1. In the context of recent major international conferences, the international community has stated its deep concern over the persistence of hunger, its readiness to support national governments in their efforts to combat hunger and malnutrition and its commitment to cooperate actively within the global partnership for development, which includes the International Alliance Against Hunger.
2. States have the primary responsibility for their own economic and social development, including the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security. Stressing that national development efforts should be supported by an enabling international environment, the international community and the UN system, including FAO, as well as other relevant agencies and bodies according to their mandates, are urged to take actions in supporting national development efforts for the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security. This essential role of international cooperation is recognized, inter alia, in article 56 of the Charter of the United Nations as well as in the outcomes of major international conferences such as the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Food should not be used as a tool of economic and political pressure.
3. States are strongly urged to take steps with a view to the avoidance of, and refrain from, any unilateral measure not in accordance with international law and the charter of the United Nations that impedes the full achievement of economic and social development by the populations of the affected countries and that hinders their progressive realization of the right to adequate food.
4. Consistent with commitments made at various international conferences, in particular the Monterrey Consensus, developed countries should assist developing countries in attaining international development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration. States and relevant international organizations according to their respective mandates should actively support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food at the national level. External support, including South-South cooperation, should be coordinated with national policies and priorities.
5. Developed and developing countries should act in partnership to support their efforts to achieve the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security through technical cooperation, including institutional capacity building, and transfer of technology on mutually agreed terms, as committed in the major international conferences, in all areas covered in these guidelines, with special focus on impediments to food security such as HIV/ AIDS.
6. International trade can play a major role in the promotion of economic development, and the alleviation of poverty and improving food security at the national level.
7. States should promote international trade as one of the effective instruments for development, as expanded international trade could open opportunities to reduce hunger and poverty in many of the developing countries.
8. It is recalled that the long-term objective referred to in the WTO Agreement on Agriculture is to establish a fair and market-oriented trading system through a programme of fundamental reform encompassing strengthened rules and specific commitments on support and protection in order to correct and prevent restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets.
9. States are urged to implement commitments expressed at various relevant international conferences and the recommendations of the São Paulo Consensus (the eleventh session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) including, for example, those reproduced below:
75. Agriculture is a central element in the current negotiations. Efforts should be intensified to achieve the internationally agreed aims embodied in the three pillars of the Doha mandate, namely substantial improvements in market access; reductions of, with a view to phasing out, all forms of export subsidies; and substantial reductions in tradedistorting domestic support. The negotiations on agriculture taking place in the WTO should deliver an outcome that is consistent with the ambition set out in the Doha mandate. Special and differential treatment for developing countries shall be an integral part of all elements of the negotiations and shall take fully into account development needs in a manner consistent with the Doha mandate, including food security and rural development. Non-trade concerns of countries will be taken into account, as provided for in the Agreement on Agriculture, in accordance with paragraph 13 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration.
77. Efforts at extending market access liberalization for non-agricultural products under the Doha Work Programme should be intensified with the aim of reducing or, as appropriate, eliminating tariffs, including tariff peaks, high tariffs and tariff escalation, as well as non-tariff barriers, in particular on products of export interest to developing countries. Negotiations should take fully into account the special needs and interests of developing countries and LDCs, including through less than full reciprocity in reduction commitments.
10. Such measures can contribute to strengthening an enabling environment for the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security.
11. States and relevant international organizations should, as appropriate, pursue external debt relief measures vigorously and expeditiously in order to release resources for combating hunger, alleviating rural and urban poverty and promoting sustainable development. Creditors and debtors must share the responsibility for preventing and resolving unsustainable debt situations. Speedy, effective and full implementation of the enhanced heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) initiative, which should be fully financed by additional resources, is critical. Furthermore, all official and commercial creditors are urged to participate in this initiative. Heavily indebted poor countries should take or continue to take policy measures required to ensure the full implementation of the HIPC initiative.
12. Consistent with the Monterrey Consensus, developed countries should assist developing countries in attaining international development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration, by providing adequate technical and financial assistance and by making concrete efforts towards the targets for ODA of 0.7 percent of GNP to developing countries and 0.15 percent to 0.2 percent of GNP to least developed countries. This should be linked to efforts to improve the quality and effectiveness of aid, including through better coordination, closer integration with national development strategies, greater predictability and stability and genuine national ownership. Donors should be encouraged to take steps to ensure that resources provided for debt relief do not detract from ODA resources intended to be available for developing countries. Developing countries are encouraged to build on progress achieved in ensuring that ODA is used effectively to help achieve development goals and targets. In addition, voluntary financial mechanisms supportive of efforts to achieve sustained growth, development and poverty eradication should be explored.
13. States that provide international assistance in the form of food aid should regularly examine their relevant policies and, if necessary, review them to support national efforts by recipient States to progressively realize the right to adequate food in the context of national food security. In the broader context of food security policy, States should base their food aid policies on sound needs assessment that involves both recipient and donors and that targets especially needy and vulnerable groups. In this context, States should provide such assistance in a manner that takes into account the importance of food safety, local and regional food production capacity and benefits, and the nutritional needs as well as cultures of recipient populations.
14. States, international organizations, civil society, the private sector, all relevant non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders should promote the strengthening of partnerships and coordinated action, including programmes and capacity development efforts, with a view to strengthening the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security.
15. The organs and specialized agencies related to human rights should continue to enhance the coordination of their activities based on the consistent and objective application of international human right instruments, including the promotion of the progressive realization of the right to adequate food. The promotion and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms must be considered a priority objective of the United Nations in accordance with its purposes and principles, in particular the purpose of international cooperation. In the framework of these purposes and principles, the promotion and protection of all human rights, including the progressive realization of the right to adequate food, is a legitimate concern of all Member States, the international community and civil society.
16. States may report on a voluntary basis on relevant activities and progress achieved in implementing the Voluntary Guidelines on the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security, to the FAO Committee on World Food Security (CFS) within its reporting procedures.