A total of 148 organizations from 28 countries issued a statement calling for the revocation of the 2019 Strategic Partnership between the United Nations (UN) and the World Economic Forum (WEF).
According to the groups, WEF’s involvement in the 2021 World Food Systems Summit (WFSS) through this partnership will result in the event’s “corporate hijacking.”
The WEF is an international organization of corporations “for public-private cooperation.” The strategic partnership framework it inked with the UN June last year identified six”key focus areas” where the two would collaborate in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
“The WEF will exploit the Summit to streamline neoliberal globalization, which it has espoused for the past 50 years,” the statement said. “It would mean that global inequality and corporate monopoly would beside tracked rather than confronted as the root causes of perennial hunger, malnutrition and extreme poverty in the world.”
According to the People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS), an international movement of grassroots groups of small food producers and food sovereignty advocates, the statement will be sent to concerned UN offices such as the Committee on World Food Security and officials including UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food Michael Fakhri. PCFS initiated the unity statement.
“With the onset of the pandemic, people worldwide are questioning the efficiency and viability of our current food systems. The upcoming 2021 WFSS is an opportune event to steer a ‘new normal’ of just, equitable, and sustainable food systems that guarantee the peoples’ right to food,” the Coalition said.
“But as mentioned by the statement, this ‘new normal’ we envision will only happen if the summit’s processes and results center on people’s rights.”
PCFS was referring to the statement’s “appeal for inclusivity,” wherein sidelined and marginalized sectors have a greater voice in the summit.
“As long as corporations have a say on how food systems should be post-pandemic, the interest in profit will always supersede rights of people to food and to produce food. The UN should therefore remove the WEF out of the picture,” the Coalition added.
The statement’s signatories include five global formations, two international organizations, eight regional networks, 102 national organizations, and 31 local groups. They are based in the following countries and territories: Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Cambodia, Cameroon, Colombia, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Manipur, Mongolia, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Sabah, Sri Lanka, Uganda, USA, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. ###