Rasha abu Zeki provides the media coverage of the first day of the "Food Sovereignty or Free Trade" conference in Beirut (Arabic).
This was a particularly good meeting, with delegates from Lebanon, Iran, Tunisia, Algeria Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Italy and Germany. The first day and a half were devoted to discussions of the general conceptual framework of food sovereignty and its relationship with trade, with specific examples drawn from research and experience. The last day was the most interesting (to me) because it was a planning meeting of the regional branch of the International NGO/CSO Planning Committee (IPC). IPC is a civil society platform extremely involved in Food Sovereignty Action. IPC's work in our region has been relatively limited, but the meeting of the last 3 days appears to have energized it. Meanwhile, IPC has been extremely active at the global level, especially in its opposition to WTO, and also in influencing FAO reform. I have been asked to join the regional group as an observer, and I am extremely happy about this. The work through IPC may offer the opportunity to organize and consolidate our dispersed regional efforts towards a global social change agenda. I'll keep writing about this.