Nyéléni process: Towards a Global Forum of Food Sovereignty
Illustration: Rosanna Morris
Under the eye of Nyéléni, an African woman who defied discriminatory regulations and burned with creativity and agricultural progress, we will find the energy to transform the right to food sovereignty into a beacon for the construction of another world. (Women’s declaration on food sovereignty)
As the world lurches from one crisis to another, Nyéléni symbolizes the convergence of our struggles and commitments to build a world free of greed, hunger, exploitation, extractivism, misogyny, racism, discrimination, and violence. Since 2007, Nyéléni has been a space where we meet in order to build collective strategies to advance food sovereignty, rights to land and territories, agroecology, and the rights of all small-scale food providers. Our articulations have given us the strength to organize against capitalism, neoliberalism, corporate power, patriarchy, and ecocide.
Through the Nyéléni meetings in 2007, 2011 and 2015, the food sovereignty movement created the basis for our future position in many global negotiations. These events and the concepts born therein led to the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests, the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication, and the implementation of Farmers’ Rights in the context of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.
But in the present global context, the food sovereignty movement cannot make it alone. To dismantle agribusiness and corporate power, as well as provide comprehensive responses to persisting systemic crises and the rise of conservative right-wing forces, we need to converge with peoples’ organisations facing different forms of oppression and threats. Collectively, we can propose true alternatives for all and advance social, gender, racial, economic, intergenerational, and environmental justice. The Nyéléni meetings are thus essential for building principles, concepts and strategies shared and reinforced by many movements across different sectors, while defending the most vulnerable at local levels.
IPC for Food Sovereignty, Focus on the Global South, Friends of the Earth International, Crocevia and FIAN