[From the VG newsletter] Dear friends, here are the latest updates on the Voluntary Guidelines initiative.
Intergovernmental negotiations on Voluntary Guidelines finalized
We are pleased to announce that the intergovernmental negotiations on the Voluntary Guidelines have been successfully finalized. Ninety-six countries (plus the European Union as an FAO Member organization) along with nongovernmental groups, civil society organizations, UN agencies and other international organizations, farmers associations, and private sector representatives took part in several rounds of talks by an Open Ended Working Group established by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) to negotiate the text of the guidelines. The final round of negotiations was held from 5 to 9 March at FAO HQs in Rome. The negotiations took place in a positive, constructive and inclusive atmosphere. A strong sense of ownership of the Voluntary Guidelines was shared by members, civil society organizations and private sector representatives.
Final Text of Voluntary Guidelines available online
The Final Draft of the Voluntary Guidelines is now available in English at http://www.fao.org/nr/tenure/voluntary-guidelines. The other languages versions will be made available as soon as they have been translated.
Consideration in a Special session of the CFS
The Final Draft of the Voluntary Guidelines will be submitted for the consideration of the CFS. A special session of the CFS will be organized in Rome in May 2012. Upon the adoption of the Voluntary Guidelines, the shift will turn to their implementation.
Statements by the Director-General of FAO on the Voluntary Guidelines
FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva congratulated the participants of the negotiations on a "milestone achievement" adding: "The Voluntary Guidelines will play an important part in answering the challenge of ending hunger and assuring food security of every child, woman and man in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable way." In a speech made during the intergovernmental negotiations on Wednesday 7 March, he recognized the commitment and effort of all actors engaged in an open dialogue and involved in finding a common ground on the Voluntary Guidelines. "The participatory way in which these negotiations led by the Committee on World Food Security took place deserves praise. This is a welcome dialogue. It is important for the Voluntary Guidelines, and is necessary to respond to other challenges related to food security and rural development," he said.
Take a picture for all to see
Our next newsletter will feature details on the Voluntary Guidelines Photo Competition. Amateur as well professional photographers will be invited to visually and artistically demonstrate their ideas on “Governance of Tenure”. We will keep you posted.
Thank you for your interest in the Voluntary Guidelines.
Best regards, Voluntary Guidelines Secretariat (VG-Tenure@fao.org)