As a result of the Virtual General Meeting of the International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty (IPC), digitally held on 21th and 28th of April, 11th and 18th of May 2021, the following statement represents the views of the small-scale food producers and rural workers organizations and grass-root/community based social movements who are part of the IPC platform:
“We, the representatives of peasants and family farmers, landless, rural women, and rural youth, fishers and fish workers, agricultural workers, hunters and gatherers, pastoralists and herders, Indigenous Peoples, and food consumers from all over the world who are all members of the IPC, met virtually to take our struggle for food sovereignty and agroecology forward.
This virtual general meeting marked a key moment in our engagement.
It was our first general meeting that we could not physically celebrate with our comrades, sisters, and brothers. These virtual modalities are not the merit of innovative technology, but the consequence of the catastrophic pandemic caused by the abuse of the capitalist patriarchy and its extractive industries on our ecosystems, societies, and lives.
In these disrupted times, the institutions of the financial and industrial world, incapable and unwilling to learn, recover and grow from their historical mistakes, are instead criminalizing and bloodily repressing the legitimate struggles of the peoples for access to resources and for our inalienable human rights.
We, the IPC, know that behind the grotesque push for more digitalization and more innovations there is the crude attack of the financial, private, and industrial sector for capital-, resources-, ocean- and land-grabbing.
Resilient local food systems have been proven able to nourish, dignify and nurse humanity and nature, but instead of going towards the necessary transformation, the elites keep digging their distance from the living. Despite the ruling classes of capitalism are benefiting from inequalities, oppression, and death, and hiding behind their privileges and the greed of the system they created, the path towards the necessary transformation is as simple as revolutionary: redistribution of resources and land to the people, de-commodification of food and respect of Human Rights.
We know that we are not alone in opposing this deadly status quo. Food Sovereignty and Agroecology are fundamental transformative practices for inclusive, just, and resilient systems. Therefore, our struggle for systemic incremental transformation must be intersectional and coordinated within allied forces.
This first virtual general meeting, therefore, became the occasion to adopt a new strategy that goes far beyond the limits of food and agricultural institutions and the struggle for Food Sovereignty and Agroecology themselves.
With this understanding, we are launching an open, inclusive, representative, and grass-roots process of convergence with other movements struggling for environmental and social justice. We engage in collective strategies to bring forward Food Sovereignty and a renewed vision of societies based on food and people’s sovereignty and pathways for transformative change while pushing back global capital.
We claim the public space as the collective space where we can meet, exchange and mutually learn and support each other. The IPC is setting off a process towards the Nyéléni Global Gathering for Food Sovereignty on transformative change solutions based on Food Sovereignty, together with our allies for social and environmental justice.
In the meantime, we are aware that funding for social movements is dwindling and that our legitimate institutional spaces for participation are shrinking: corporations and philanthropic foundations are increasing their political influence over UN programs and FAO, while members states are progressively abandoning their duties, marginalizing de facto multilateral institutions and legitimize the shift from a multilateral to a multi-stakeholder governance system.
In such a context, IPC member organizations represent a critical asset in FAO expertise, local monitoring, and programs’ implementation, and our collaboration must be articulated in all those spaces where we can and must have the most relevant impact in its struggle to sustain Food Sovereignty, Agroecology, and small-scale food producers. Therefore, the IPC strongly reaffirms its commitment to work in partnership with the FAO Headquarter and FAO regional offices.
The IPC expresses its desire to deeply engage in the frame of the UN Decade for Family Farming (UNDFF) and reaffirms its commitment to defend and promote the United Nation Committee on World Food Security (CFS) with its Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples’ Mechanism (CSM), and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), as well as it is willing to and to work together with other Rome Based Agencies (RBAs) and in other institutional and strategic spaces.
In this context, the IPC stands together with the CSM and other critical actors against the threat represented by the United Nations Food Systems Summit 2021. The IPC will therefore support the CSM counter-summit in Rome in July 2021 and join forces to denounce corporates’ attempt to co-opt food and agricultural international policy-making spaces, social movements’ organizations, people and language, and the organization of undemocratic parallel private spaces to desegregate us and subvert the multilateral system represented by the RBAs and the CSM.
Moreover, to ensure that our voices from the grassroots level are heard and our experiences are taken into consideration in decision-making, we will combine our struggles at the global level with an increased focus on governance at local, national, and regional levels. To take on these challenges, we commit to improved communication in and between our movements.
Finally, we stand in solidarity and pay a tribute to the struggles and the sufferance of the Indian peasants, the Colombian people, and the Palestinian people. We fight together against the neoliberal, neo-colonial, and racist oppressions and ethnic cleansing and all forms of brutal repression faced by those peoples and communities fighting for their rights and for a just future for nature, for us, and the future generations.
Power to the people and food sovereignty now!”