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Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum


Renew the commitment: Ten-Year Retrospective on the Right to Food Guidelines

This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of one of the most important human rights documents:
The Voluntary Guidelines for the Progressive Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security, or Right to Food Guidelines for short, adopted in November 2004. The Right to Food Guidelines provide practical guidance on how the human right to adequate food can be realized. They have been produced by FAO’s member states and adopted unanimously.

Since then, FAO and its partners have produced a wealth of tools, strengthened capacity and facilitated multistakeholder dialogues worldwide. This informed many Governments and stimulated non-state actors who embraced the right to food and advocated for it strongly. Governments on all continents set examples by protecting the right to food in their laws, policies and programmes.

But the mission is not accomplished yet. The number of malnourished individuals, especially children, clearly tells us that more has to be done. The world has accumulated more wealth than ever before. But at the same time, inequality is rising, natural resource pressure is increasing, human induced shocks are becoming more severe and the impact of climate change will be felt by more and more people.

This online discussion deepens a broader debate on the Right to Food Guidelines the FSN Forum facilitated some months ago (see Right to Food Forum). The attached document, a synthesis report of seven studies, analyses current trends and challenges to realize the right to food. Our goal is to learn from the first ten years of using the Right to Food Guidelines to get better for the future.

Get involved and respond to one of the following questions:

  • Were the first ten years of implementation of the Right to Food Guidelines a success? Or were you disappointed? Is the glass half full or have empty?
  • Looking at the last ten years, what are success stories of the progressive realization of the right to food? And what are the biggest challenges?
  • How can the Right to Food Guidelines be used better to accelerate the realization of the right to food? What would be the role of the Committee on World Food Security?
  • We are often criticized for doing advocacy only: Where is the evidence that a human rights based approach leads to better outcomes? What’s your answer to this challenging question?

Your comments will be included in the attached synthesis report and discussed at the next session of the CFS in October this year.  Please join the debate and help to re-energize the right to food campaign!

FAO’s Right to Food Team will facilitate this online discussion. We thank you in advance for your thoughts and comments!

Right to Food Team, FAO

* Click on the name to read all comments posted by the member and contact him/her directly