Expressions of Interest sought for the voluntary role of: Australasian Delegate to the Civil Society Mechanism of the UN Committee on World Food Security
Kiaora everyone, check this out!
For those interested in becoming an international grassroots representative for food sovereignty!
We look forward to receiving your nominations!
Expressions of Interest sought for the voluntary role of:
Australasian Delegate to the Civil Society Mechanism of the UN
Committee on World Food Security
Here is a rare opportunity to work with food activists from around the world engaged directly with nation-states to secure the right to food and food sovereignty.
Are you (essential selection criteria):
● Based in Australia, New Zealand or Papua New Guinea, a member of a relevant civil society organisation, and a passionate activist and knowledgeable about food sovereignty and the right to food?
● Motivated to work with and connect like-minded people in our region and internationally to efforts to help secure the right to food through the UN?
● Able to give a minimum of half a day a week, and be available to travel to Rome twice a year for about 3 weeks in total, starting from October this year?
● Committed to inclusive, consensus-based decision-making and prioritising the rights and voices of those most affected by hunger and malnutrition?
● Knowledgeable or have the capacity to learn about how the UN Committee on World Food Security works and the role of civil society?
● Skilled technically and personally in communication so that you can capably manage international meetings by Skype and email correspondence, and can use communication mediums to engage people in this role?
– then this role may be for you!
What’s it all about?
The United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS) is a key international diplomatic space for driving action to end hunger and malnutrition.
The Civil Society Mechanism (CSM) to the CFS is the largest autonomous international space for community organisations dedicated to the right to food, to engage with and negotiate directly with the members and participants of the CFS (governments and international bodies, e.g. the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP)). The CSM holds four seats as part of the CFS and on its Advisory Group.
All participating organisations in the CSM come from one or more of 11 global constituencies relevant to the right to food – smallholder farmers, pastoralists, fisherfolk, Indigenous peoples, food and agricultural workers, landless, women, youth, urban food insecure, consumers and NGOs.
The CSM is therefore a space in which civil society can participate in policy creation and debate to help secure the right to food and food sovereignty through the CFS. To
provide governance for the CSM, a Coordinating Committee with members elected from each of the 11 global constituencies and 17 geographic sub-regions around the world provides governance – and Australasia is one of those sub-regions.
Your role as the Member for the Australasian region is to:
● Participate in email correspondence and meetings via skype and in person to facilitate the work of the CSM, and help strengthen the food sovereignty movement globally. This will involve helping with the governance of the CSM as a member of the Coordinating Committee, and getting involved yourself
and/or helping others in our region get involved in the various policy workstreams of the CSM and CFS.
● Help regional activists and organisations to understand and use the policy tools produced by the CFS locally.
● Build awareness and engagement of food sovereignty activists, organisations and networks in our region with the work of the CSM.
● Liaise and work with regional civil society organisations (CSOs) in their international food sovereignty work.
In addition to online work through skype and email, you will need to be able to travel to Rome to attend:
● A Coordinating Committee meeting for 2-3 days plus travel that usually happens in May.
● Coordinating Committee and CSM preparatory meetings plus the Conference of the CFS for a total of about 10 days plus travel, that happens in October around the time of the World Food Day (October 16th).
While the role is voluntary, travel costs to Rome (flights, accommodation) are fully covered and you receive a decent daily stipend for time in Rome to cover food and internal transport costs, and sundries.
Focal point vs representative
The CSM Terms of Reference specify that the CSM ‘as a space does not represent the organizations that participate in it. They represent themselves and articulate positions together with others in the CSM. The participating organizations, particularly those who organize small-scale food producers and consumers, have more than 300 millions affiliated members from all continents.’ As a member of the Coordinating Committee you will be tasked with making decisions on basic governance, but the CSM conference in October is the key decision-making body on strategic priorities and topics for the work engaging with the CFS. For other decisions in the interim you will need to be able to consult with others sufficiently in our region to pass on a position.
Learning the weird and wonderful bureaucracy and language of the UN, and how the CSM works takes a bit, as does getting to know all the organisations involved. You won’t be on your own. The outgoing Australasian delegate will assist with advice and mentorship as will others in the region familiar with the role and the work required, and of course the CSO of which you are a member.
Candidate Selection process
The role of the delegate is appointed from one CSO in the region. Therefore, representatives from organisations and networks involved in the right to food and food sovereignty across Australia and New Zealand who have knowledge of the CSM and CFS will appoint the person for the role. These organisations are:
● The Right to Food Coalition
● Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance
● AgriFood Research Network
● The International Indian Treaty Council
● Hui E! Community Aotearoa
Their decision will be based on candidate responses to the essential selection criteria listed at the start of this document, and in accordance with other considerations below.
The current Australasian Delegate will be a neutral, non-voting coordinator of this process to ensure it meets governance requirements of the CSM and Coordinating Committee (an expectation of the role).
Other considerations for candidate selection The CSM Coordinating Committee is committed to gender balance, ensuring geographic balance over time, and most importantly to ensuring the voices of those most affected by food insecurity are heard. In Australasia for example there is strong recognition that Indigenous peoples across the region are often the most impacted by policies and structures that undermine their right to food and food sovereignty. These considerations will be reflected and factored into the choice of candidate for the Australasian delegate.
Prior involvement or knowledge of the UN CFS and Civil Society Mechanism will also be considered. However in recognition of the relatively low level of knowledge of this part of the UN in our region, enthusiasm and willingness to learn and time commitment to help build our region’s connection are more important, and those without prior knowledge should not be discouraged from applying if you fit the other requirements.
How to apply
If you’d like to know more about the role before applying, contact Imogen Ebsworth, current Australasian Delegate on 0488 767 237 [after hours] or by email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications consisting of a short cv, and response to the selection criteria in a cover letter of no more than two pages can be sent to email@example.com by 6pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time) Friday 16 June 2017. You may be required to be available for a skype interview. The successful applicant will be notified ASAP, and all applicants will be notified of the outcome of the process by no later than 7 July 2017.