MUN Academy attended CFS 44 side event: Contributing to sustaining peace and conflict prevention: perspectives from agriculture, food security and nutrition

The event was organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, the Permanent Representation of the Netherlands, the Quaker UN Office and the World Food Programme.
The Ambassador of the Netherlands, Mr. Hans Hoogeveen, started the event stressing that nowadays many people live in hunger. Nonetheless, we throw away about one third of the annual food production, which corresponds to an overall loss of about 1 trillion US dollars per year. ‘’Whatever our differences, we unite to defend world hunger’’ he said.
The Panel focused on the example of Kyrgyzstan, the borders of which are still not legally defined. However, the border issue is just one of the many critical situations that the country has to face. Indeed, Kyrgyzstan is currently handling scarcity of resources, high criminalization and drug trafficking, and huge episodes of violence. Needless to say, such factors have contributed to the development of a situation of instability that crucially affects not only the country, but also its surroundings.
Then, Dr Florian Krampe – Researcher in SIPRI’s Climate Change and Risk Project – insisted on the peace-building process in post-conflict societies, by stressing that many challenges make it a complicated task to handle. In post-conflict countries, many of the problems are linked to environmental factors. As a matter of fact, water insecurity (no access to safe water) and the disruption of farming and fishing lead to the necessity of government to draft policies to promote social cohesion and healthy ecosystems. Indeed, reforms in the security sector are related to environmental factors, such as water and food security, including climate change, which affects the daily life of communities.
During the side event the panelists also dealt with social cohesion, by explaining that it is the glue that keeps societies integrated and it is the key for sustaining peace. An important element is the social capital which encompasses networks of trust among people, who share their knowledge to build resilience, in particular at the local level. It is social cooperation that makes it possible for people to interact. Within this framework, conflicts can undermine the effectiveness and the ability of people to cooperate, leading to a negative form of social cohesion. Hence, networks of trust are the foundations of the fabric of society and once they are destroyed they are difficult to be rebuilt.
Moreover, conflict is one of the main causes of hunger and nowadays almost one third of the world population lives in critical conditions. Indeed, hunger is the biggest reason behind the current unprecedented need for humanitarian aid. Food security (or insecurity) has an important interplay with conflicts and it has both negative and positive effects. Researches in the SOFI report show that countries coming out of a conflict are 40% more likely to return into conflict environment if there is food insecurity. Therefore, there is the necessity to invest not only in prevention and response or recovery, but also in promoting more stability and a more stable environment.
In conclusion, the emerging view was that food and conflict, climate change and migration are intertwined. We really need to work on collective outcomes, by addressing root causes and preventing shocks that are quite often not predicted. However, we must keep in mind that there is not one-solution-fits-all. Thus we have to invest in conflict analysis and in conflict programming in order to trace the main drivers of conflict outbreaks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *