Comittee on Food Security - CFS


The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) is the central international and intergovernmental platform for fighting world hunger and ensuring world food security.

CFS Website
CFS Website© StäV Rom / Katherina Niemann

Indeed, the CFS also integrates non-state actors such as

  • civil society groups (CSIPM),
  • private sector (PSM) and
  • scientific expertise (HLPE)

Tasks and objectives

The CFS was established in 1974 as an intergovernmental body and steering committee of FAO and reformed in 2009 to become a multistakeholder committee.

Within the CFS, government representatives, representatives of international organizations, and stakeholders from UN organizations, civil society, science, private sector and foundations jointly develop strategies and voluntary guidelines.

These pursue the goal of fighting hunger and securing food worldwide, as well as promoting the human right to food.

CFS plays an important role in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Through its work and products, it supports the implementation of SDG 2 “Zero Hunger” and promotes worldwide policy coherence at the national Level.

Here is a selection of CFS products:

  • Framework for Action on Food Security and Nutrition in Protracted Crises,
  • Guidelines for responsible investment in agriculture and food systems,
  • Voluntary Guidelines for the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security.

In October 2019, the 46th Plenary Meeting of the CFS adopted the work plan through 2023.

In 2022, the CFS focused on developing strategic recommendations to promote youth engagement and jobs in agriculture and food systems. Following intense negotiations, it was adopted at CFS 50 in October and December 2022.

The adoption of “CFS Policy Recommendations on Data” and “Voluntary Guidelines on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls” as well as the drafting of the new CFS 2024-2027 work programme are scheduled for 2023.

Institutional structure

The CFS consists of

  • members (states),
  • participants (representatives of UN organizations, civil society, research and academia, international financial institutions, and representatives of private sector associations and foundations), and
  • observers, who may be invited to attend CFS meetings on an ad hoc basis.

The CFS reports to the UN General Assembly through the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the FAO Conference.


  • The CFS Plenum is held regularly each year in October in Rome. It is the central body for decisions and debates of all actors at the global level.
  • The CFS Bureau takes over the management tasks between the plenary sessions. It consists of a chairman and twelve representatives from the member states.
  • The advisory group supports the Bureau in its work. It presently includes a civil society (CSIPM) and a private sector (PSM). The three Rome-based UN agencies (FAO, WFP, IFAD), the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank and representatives of science and foundations are also represented.
  • The CFS has a standing secretariat that supports the Chair, members and the Advisory Group.
  • The High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) provides scientific reports that serve as the basis for policy discussions in the CFS.

At CFS49 in October 2021, Gabriel Ferrero (Spain) was elected as the new chairman of the CFS.

He will lead the CFS for a period of two years, replacing Thanawat Tiensien (Thailand).

The Netherlands and Germany were appointed as members of the 24-member CFS Bureau for the same period, replacing France and Spain.


It is jointly funded by the three Rome-based UN agencies (FAO, WFP, IFAD).

They can provide staff for the secretariat and finance a large part of the core budget.

To be truly operational, additional voluntary contributions from member states are needed.

CFS and Germany

The German government attaches great importance to the World Food Committee (CFS) because of its multi-sectoral structure and rights-based work.

It is seen as a particular advantage that its products and recommendations are based on the inclusive nature of the Committee. This is unique in the UN System.

As of February 2023

CFS Chair
Gabriel Ferrero, Spanien, since Oktober 2021

Committee on Food Security
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00153 Rome, Italy

Internet: https://www.fao.org/cfs

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