regional representative) during the (...) Luc Guyau (independent chair of the FAO Council) during the (...) Overall picture of the gallery during the Regional Conference J Berthelot and Rakaev Akylbek during a meeting with Luc Guyau Some participants in the meeting with Luc Guyau The spokesperson of the civil society reading the declaration of the civil (...) Anahit Ghazanchyan (Heifer International) reading the CSOs declaration at (...) Franz Fischler during his speech at the Regional Conference The chair of the Consultation Abgar Yeghoyan (Protection off Consumers' (...) Group of participants in the Consultation during the Regional (...) Group of participants in the Consultation during the Regional (...) View of the Ararat Mount from the center of Yerevan

titre documents joints

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