Global Parliamentary Summit against Hunger and Malnutrition

The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) is Spanish Cooperation’s main management body, aimed at combating poverty and promoting sustainable human development. According to its Statute, the Agency was created to further the full exercise of development conceived as a fundamental human right, with the fight against poverty as part of the process for building this right.

To this end, the Agency follows the guidelines of the Fifth Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation, focusing on three cross-cutting elements: gender perspective, environmental quality, and respect for cultural diversity, in accordance with the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted in 2015, which will serve as a blueprint for global development planning during the coming 15 years. The Agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), among them ending poverty in the world, eradicating hunger and achieving food security, guaranteeing good health and quality education for all, achieving gender equality, ensuring access to water and energy, promoting sustainable economic growth, adopting urgent action on climate change, promoting peace, and facilitating access to justice.

AECID is under the aegis of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation through the State Secretariat for International Development Cooperation and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean. Act 23/1998, of 7 July, on International Development Cooperation considers the Agency as the executive body for Spanish Cooperation, and defines its purpose through its priorities: fostering development and balance in international relations, preventing and addressing emergency situations, fostering democracy, and promoting relations with partner countries. To this end, its toolbox includes technical cooperation, economic and financial cooperation, humanitarian assistance and education for development and social awareness-raising.

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Bringing the Zero Hunger Challenge of the 2030 Agenda to the parliaments and translating it into effective laws, adequate audit, improved budgets and public state policies that guarantee continuity -regardless of the government in power- is the shared mission of the Parliamentary Front against Hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The front was established in 2009, within the framework of the “Hunger-Free Latin America and the Caribbean Initiative” (HFLAC ), a commitment made in Guatemala City by the countries of the region to eradicate hunger by 2025.

Thanks to the technical support provided by FAO, the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and the Latin American Parliament since their establishment , this front has become a balanced and diverse network comprising more than 400 parliamentarians from 19 countries within the region, and which has passed more than 20 laws on food and nutrition security.

Among the upcoming challenges sits an increased focus on the most vulnerable segments of the population in each country of the region: those for which a substantial reduction of the prevalence of hunger and poverty is harder to achieve. 

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The Senate and the Congress comprise the Spanish Parliament, officially called Cortes Generales. Their importance lies in the fact that, as provided for in Article 66.1. of the Constitution of 1978, they represent the Spanish people, in whom sovereignty is vested (Article 1.2 of the Constitution).

 The Constitution of 1978 establishes this bicameral Parliamentary system, in which the Senate has a dual function.

On one hand, it discusses and reviews the decisions of the Congress, opposing to these or even modifying them by means of vetoes and amendments where applicable. On the other hand, it is the chamber of territorial representation. This second aspect is a direct consequence of the configuration of the State as a State of Self-Governing Communities with significant powers. In this way, the voice and the interests of these territorial entities are brought into the Congress to achieve greater integration and coordination between the central and regional governments.

 The Cortes Generales have the following duties:

1.      Legislative: adoption of laws;

2.      Budgetary: approval of the annual State budget;

3.      Control of the Government's action and the political momentum, channelled through various procedures (inquiries, interpellations, motions, hearings); and

4.      Other duties established in the Constitution.

These duties are common to the Congress and the Senate although the procedures and powers of each chamber can be different. The legislative process and options for action are distinct for each chamber. The process usually kicks off in the Congress, with the Senate conducting a second review.

In the exercise of its duties, the Constitution recognizes the full autonomy of the Congress and the Senate for its internal matters. Each chamber approves its regulations and budget separately and elects their own President and other members of the Board.

As a bicameral Parliament, both chambers of the Cortes Generales tend to work separately. They only act together when decisions related to the monarchy are adopted, such as the proclamation of the King, the proclamation of the Crown Prince, the provisions on royal succession when all the designated lines of succession to the throne are exhausted, and the eventual proclamation of the Regency. In practice both chambers meet when the King formally inaugurates the Legislature.

In line with the above, each chamber has its own Commissions. However, mixed Commissions comprising Deputies and Senators have been established for specific issues. 

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The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. 

Our goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. With over 194 member states, FAO works in over 130 countries worldwide. We believe that everyone can play a part in ending hunger. 

FAO's activities comprise five main areas:

  • Putting information within reach and supporting the transition to sustainable agriculture. 
  • Strengthening political will and sharing policy expertise.
  • Bolstering public-private collaboration to improve smallholder agriculture. 
  • Bringing knowledge to the field.
  • Supporting countries prevent and mitigate risks.

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