CFS 44 - Get involved



CFS is the only committee in the United Nations system with a specific mandate on food security. The annual Plenary session, which brings together all stakeholders – governments, civil society, private sector, UN agencies, financial institutions and the academia – is just a few weeks away (9 – 13 October 2017).

CFS 44 will be a mix of policy convergence, decisions on the future direction of the Committee and discussions on issues of great relevance to the current development agenda: from SDGs to Nutrition, from Forestry to Women’s Empowerment, Urbanization and Rural Transformation.


Delegates are expected to engage in discussions around topical issues, decide on future directions of the Committee and endorse the policy guidance on Sustainable Forestry for Food Security and Nutrition

Possible areas of action

  • Ensure continuous involvement with CFS activities both from Rome-based Permanent Representations and capitals.
  • Make sure that CFS policy recommendations are widely-known and used by decision and policy-makers in your country or organization.

Dates of focus

9 – 13 October 2017

Media talking points

  • SDGs are at the core of the global development agenda and CFS committed to make a proactive contribution to the global follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • Nutrition is paramount for human beings. Rapidly evolving social, cultural, economic and political factors have led to profound changes in the nutrition situation. The nutrition dimension is integral to the concept of food security and to the work of CFS and CFS is committed to further supporting on-going efforts of governments and other stakeholders to address malnutrition.
  • Forests and trees contribute to food security and nutrition in multiple ways. They provide wood, energy, foods and generate income and employment. They deliver ecosystem services vital for food security and nutrition in the long term, including water and carbon cycle regulation and protection of biodiversity.
  • Gender equality and women’s empowerment are central to achieving the CFS vision to achieve food security for all, by raising levels of nutrition, improving agricultural productivity and natural resource management, and improving the lives of people in rural areas with full and equitable participation in decision-making. Without gender equality and rural women’s economic, social and political empowerment, food security will not be achieved.
  • The world’s population is becoming more and more urbanized, with an estimated 66% of global population living in cities by 2050. The dynamics of food systems are also changing and achieving food security and nutrition for all may require new policy thinking. From 2016 CFS has been working to identify challenges and policy approaches that would contribute to overcoming existing constrains.
  • CFS defines critical issue as “an issue that has a profound influence on one or more of the dimensions of food security, either directly or indirectly, positively or negatively”, and emerging issues as those “for which there are concerns that they could become critical in the future”. The High Level Panel of Expert will present a note on "critical or emerging issues in the area of food security and nutrition” to make sure that important issues are not overlooked by the Committee.

Relevant numbers and statistics

  • URBANIZATION: Between 1976 and 2016, the world urban population has gone from 37.9% to 54.5%. More than 50% of the world’s population now lives in cities and large towns classified as urban, and this figure is expected to rise to 66% by 2050.
  • NUTRITION: In 2014, 800 million people were still chronically undernourished while more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight, of which 600 million were obese. Over 2 billion people are suffering from micronutrient deficiencies. 165 million children are stunted and too short for their age; 52 million children are wasted and are too thin for their height; 2 billion people are deficient in key vitamins and minerals, and 43 million children are overweight and the number is rising.
  • WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT: Equal access to productive resources could increase yields on women’s farms by 20-30 percent and raise agricultural outputs in developing countries by 2.5-4 percent. This would mean lifting 100–150 million people out of hunger.
  • SUSTAINABLE FORESTRY: Forests and trees are very important for food security and nutrition as a direct source of food, for the employment opportunities they provide and as provision of energy. Although forest foods have been estimated to represent only 0.6 percent of global food energy supply, they make a considerable contribution to dietary quality and diversity and play a critical role in forest-dependent communities. Forest foods, by reaching local, national and even international markets, also contribute to diverse and balanced diets for people living far from forests. Formal and informal forestry sectors are also an important source of employment and income, often underestimated given the importance of the informal sector. In 2011, the formal forest sector employed an estimated 13.2 million people worldwide and represented 0.9 percent of the world gross domestic product Woodfuel contributes globally to 6 percent of the total primary energy supply and 27 percent in Africa. Some 2.4 billion people, one-third of the global population (including two-thirds of the households in Africa), rely on wood as their main source of energy for cooking. Moreover, 764 million people use woodfuel to boil and sterilize water, of which 644 million are in Asia.