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The Right to Food at the centre of the Second Conference against Hunger organized by Madrid Municipality

News - 03.07.2017

The Second Conference against Hunger, organized at local level, was held on 1 June 2017 in Madrid at the Cibeles Centre for Culture and Citizenship with the participation of prominent political leaders, such as the Mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena, who highlighted in the course of the event the importance of evaluating policies to achieve an effective realization of the economic and social rights, including the right to adequate food.  

The Conference also saw the participation of city councillors from other signatory cities of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact like Barcelona, Fuenlabrada, Valencia and Vitoria, as well as civil society and social movement representatives and experts, including the Special Representative of FAO in Spain, Ignacio Trueba and the FAO Right to Food Team Leader, Juan Carlos García y Cebolla, who delivered the key note speech on the right to adequate food. 

The event, promoted by the Municipality of Madrid with the support of the Charter against Hunger platform, continues the work begun with the first Conference against Hunger held in April 2015, where the nearly 40 entities part of the platform were able to formalize a local Pact against Hunger.

The Conference facilitated a rich policy dialogue, exploring the challenges and the actions needed to address food insecurity and malnutrition under a human rights perspective. In particular, the need of coherent and coordinated actions and a better recognition of the role of local governments was one of the main challenges identified by the audience. The event represented also the occasion to promote a Municipal Legislative Initiative (Iniciativa Legislativa Municipal - ILM) on the right to food, supported by the platform. The ILM is an instrument of municipal participation included in the Statute of Autonomy of the Community of Madrid by which municipalities can introduce legal changes that could be then discussed and voted in the Assembly of Madrid. The Initiative on the right to food recognizes the right to adequate food as a basic and fundamental right and promotes its effective articulation through the municipalities.

Local governments are key actors to achieve the sustainable development goals, including the eradication of hunger and malnutrition. The New Urban Agenda, adopted during the III United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) held from 17 to 20 October 2016 in Quito, Ecuador, places food security and nutrition at the center of urban sustainable development, fully linking with and reinforcing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Madrid’s Second Conference against Hunger provides an inspiring example of collaboration between local government and non-state actors to act locally thinking globally.  

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