Your only job is to lead

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.
--John C. Maxwell, leadership expert

Strong political leadership, some suggest, is necessary for economic and sustainable development. In developed and developing countries we’ve seen a direct correlation between a growing or thriving economy and sound political leadership.

Parliamentarians are tasked with making policies to develop their communities and create a better livelihood for the masses. They are expected to take into consideration the daily plight of the nation they serve and address with the necessary legislations to affect positive change.

In countries where there is a critical and urgent need to address hunger and food security, parliamentarians are called upon to play a pivotal role. They, being the legislators, are mandated to pass laws to mitigate suffering, poverty and despair amongst the population.

Parliamentary budgets need to reflect the urgency in the war against hunger and food insecurity. The countries that have shown a reduction in hunger and poverty have budgets that address the same. Governments are held accountable for setting and achieving these goals.

The short life span of a ruling administration also makes it vital that parliamentarians act post haste to make law to combat the scourge of hunger. The saying “here today, gone tomorrow” is very relevant in their cases as a legislator in office today could be on the sidelines tomorrow and taking their plans with them. When governments change ultimately so do their policies.

The RIGHT TO FOOD is one such law that needs to be passed in a hurry to make food a constitutional requirement. Countries such as Chile, India and Mexico have done just that making it a constitutional amendment and therefore non- adherence punishable by law.

Food as we know is vital to the survival of the citizenry and the leaders of the country should reflect this in their actions and the laws they bring to bear. This should be a non-partisan issue and should not be politically contentious. Hunger knows no party color or affiliation.

This RIGHT TO FOOD legislation also needs to be married to a bill on the protection of nature as one needs the other for survival. Scientists have concluded that human beings have contributed significantly to climate change and global warming.

A 2015 study by the Union of Scientists found that without the emissions of burning coal and oil, there is very little likelihood that 13 out of the 15 warmest years on record would all have happened.

They further agree that today’s warming is primarily caused by humans putting too much carbon in the atmosphere, like when we choose to extract and burn coal, oil and gas or cut down and burn forests. Therefore, governmental organizations are encouraged, by necessity, to also make the protection of nature a priority.

At CFS44 delegates addressed the topic on Commitment and Contribution of the Parliamentarians to achieve SDG2.

They impressed upon those in attendance the need for sustainable development and food security. They spoke of the ways those in political office have, in some countries, been the lead figures in bringing these initiatives to the table.

Guatemala, for example, just raised its school feeding program from $1 a head to $3 a head. This, to combat malnutrition and improve the local economy. The spinoffs are increased attendance, brighter children, increased nutrition and reduction in obesity.

Public procurement programs benefitting countries like Africa such as the “Purchase from Africa for Africa” program (PAA Africa) promotes local agriculture production while improving livelihoods and nutrition.

It is clear that the people who are given parliamentary power are the ones mainly responsible in leading the charge to achieving SDG2. They’ve been handed the wheel to the car in their respective countries and drive they must to the destination where sustainable development, food security and the elimination of hunger is waiting.


This blog covers the CFS44 side event “Commitment and contribution of the Parliamentarians to achieve SDG2”

Blog post by Algernon Watts, #CFS44 Social Reporter - serpy316(at)
Photo credit: Pixabay

This post is part of the live coverage during the 44th Session of the Committee on World Food Security, a social media project supported by GFAR. This post is written by one of our social reporters, and represents the author’s views only.

13/10/2017 0:44


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