from legal instruments
Since its founding, the United Nations has
recognized access to adequate food as both an individual
right and a collective responsibility. Over the years, a
number of international instruments have committed states to
upholding this basic human right. Below, listed
chronologically, are brief extracts from international
instruments that include the right to food among their
UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS,
Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate
for the health and well-being of himself and his family,
CONSTITUTION OF FAO, 19652
The Nations accepting this Constitution, being
determined to promote the common welfare by furthering
separate and collective action on their part for the purpose
of: raising levels of nutrition and standards of living...
and thus... ensuring humanity's freedom from hunger, hereby
establish the Food and Agriculture Organization of the
INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND
CULTURAL RIGHTS, 19663
1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize
the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for
himself and his family, including adequate food
States Parties will take appropriate steps to ensure the
realization of this right, recognizing to this effect the
essential importance of international cooperation based on
UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD,
2. States Parties shall . . . take appropriate measures
. . .to combat disease and malnutrition
inter alia, the application of readily available technology
and through the provision of adequate nutritious
States Parties, in accordance with national conditions
and within their means... shall in case of need provide
material assistance and support programmes, particularly
with regard to nutrition...
WORLD FOOD SUMMIT PLAN OF ACTION, 19965
We will implement, monitor and follow-up this Plan of
Action at all levels in cooperation with the international
To clarify the content of the right to adequate food and
the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger, as
stated in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights and other relevant international and
regional instruments, and to give particular attention to
implementation and full and progressive realization of this
right as a means of achieving food security for all.
1Adopted by the General
Assembly on 10 December 1948. UN doc. A/811.
2As amended in 1965.
3General Assembly Resolution
2200 A (XXI), Annex, of 16 December 1966.
4General Assembly Resolution
44/25, Annex, of 20 November 1989.
5Adopted by the World Food
Summit, Rome, 13 to 17 November 1996. FAO. 1997. Report of
the World Food Summit, Part One. Rome.
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