The Swiss FAO National Committee (CNS-FAO) is a consultative body of the Federal Council, which was established on 22 April 1947. Its first president was F. T. Wahlen, member of Parliament (Council of States), ETH professor and former director of the Agriculture Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), spiritual father of the "Plan Wahlen" and later a Minister. The committee usually meets three or four times a year. The present chairman is Martijn Sonnevelt, Executive Director at ETH Zurich World Food System Center. The committee is made up of 12- 15 members from different organisations. Each member is elected for a period of 4 years; the maximum period a member can serve on the committee is 12 years.
The CNS-FAO serves as a consultative body, and provides advice on the fight against world hunger and its causes, the improvement of the global food security and promotion of sustainable agriculture and rural development.
The tasks of the CNS-FAO include the following:
- To advise the Federal Council and the federal administration on important issues and questions concerning food security as well as the FAO and other Rome based UN organisations; to review and discuss negotiation documents for the FAO Conference and other meetings; to help the Swiss delegation in establishing their positions on various issues.
- To act as a body that launches initiatives and as a discussion forum: to submit requests, ideas and recommendations concerning the activities of the FAO, particularly with regard to world food issues, the implementation of the action plan drawn up at the World Food Summit, sustainable agriculture and rural development , to the links between agriculture, food, environment and health, etc. The CNS-FAO examines how such ideas can be promoted and implemented in an appropriate way, for example by bringing petitions to the Federal Council, the federal administration, the Mission in Rome or the Swiss Delegation to the FAO meetings.
- To act as an information source and to handle public relations: circulation of FAO requests, ideas and information in Switzerland through the channels available to the members of the committee as well as through other channels (media, etc.). To draw up proposals and take part in public debates. To prepare and organize the World Food Day (e.g. panel discussions and other activities).
- To act as a liaison between Switzerland and the FAO: to help draw up documents to be submitted to the FAO (statistics and other information); to promote closer personal relations with the FAO (as a contribution towards recruiting Swiss candidates for positions within the FAO and to promote better use of the Swiss specialists' and consultants' pool by the FAO, etc.).
- To act as a communication organisation: Organising own events, e.g. in the form of seminars, symposia, etc., including Swiss or foreign speakers (FAO and others). To attend meetings in Switzerland on topical issues (as a co-sponsor or on behalf of the CNS-FAO, bearing in mind financial and personal circumstances).
Last modification 15.04.2021