Bill Gates has built a global empire around his technologies and "philanthropic" endeavors, the magnitude of which is now becoming increasingly clear. His sheer wealth has allowed him to become a veritable superpower in his own right. He's not only risen to become the largest funder of the World Health Organization and the unelected global COVID-19 health czar but he's also a secret powerbroker of the global food system.
As revealed in the AGRA Watch report,1 "The Man Behind the Curtain: The Gates Foundation's Influence on the UN Food Systems Summit," published August 2020, Gates wields powerful influence over global food and agriculture policy through his funding of a large number of organizations involved in agricultural development and policy making.
Gates-Funded Organizations Defend Gates-Funded UN Envoy
While Gates is just one man, his clout is significantly leveraged and magnified by the fact that he funds such a large number of companies and organizations that can then do his bidding on the sly.
When you see long lists of groups, you automatically think there are many players in the game when, in fact, Gates is the singular thread running through most or all of them. The AGRA Watch report2 makes a perfect case in point with the story of Agnes Kalibata.
Kalibata is the president of Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), an organization funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In December 2019, Kalibata was appointed special envoy to the 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit by the secretary general of the UN, Antonio Guterres.
In response, 176 civil society organizations and farmer groups from 83 countries urged Guterres to withdraw the appointment of Kalibata due to her clear conflicts of interest with corporate actors. A second statement, signed by more than 500 academics and organizations, also opposed Kalibata's appointment to, and her organization of, the Summit.
That's significant pushback, illustrating there's widespread concern about Kalibata's appointment. Coming forward in her defense were a dozen individuals representing development banks, academic institutions and the private sector.
They urged Guterres to retain Kalabata, citing her leadership qualities and work ethic, among other things. However, of those 12 defenders, "11 had past or current connections to the Gates Foundation," AGRA Watch says, adding:3
"In some instances, the organizations were directly funded by the Gates Foundation, and in others, the Gates Foundation funded specific programs in which the signers had played roles. One organization was funded by AGRA, which is funded by the Gates Foundation."
Gates' Undue Influence Over UN Food Systems Summit
In other words, while it may look like Kalabata had support from a dozen separate and independent individuals or groups, in reality, there are really only two voices speaking in her defense. It's just that Gates' voice is magnified times 11. What's more, his name is never actually mentioned, so to the uninitiated, it would appear he has nothing to do with it at all.
"These findings illustrate the influence of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) on global food and agricultural policy. AGRA Watch has continually documented the role of the BMGF in influencing agricultural development, which has grown immensely in recent years," AGRA Watch writes.
"The Gates Foundation seeks to exercise influence not only through its funding of projects and shaping of expertise, but also in funding the governance platforms that determine food and agricultural policy. This role of the BMGF in driving policy decisions based on its proprietary and technological model of agricultural development is often overlooked …
In this report, we have demonstrated just some of the connections between the Gates Foundation and those who have supported Kalibata's appointment as head of the UN Food Systems Summit.
While hundreds of civil society organizations called for her removal, only twelve signatories were willing to support her appointment, almost all of whom were direct beneficiaries of the Gates Foundation. This raises critical questions about the role of Bill Gates in shaping the agenda of the UN Food Systems Summit as well as its outcomes."
The following graphic, included in the AGRA Watch report, illustrates the direct and indirect funding ties between the Gates Foundation and the UN Food Systems Summit's special envoy, Kalibata.