Re: The e-Consultation on Hunger, Food and Nutrition Security

Jose Luis Vivero Pol Universite Catholique de Louvain, Belgium

Dear FSN participants,


A.- I would like to propose a binding FOOD TREATY as a legal instrument to help reducing hunger to zero by the rule of law, increasing accountability, transparency and participation of those countries and their constituencies that are willing to do it. It would be a hard-law agreement amongst those who are really committed to end hunger (countries having food insecure people and countries willing to eradicate hunger from Earth). You can find below a list of links to the proposal and herewith attached a summary brief of main features and the rationale (to be read in 3 min).


B.- This is a concrete idea, that goes very much in line with the Zero Hunger Challenge launched by Ban Ki Moon, and that is anchored in the right to food. A summary can be found in the following link HUNGERPOLITICS (Blog in english)


C.- During 2009, the idea of a Food Treaty to fight hunger by the rule of law was developed and distributed to a wide group of practitioners in the food security and nutrition domains so as to get their reactions and the feasibility of the proposal. The proposal was even presented to the Committee on World Food Security and to high-profile developmental officers. But political timing seemed not to be adequate at that time. Now with the post-2012 debates heating up, it may be considered as a worthy idea. The strategic goal is to make it widely known and mature enough to become a serious possibility for the post-MDG talks. It might be the time of hard law agreements, as the soft ones have proven a failure to address global problems.


I would appreciate to have the proposal broadly discussed in the FSN forum, so as to get reactions from different constituencies and groups of interest (i.e feasibility, appropriateness, suggestions to proceed, etc).


1.- The Food Treaty idea was initially disclosed in 2009, and endorsed by several NGOs such as OXFAM and More and Metter


2.- It was then presented in a more elaborated way in 2010, as it can be in the link below:


3.-This proposal was then formally published in a book on the right to food. MacMillan, A. & J.L. Vivero (2011). “The governance of hunger. Innovative proposals to make the right to be free from hunger a reality”. In: Martín-López, M.A. & J.L. Vivero, eds. New challenges to the Right to Food. CEHAP, Cordoba and Editorial Huygens, Barcelona.


4.- And, very recently, there has been a working document in a Spanish Think Tank were I have updated the previous version. Vivero, J.L. (2012). A binding Food Treaty: a post-MDG proposal worth exploring. OPEX memorandum n°173/2012. Fundación Alternativas, Madrid. In this paper, the rationale has been enriched to justify a Treaty and its most prominent features are highlighted. Additionally, a previous account of former binding Treaties and recent movements towards more hard treaties on Health and Climate Change are also presented.


5.- The idea of a binding Food Treaty was already mentioned by the former UK Environment Secretary, Hilary Benn during the 2008 food crisis peak, with no great success at that time I presume.


6.- Since May, several developments have positioned the Zero Hunger Goal high in the international debates: a Brookings Institution paper and the Ban Ki Moon’s Zero Hunger Challenge are both pointing out the same goal (links below), although no means are presented whatsoever. I think the binding Food Treaty could be helpful in that sense. Not only by providing the means, but also by anchoring the Zero Hunger challenge in the human rights international framework. This Treaty could help transiting towards more sustainable food production and consumption systems.


I would like to exchanges ideas on the content, the way forward and the political options to become a proposal to be seriously considered. Furthermore, any suggestion on where, how and when it could be further disseminated would be highly appreciated.


Best regards Jose Luis