Commission for Social Development – just completed – February 7 – 16, 2022

The Commission has been in session since February 7 exploring the theme “Inclusive and resilient recovery from COVID-19 for sustainable livelihoods, well-being and dignity for all: eradicating poverty and hunger in all its forms and dimensions to achieve the 2030 Agenda.” Some concepts stand out – sustainable livelihoods, well-being, dignity, eradicating poverty and hunger. The GSIJP Office has been engaging with the theme since late July 2021 when I attended the Expert Group Meeting. Alexis Schutz prepared our written statement to the Commission SEE reflecting on the global situation, focusing on solutions and making recommendations. Throughout the year we were engaging with the NGO Committee for Social Development and contributed to the Civil Society Declaration with it’s 10 calls to action linked with the theme. This Declaration has been signed and supported by several Good Shepherd Representative in various countries and programs throughout the world. It was Ernestine Lalao, NGO Designate in Madagascar who mobilized in Africa for a webinar on the Commission and the Civil Society Declaration.

The Chair of the Commission H.E. Ms. María del Carmen Squeff of Argentina has been firm in her challenge to the Commission asking time and again to hear about practical solutions to ending poverty, and hunger, utilizing decent work grounded in dignity of each person. The Vice Chair Mr. Stefano Guerra of Portugal asked for concrete examples that are being implemented and effective at the Multi-Stakeholders Forum Panel on Thursday morning. Concept Note

The Commission together with NGO’ call for a new ‘Social Summit’ and a ‘New Social Contract’. You might well be asking what do these terms mean? The first Social Summit was held in Copenhagen in 1995, the same year that the 4th World Conference on Women took place in Beijing. The Declarations are visionary and principled, accompanied with concrete action towards implementation and realization. In the intervening 27 years the vision and dream remain largely unfulfilled for most of the world’s population. While there had been significant progress in eradicating poverty prior to the pandemic but today the number of people living in extreme poverty are as high as they were in the 90’s. The roll out of social protection programmes during the pandemic proved to be effective. They show and demonstrate that access to social protection – a government provision for all the people – was indeed helpful. Today, there are fears of a return to austerity measures while some few people, companies, and corporations amass huge and unseemly profits in a time of immense global suffering. This is further evidenced in the lack of political will to roll

The social contract of the 20th century was an attempt to equalize relations between capital and labour and aimed to institutionalize social rights for citizens largely in industrialized countries grounded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The contract started to fail in the 1970s with the development of neoliberal policies and globalization. A new report of the UN Secretary General “Our Common Agenda” references and elaborates both the New Social Contract and the Social Summit. The social contract envisions a new global deal to deliver global public good. An UNRISD publication explains more about the ‘New Eco-Social Contract”. The Social Summit is proposed for 2025, 30 years after Copenhagen – a global deliberation as it were to live up to the values, including trust and listening that are the basis of a social contract. Gender equality, care of the planet, the roll out of social protection floors, and full implementation of the 2030 agenda are front and center in the social contract. The mobilization of people to engage in both processes are critical to success. Juan Somavida, Chairperson of the Preparatory Committee in the lead up to the first World Summit for Social Development, Copenhagen in 1995 says that the process of the ‘New Social Summit’ is as important, if not more important, than the outcome.

On Thursday February 10 I was able to ask a question at the Multi-Stakeholder Forum “How ensure ethical and rights based approaches to honour people’s dignity and implement human rights – Listen or Read

On Tuesday 15 Alexis delivered our oral statement to the Commission during the general discussion.

Alexis was asked to send a video recording which was played during the session. Read the text.

We prepared a written Statement to the Commission

The commission ended on Wednesday 16 with the adoption of a resolution by consensus on the priority theme “Inclusive and resilient recovery from COVID-19 for sustainable livelihoods, well-being and dignity for all: eradicating poverty and hunger in all its forms and dimensions to achieve the 2030 Agenda.” We as NGO’s are happy to read Para 25 “Encourage Member States to facilitate the meaningful participation and empowerment of those in vulnerable situations, including those living in poverty, in the design, implementation and monitoring of COVID-19 recovery plans.” While the resolution was adopted by consensus, there are a few sentences that led some Member States to state their opinions and concerns e.g Para 26 “…empowering all people and facilitating the social inclusion and participation of those who face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination;” or “…especially for women and girls who experience multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and violence…” The 3rd pillar of the Copenhagen Declaration and Platform for Action – the first Social Summit elaborates ‘Social Inclusion’ together with Poverty Eradication and Full Employment and Decent Work. Despite the intervening years we are still struggling with ‘discrimination’ against certain groups of people including women and girls. Indeed it is the challenge for all of us – how cultivate a mindset of inclusion of every person.

October 16 – World Food Day – Unite Against Hunger

The theme of this year’s observance is United against hunger, chosen to recognize the efforts made in the fight against world hunger at national, regional and international levels. Uniting against hunger becomes real when state and civil society organizations and the private sector work in partnership at all levels to defeat hunger, extreme poverty and malnutrition.

The theme of this year’s observance is United against hunger, chosen to recognize the efforts made in the fight against world hunger at national, regional and international levels.

Uniting against hunger becomes real when state and civil society organizations and the private sector work in partnership at all levels to defeat hunger, extreme poverty and malnutrition.

In 2009, the critical threshold of one billion hungry people in the world was reached in part due to soaring food prices and the financial crisis, a “tragic achievement in these modern days”, according to FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf. On the eve of the hunger summit, Dr Diouf launched an online petition to reflect the moral outrage of the situation. The “1 billion hungry project” reaches out to people through online social media to invite them to sign the anti-hunger petition at www.1billionhungry.org.

On this World Food Day 2010, when there have never been so many hungry people in the world, let us reflect on the future. With willpower, courage and persistence – and many players working together and helping each other – more food can be produced, more sustainably, and get into the mouths of those who need it most.

FAO Director-General’s Message on the World Food Day/TeleFood 2010 theme: “United against Hunger”On 16 October 2010, World Food Day enters its 30th year. The theme of this year’s observance, “United against hunger”, seeks to recognize the efforts made in the fight against world hunger by all actors, at all levels; and urges us to be even more united to do more.

In 2009, the critical threshold of one billion hungry people in the world was reached in large part due to soaring food prices and the global economic crisis. The gravity of the silent hunger crisis is the result of decades of neglect of agriculture and under-investment in the sector. That is why on the eve of the “Hunger Summit” of heads of state and government held in Rome, in November 2009, FAO launched a petition to reflect the moral outrage of the situation.

This “1 billion hungry project” reaches out to persons to sign the anti-hunger petition and to work together to amplify the message that society has to take special care that no one goes hungry today. Over 1 million people have signed and the project is continuing.

FAO has united with the popular world of professional sport. Together with the European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) and other regional football leagues, a 2nd Match Day against Hunger will be organized in Europe from 22 to 24 October 2010 as part of the Professional Football against Hunger Solidarity campaign.

The theme “United against hunger” highlights the need to launch a new green revolution, while emphasizing that the task of increasing food production is a job for everyone as is the goal of ensuring access to food. Partnerships with governments, research institutes and universities, financial institutions and regional development banks, farmers’ organizations, pressure groups, the UN system, civil society and the private sector are needed to work together to achieve food security for all.

World food production will need to increase by 70 percent to feed a population of over nine billion people in 2050. With limited land, farmers will have to get greater yields out of the land already under cultivation.

Smallholder farmers and their families represent some 2.5 billion people, more than one-third of the global population, and it is their crucial contribution to increased food production that we want to highlight.

Collaboration among international organizations plays a key strategic role in directing global efforts to reach the international hunger reduction goals. It is only by working together that we can realize our common objective.

In the reformed Committee on World Food Security (CFS), the UN system, member nations, representatives of civil society, farmers’ organizations, the private sector, as well as international agricultural research institutions and international and regional financial institutions offer an inclusive international platform for policy convergence and the coordination of action and expertise in the fight against hunger in the world.

On this World Food Day 2010, when there are an estimated 925 million hungry people in the world, let us reflect on the future. Agriculture and food security are finally back to the international agenda. And, with political will, determination and persistence, more food can be sustainably produced and adequately distributed.

United we can defeat hunger.  Thank you.

Jacques Diouf


Director-General
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations