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FAO - civil society Consultation and FAO Regional Conference for the European Region in 2004

Montpellier (France) the 3th - 4th and 5th - 7th May 2004

15 March 2004
Keywords:

1. The FAO Regional Conference for the European Region
2. The FAO - civil society Consultation for the European Region
3. International process
4. Documents links
5. Report and statements of the European Consultation in Montpellier, list of participants and other documents for the Consultation to download

1. The FAO Regional Conference for the European Region


Montpellier, 5th - 7th May 2004

For the European Region, the FAO Conference will take place in Montpellier (France) on the 5th, 6th and 7th of May. Amongst the important issues of the governmental Conference, we have :
-  Food Safety and Quality in Europe and, particularly the Aspects concerning quality, nutritional balance, the importance of agricultural land and cultural heritage ("terroirs")";
-  Review of the role and contribution of Agricultural Research to sustainable rural development;
-  Review of the regional dimensions of the Follow-up to the World Food Summit and the World Food Summit : five year later.

Other regular items are also part of the Agenda, for discussion and/or information :
-  Review of the State of Food and Agriculture in the Region, with the Focus on Rural Poverty;
-  Report on FAO Activities in the Region 2002-03;
-  Initiative to Review and Update National Agricultural, Rural Development and Food Security Strategies and Policies;
-  and, finally, a point related to the International Year of Rice, 2004.

The Conference was prepared particularly by another meeting of the European Commission for Agriculture, held on the 1st and 2nd of March.

2. The FAO - civil society Consultation for the European Region


Montpellier, 3th - 4th May 2004

The FAO-NGO/CSO/Social Movements Consultation for the European Region will take place in Montpellier on the 3rd and 4th of May 2004, in relation with the FAO Regional Conference for Europe (5th - 7th of May).
The Consultation will give a chance to the interested European Organisations to discuss crucial questions for the Region and for the world, related to issues of food security, food and agriculture policies and models (see documents to download: draft agenda, invitation and information note of the FAO/NGOs-CSOs Consultation).

2.1. Main topics for the European Consultation
The title of the Consultation is «Food quality/safety/diversity, agriculture research and state responsibilities to combat hunger and malnutrition. Main challenges to ensure family based sustainable agriculture and food systems, rural development and the right to food in the European Region and in the world».
The participants at the Consultation will work on the importance of the defence of food sovereignty and the development of family farms, as main conditions for a sustainable rural development related to a sound, diversified and quality food production in the enlarged European Union, other countries of the European Region and in the world.
For recalling, the former FAO-civil society Consultations for the European Region were held, in liaison with the FAO Regional Conferences, in Tel Aviv (Israel) in 1996, in Porto (Portugal) in 2000, in Nicosia (Cyprus) in 2002.

The 2004 FAO-civil society Consultation will work on issues that are prior for the organisations of civil society in the Region, in the field of food security, agriculture and food, while offering an opportunity to prepare statements on the issues that will be discussed at the Conference.
The Consultation will take place at ENSAM (National High School for Mediterranean Agriculture)and will benefit of interpretation in 3 languages (spanish, french and english).

2.2. Agenda of the European Consultation
The proposed agenda for the FAO-NGO/CSO/Social Movements Consultation of Montpellier (see draft agenda ERC/04/1) is designed to cover the items that will be discussed in the governmental Conference in a general framework targeting the future of European agriculture in Europe (EU, EECCs and other European countries) and its impact in the world.

The draft agenda includes :
- a general introduction and a theoretical one to the Consultation ;
- constraints of agricultural policies enabling a sustainable rural development related to a sound, diversified and quality food production in the enlarged European Union and in other countries of the Region ;
- reorientation of the European agricultural research towards a sustainable rural development related to a sound, diversified and quality food production ;
- the problems of Food consumption, of crises and of the reinforcement of the legal and regulatory framework in favour of the food safety ;
- promotion of food sovereignty in the international context : food policies, agricultural research, food standards …
This item concern as well agricultural polities than European agricultural research, food policies and development cooperation policies : financing of agricultural sector (campaign More and better aid for agriculture), cooperation and promotion of sustainable rural development related to a sound, diversified and quality food production, FAO Special Programs on Food Security (SPFS) ;
- promotion of the right to food.

Actually, the agenda is definitively fixed by the Steering Committee in charge of the preparation of the Consultation.

2.3. Preparation of the European Consultation
It was decided to involve the organisations interested by the Consultation in the preparation of the aspects on which they get expertise, experience or interest. Some organisations act as leaders or coordinators for the preparatory groups. The groups don’t need to meet physically, but work as networks threw e-mail and other communication systems. Amongst the task of the preparatory working groups is the choice of work method of the working group, the methodology during the Consultation, the production of preparatory texts and the choice of resource persons.
Guidelines were defined by the Steering Committee for the working of the preparatory working groups (see document to download in point 6).

The following preparatory groups are proposed, in accordance with the issues of the agenda.

Preparatory group 1

This group prepares points 4 and 5 of the agenda.
Point 4 is about the impact of agricultural policies on the quality, diversity and safety of food production in the enlarged European Union and in other countries of the Region. The group will deal with questions of world agriculture prices and with the related agricultural policies (lost of market regulation to direct aid in the EU-APC Countries partnership, direct aid in the EU and the CAP reform aspects, etc.) and their impact on food quality/ diversity/safety problems in the EU, the accession countries and other countries, included the impact on health and on production systems (access to the European market). Which objectives and strategies need to be defined for agriculture policies to promote sustainable rural development (back to market regulation, which international trade policies at the WTO, in Europe and in the free trade areas from the Cotonou agreements…)

Point 5 is about the food policies and the impact on the producers in the framework of the reinforcement of the legal and regulatory framework in favour of the food safety. The group will deal with the evolution of food consumption, the reinforcement of agribusiness (production and distribution of food), the evolution of food regimes, the food crises, the reinforcement of the legal and regulatory framework (codex alimentarius, national legislations …) and the negative impact of these evolution. The group will also work on the strategies and take into consideration the existing network (newly created in Europe) "Agribusiness Accountability Initiative" (AAI). This network, that met the first time in Brussels, address the disproportionate impact of transnational agrifood corporations on the livelihoods and food security of producers, workers, consumers, and communities around the world.

The French "Plateforme pour des agricultures durables et solidaires", member of the European Network of Platforms working on CAP, is the leader of the group (Anne Laure Constantin, also in charge of the thematic preparation of point 4 of the agenda) while CSA (Daniel Van Der Steen) is in charge of the thematic preparation of point 5 of the agenda).
Other suggested members (non limited list) are : European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), Association Française pour la FAO (AFFAO), Comité Français pour la Solidarité Internationale (CFSI), Jeunes agriculteurs - CNJA (France), Vredeseilanden (Belgium), Comité d’animation de la Plate-forme pour des agricultures durables et solidaires (France), UK Food group (United Kingdom), European Farmers Coordination, Oxfam Solidarity (Belgium), Front Uni des Jeunes Agriculteurs (Belgium), Banana Link (United Kingdom), AAI network ...

Preparatory group 2

This group prepares point 6 of the agenda on the reorientation of the European agricultural research towards a sustainable rural development related to a sound, diversified and quality food production. The group will deal with the situation of agricultural research, the influence power of food agribusiness and big distribution and with the necessary reorientation of agricultural research in Europe and in the framework of agriculture development cooperation, to ensure a sustainable rural development related to a sound, diversified and quality food production.

ITGD - United Kingdom (Patrick Mulvany) is the leader of the group.
Other suggested members (non limited list) are : GRAIN (Henk Hobbeling), Coordination Sud (Henri Rouille d’Orfeuil) (France), Crocevia - Antonio Onorati (Italy), IFOAM ...

Preparatory group 3

This group prepares point 7 of the agenda on development policies and agriculture budgets in support of agriculture. The group will deal with agriculture cooperation, reduction in budget lines for the financing of the agricultural sector and the food security, financial needs of the agricultural sector and the quality improvement of the cooperation for agriculture development (campaign « More and better aid for agriculture » initiated at the WFS : five years later), without forgetting the Special Programs on Food Security (SPFS) of FAO.

The Norwegian Development Fund (Axel Naerstadt) is the leader of the group.
Other suggested members (non limited list) are : CSA, Comité Catholique Contre la Faim et Pour le Développement - CCFD (France), Bröt fuer die welt - Peter Rottach (Germany), SOS - Faim (Belgium) ...

Preparatory group 4

This group prepares point 8 of the agenda on the urgent (last IGWG is in July) issue of promotion of the right to food. The group will deal with the process taking actually place at the FAO to promote the right to food (Inter Governmental Working Group) and on the strategy for the near future.

FIAN International is the leader of the group.
Other suggested members (non limited list) are : the FIAN National Groups in other European countries and CFSI (Yves Berthelot).

2.4. Preparatory meeting for the European Conference
The FAO European Committee on agriculture for the European Region was held in Rome on the 1st and 2nd of March 2004 and discussed some of the issues in preparation of the Montpellier Conference. In particular the issue of Food Safety and Quality in Europe, and particularly the aspects of quality, nutritional balance and the importance of agricultural land and cultural heritage ("terroirs") (document ERC/04/4).

2.5. Preparatory meeting for the European Consultation
In preparation to the European FAO-NGO/CSO/Social Movements Consultation of Montpellier, a first meeting of the steering committee was held on the 8th of March 2004 in Brussels (CSA office); the next was scheduled for the 30th of March. The invited organisations are the European IPC members, enlarged regarding the issues that will be debated during the Consultation.

3. International process

3.1. Dates and places of 2004 Regional FAO Conferences in other Regions

Africa
23rd Regional Conference for Africa (ARC); 1-5 March, in Johannesburg, South Africa. The link is :
http://allafrica.com/stories/200403

Near East
27th Regional Conference for the Near East (NERC), 13-17 March, in Doha, Qatar

Latin America and the Caribbean
28th Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean (LARC), 26-30 April, in Guatemala City, Guatemala

South Asia and South East Asia
27th Regional Conference for Asia and Pacific (APRC), 17-21 May, in Beijing, China

3.2. FAO guidelines for the Regional Consultations
FAO prepared, in collaboration with the IPC, a set of guidelines for the organisation of the Regional Consultations.
You will find them on the IPC website. On demand, I will send them.
http://www.foodsovereignty.org/foru...

3.3. Contacts
For all information or contacts regarding the European Consultation and its preparation, the address are the following :

- for the NGO-CSO (french) Host Committee for the Consultation

Yves Berthelot, Chair of CFSI
Jean-Louis Vielajus, General delegate of the CFSI
Comité Français pour la Solidarité Internationale (CFSI)
32, rue Le Peletier, 75009 Paris, France
Tel: +33 1 44 83 88 70
E-mail: vielajus@cfsi.asso.fr

- for the European IPC

Daniel Van Der Steen
Collectif Stratégies Alimentaires
184D, Boulevard Léopold II,
1080 Bruxelles, Belgique
Tel: +32(0)2 412 06 63, Fax: +32(0)2 412 06 66
E-mail: daniel.vandersteen@csa-be.org, csa@csa-be.org
Website: www.csa-be.org (see under CIP/SMA)

- for the FAO European Regional Office

Mrs Daniela Moro
Conference Secretary
FAO Regional Office for Europe
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italia
Tel: +39 06 57053499, Fax: +39 06 57055634
E-mail: Daniela.Moro@fao.org

- for the Host (French) Government

Mr Patrick Pruvot
Secrétaire général du Comité interministériel pour l’agriculture et l’alimentation
Liaison Officer (FAO Regional Conference)
Tel: +33 1 44871600,
Fax: +33 1 44871604
E-mail: patrick.pruvot@sgci.gouv.fr

4. Documents links

4.1 Regional Consultation guidelines

4.2 Timetable of the European Commission on Agriculture
Document ECA 33/04/INF.1

4.3 Annoted agenda of the European Commission on Agriculture
Document ECA 33/04/1

4.4 Food Safety and Quality in Europe: Aspects concerning in particular quality, nutritional balance, the importance of agricultural land and cultural heritage ("terroirs")
Document ERC/04/4

4.5 Food Safety and Quality in Europe: Aspects concerning quality, nutritional balance, importance of agricultural land and cultural heritage ("terroirs"): A Gender Perspective. (Information paper prepared on behalf of the FAO/ECA Working Party on Women and the Family in Rural Development)
Document ERC/04/INF/10

4.6 Review of the activities of the European system of cooperative research networks in agriculture (ESCORENA): Progress report on assesment undertaken in 2003 (and proposals for the future)
Document ECA 33/04/3

4.7 Review of the activities of the European system of cooperative research networks in agriculture (ESCORENA)
Document ECA 33/04/3 Sup.1

4.8 Agricultural Research: its role and contribution to sustainable rural development
Document ERC/04/5

4.9 Major European Programmes, Initiatives and Fora on Agricultural Research
Document ERC/04/5-Sup.1

4.10 Report on activities of the ECA working party on women and the family in rural development (WPW)
Document ECA 33/04/4

4.11 Provisional Annotated Agenda of the European Conference
Document ERC/04/1

4.12 Provisional Timetable of the European Conference
Document ERC/04/INF/2

4.13 Information Note for the European Conference
Document ERC/04/INF/1

4.14 List of Documents for the European Conference
Document ERC/04/INF/3

4.15 Programme for Bridging the Rural Digital Divide to reduce Food Insecurity and Poverty
Document ERC/04/INF/6

4.16 Initiative to Review and Update National Agricultural Development and Food Security Strategies and Policies
Document ERC/04/INF/7

Document actually not available

4.17 Case Northern Ireland
The Role Rural Women Play in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development in Northern Ireland (by Dr Sally Shortall)
Document ECA:WPW/02/

4.18 Case Poland
The Role Rural Women Play in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development in Poland (by Dr Janina Sawicka)
Document ECA:WPW/02/

5. Report and statements of the European Consultation in Montpellier, list of participants and other documents for the Consultation to download


You can download here the statements of the European Consultation in Montpellier that were prepared by the participants and were presented during the Confernce, the list of participants, and other documents (introduction texts, agenda, invitation, guidelines for the preparatory working groups and information note).

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