The People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS) convened its 5th General Assembly (GA) from 18 to 19 October 2022 with the theme “Advance the movement for people’s food sovereignty, defeat neoliberalism, and radically transform our food systems!” The GA, hosted by PCFS Africa, gathered participants physically in Kampala, Uganda, and virtually via Zoom. PCFS Global Chairpersons Sylvia Mallari and Razan Zuayter moderated the assembly.
Attendance and quorum. A total of 41 people (24 physical, 17 online) representing 25 delegate and observer organizations from 14 countries participated in the assembly. Fifteen out of the 18 voting delegates were present, satisfying the quorum under the by-laws.
Regional and Global Secretariat reports. Rhoda Gueta, the outgoing Global Secretariat Coordinator, accounted that PCFS has 131 member organizations in 53 countries, 53 of which are active. Highlights of the Coalition’s accomplishments from November 2018 to October 2022 include the vibrant campaigns launched in support of local movements’ struggles following the 2018-2021 General Programs of Action (GPOA) until early 2020, the pandemic shift in 2020 that led to the conception of the Nine Demands for Food and Rights, the Global People’s Summit on Food Systems organized in 2021, as well as succeeding efforts in 2022.
The Global Secretariat report was followed by the regional reports by Gershom Kabaso (Africa regional coordinator), Chanra Keo (Asia regional coordinator), Alejandro Barrios (Latin America and the Caribbean representative to the Global Executive Council), Razan Zuayter (for West Asia-North Africa), and Julie Smit (Europe representative to the GEC). They discussed the respective campaigns and activities done and the challenges faced in their regions.
Regional and General Programs of Action. The regional plans for the next three years were presented by Hakim Baliraine (Africa representative to the GEC), Wali Haider (Asia Steering Council member), Leith Ben Becher (WANA Steering Council member), and Smit (Europe). The results of the Rural Women Exchange in Uganda and the Rural People’s Conference on Land, Hunger, and Climate—also held in Uganda days before the GA—were also shared.
These will supplement the 2022-2025 GPOA, which aims to (1) advance PCFS as the broadest movement for people’s food sovereignty, (2) carry on with the fight to radically transform food systems by strengthening local mass movements and highlighting local struggles at the global level, and (3) provide in-depth analysis and venues for such discussions to arouse, organize, and mobilize. The GPOA laid down the plans for organization development, campaigns and policy advocacy, as well as for education and research.
New members. The GA formally approved the membership of 11 organizations that joined PCFS in the past four years. The Institute for National and Democracy Studies (INDIES) from Indonesia and Sojhla for Social Change from Pakistan who participated virtually, and Association Pour l’Agriculture Durable (APAD) from Tunisia represented by Ben Becher on site introduced themselves to the assembly.
Resolutions. The GA resolved to amend the by-laws, inquire about Uganda’s non-issuance of visa approval letters to delegates who were supposed to attend physically, and raise funds for the Coalition’s programs of action.
New Global Executive Committee (GEC). The new GEC is composed of the following:
- Global Chairpersons: Razan Zuayter (Arab Group for the Protection of Nature, Palestine) and Chennaiah Poguri (Asian Peasant Coalition, India)
- Africa: Hakim Baliraine (Eastern and Southern Africa Small-scale Farmers’ Forum, Africa)
- Asia: Chathurika Sewwandi (Vikalpani Women’s Federation, Sri Lanka)
- LAC: Alejandro Barrios (Instituto Politécnico Tomás Katari, Bolivia)
- WANA: Leith Ben Becher (Arab Network for Food Sovereignty, Tunisia)
- Europe: Julie Smit (PCFS Europe, Luxembourg)
Incumbent Global Co-chairperson Zuayter (WANA) was re-elected. Poguri, who previously served as the Asia representative, is replacing Sylvia Mallari (Asia) who just finished her last term as one of the Coalition’s chairpersons. Regional coordinators are Kabaso (Africa), Keo (Asia), are Daniel Duran (LAC). Gail Orduna is the newly-appointed Global Secretariat Coordinator. ###