Patti Naylor, of Churdan, speaks Oct. 17 in Rome during the United Nations Committee on World Food Security annual meeting. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Naylor to help United Nations end food insecurity

Patti Naylor, an organic farmer from Churdan, was expected to be at the University of Maryland today and Friday to participate in the United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS) Regional Consultation for North America on the Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition.

The process comes at a time when malnutrition and food insecurity are increasing around the world.

“The number of people around the world, including in the United States, who suffer from malnutrition — which can mean not enough food as well as too much unhealthy food — is staggering,” Naylor said recently in a statement. “We must focus on human rights, food sovereignty and agroecology as the clear path to addressing this critical issue.”

Participants will come from the national governments of Canada and the United States, several UN agencies, civil society organizations, private sector associations, agricultural research systems and academic institutions.

The process is repeated in six regions of the world, according to Naylor, to get comments and suggestions on draft guidelines and to ensure regional and national priorities and needs are reflected.

The resulting voluntary guidelines will be a reference document that provides guidance to governments on appropriate policies, investments and institutional arrangements needed to address the key causes of malnutrition in all forms.

Naylor will represent civil society as a member of National Family Farm Coalition and Family Farm Defenders, both of which are member organizations of La Via Campesina, an international movement that brings together millions of peasants, farmers and rural people.

It’s estimated that 821 million people throughout the world go to bed hungry every night, and more than half a billion are obese.

In addition, more than 150 million children suffer from stunting.

In preparation for the consultation event, Naylor attended the Committee on World Food Security annual meeting at the Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome in October. 

There, she spoke on behalf of civil society at the CFS Plenary on the UN Decade of Family Farming, emphasizing the need to transform our agriculture system to one in which family farmers provide the means to end hunger.

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