For the above-mentioned reasons, the IPC has begun to reorganise at regional level, making a clear distinction in the roles and responsibilities of organisations of small-scale food producers organisations (that make decisions about initiatives and positions) and support NGOs (that play a supporting role). This allows the movements to organise the IPC as a common space, and to maintain their agenda at the centre of IPC initiatives.
The General Meeting is the biannual space where international and regional organisations and representatives of regional processes update the work plan and agree on the political lines developed around Food Sovereignty.
During the meeting, the actions and achievements of the Facilitating Committee, Secretariat and Working Groups are evaluated.
In the General Meeting, all international and regional organisations and representatives of all regional processes participate; invited NGOs participate only as observers.
The IPC has set up regional processes on all continents. The regional processes of the IPC follow the general principles and lines of actions agreed upon at the General Meetings. Regional organizations and all regional formations (branches) of the international organizations organize the process by setting up a coordination structure of all the different organizations at the regional level. The regional processes define the regional priorities and also facilitate the full participation of the regional organizations in the IPC Working Groups (WG) and the participation in all institutional regional processes where the IPC is involved.
The IPC Working Groups are endorsed by the General Meeting. They have the legitimacy to operate with the full support of all the IPC organizations on a specific priority theme. WGs are open and flexible structures, formed on an ad hoc basis and with an open working methodology. The WGs must be led by the Social Movements (at least two different IPC organizations, all the IPC organizations are invited to actively participate) and should encourage the participation of youth and women. The WGs work in coordination with the FC. They function with financial autonomy, under control of the FC, and contribute to the general functioning of the secretariat. The WGs report to the General Meeting. Information is regularly disseminated and circulated between regions and organizations and within the Facilitating Committee. Each WG has selected a supporting NGO to facilitate the daily implementation of the work plan. Additionally, other NGOs can support the work of the WG. The WG can also be open to other organizations that are not part of IPC, on the basis of the Facilitating Committee decision, as ratified by the General Meeting. Those WG will be denominated “IPC Plus WG”.
The current WGs, established based on agreed priorities by the General Assembly are:
– Land, Water, Forests and Territory;
– Agricultural Biodiversity;
– Indigenous Peoples.
The Facilitating Committee (FC) is composed of 5 to 9 representatives of international/global organizations and regional process, with a constituency, gender and regional balance. The FC has the political mandate to organize the internal communication, prepare the meetings, control and monitor funds allocation, facilitate the IPC process, initiate (if needed), coordinate and monitor the WG, and take on the formal responsibilities. The FC is accountable to the General Meeting.
Following the decision of the last IPC General Meeting, the current FC is composed by an Operative Group, composed by 3 representatives of Global Organizations which have been particularly active in the IPC process, and a Regional Group composed by 1 representative from each IPC region (currently Africa, Asia and Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, Americas, NENA) considering gender and youth balance.
The three global organizations that have affirmed their availability and commitment to facilitate the work of the IPC are the International Indian Treaty Council, La Via Campesina, World Forum of Fisher Peoples.
The Secretariat communicates with the FC on a regular basis, informing the IPC organizations. For daily and urgent matters, the secretariat contacts the Operative Group first, which communicates with, consults and/or informs the regional members of the FC whenever it is appropriate.
The Secretariat is shared between different regions following the decision of the IPC General Meeting. It is an operative structure that is mandated to organize communications via the web site, mailing lists, etc. and to fulfil an administrative role for financial issues related to the General Meeting, resource mobilization, support to WGs, etc. The Secretariat prepares the IPC biannual General Meeting.
The Secretariat is a shared responsibility between the Rome-based International Secretariat and the Regional Secretariats, which have been set up in the different regions on the basis of the ongoing regional processes.
The last IPC General Meeting gave the responsibility to the Rome-based organization Centro Internazionale Crocevia to operate the Rome-based Secretariat. It is in charge of facilitating the relations on a regular basis with the Rome-based UN agencies, in ongoing communication with and reporting to the Facilitating Committee.