An Introduction to Summitry

graph of mentions of ideas in summit declarations

The excellent ETC Group has just come up with a fine bit of social science that cuts through the guff of the recent FAO Food Summit in Rome.

As part of their ‘translator’ series, in which they parse the meaning of UN documents for the general public, they’ve come out with their latest report, Another “Failure-as-usual” Food Summit.

Alongside the fine analysis of the substance of the summit document, they’ve compared and contrasted the final declarations of the Food Summits in 1996, 2002, and 2008. The findings are striking:

table of word counts in summit documents

Women have been erased from any consideration of agriculture, paf!, and swooping in from above to save the day are corporations, who have now managed to argue themselves out of being part of the problem into being part of the solution.

Just in case you thought these summits ever achieved anything progressive.