On May 28, the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) marked the one-year anniversary of the endorsement of Voluntary Guidelines (VGs) for the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of National Food Security with a meeting that aimed to keep alive the spirit of understanding, cooperation and partnership that existed during the negotiations of the Voluntary Guidelines. USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Middle East Bureau, Elisabeth Kvitashvili, represented USAID at the event and encouraged CFS members and participants to recommit themselves to implement elements of the VGs that are most appropriate to their country context.
Ms. Kvitashvili congratulated the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) for becoming a focal point for implementation of the VGs – a process that is also supported by many countries and organizations through multilateral and bilateral program assistance. The U.S. Government (USG), through USAID and MCC, has 53 active land governance programs in 32 countries, representing a commitment of over $800 million. Ms. Kvitashvili also mentioned new opportunities to support and accelerate implementation of the VGs, noting that the recent Grow Africa Investment Forum featured a breakout session on land governance.
Ms. Kvitashvili also noted that, with participation from many civil society organizations, the private sector, multilateral institutions and more than 95 member states, the process by which the VGs were adopted was unprecedented in its transparency. The United States was happy to participate in development of the VGs, which according to Dr. Gregory Myers, USAID Division Chief, Land Tenure and Property Rights, “are one of the most important tools developed by stakeholders to strengthen land governance systems. The USG remains committed to supporting implementation.”
The full transcript of Ms. Kvitashvili’s remarks can be found here.