An alliance of social movements has taken the initiative of organising an international meeting on food sovereignty in Mali in February 23-27, 2007.
The principle of food sovereignty was first launched by Via Campesina in 1996 during the FAO World Food Summit which took place in Rome.
Since then food sovereignty is playing an increasingly important rolein the debate on agriculture and alternatives to neo-liberal policies. Before the introduction of the food sovereignty policy framwork, food security was limited to searching for ways to guarantee sufficient food through trade or food aid, at national or international levels. Food sovereignty puts agricultural producers and consumers at the centre of the debate, and supports all peoples in their right to produce their own food independent of international market conditions and to consume local foods..
Food sovereignty promotes the development of alternative production, distribution and consumption models based on a new logic, far removed from that of neo-liberalism, which gives a central role to international markets and the liberalisation of trade, and which asserts that only international markets can solve the problem of food insecurity.
We expect that Nyéléni 2007 - Forum for Food Sovereignty will offer a new opportunity to increase the recognition of food sovereignty and to strengthen the actions and campaigns that need to be carried out for its implementation. During the five days of the Forum, participants will not only be asked to clarify what the right to food sovereignty means for them and what its implications are for food and agriculture policies in their own regions and countries but they will also consider a dynamic global strategy to ensure that food sovereignty is realised and implemented at both international and local levels.