The Right to Food

Strong support to the right to food echoes throughout the High Level meeting of the Committee on World Food Security

News - 23.10.2020

23 October 2020, Rome- The High-Level Special Event on Strengthening Global Governance of Food Security and Nutrition, convened by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), showcased the importance of guaranteeing the right to adequate food for all. Taking place from 13 to 15 October, prominent participants from all over the world acknowledged that human rights really matter when it comes to building back better in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, particularly considering the needs and demands of the most vulnerable.

Speakers alternating over the three days, agreed to head for the converge of CFS policy instruments and to translate them into concreate actions at country level in order to have a greater impact. Maximo Torero, Chief Economist of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), urged explicitly to reaffirming and strengthening the Right to Food Guidelines.

The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: "Healthy diets are not just a luxury for the wealthy, they are a human right and a basis of national and global development."

Along the same lines, Jutta Urpilainen, EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, underlined: “Every human, no matter who they are, has the right to adequate food and the fundamental right to freedom from hunger”.

Besides, governments such as Spain, France, Mexico, and Dominican Republic pledged to remain steadfast in promoting social inclusion, school feeding laws or fair markets, while not forgetting to address human rights considerations. This implies, for instance, overcoming inequalities and hearing the voices of the poorer people in weaker countries which find it more difficulties.

The International Plant Protection Convention Secretariat and the FAO Right to Food Team in a joint statement stressed that preventing plants pests and diseases and to advance the right to adequate food for present and future generations is key to shift towards sustainable and more resilient food systems.

The meeting came to end with a dialogue about gender and youth people, balance of power and accountability, which was organized by the Civil Society Mechanism (CSM).

The high-level virtual event combined plenaries and partner events. They also featured how gender, private sector, agroecology, local institutions, among others, can be drivers for more affordable, sufficient, safe and nutritious food.

The chapter to set human rights and the right to food at the heart of the global sustainable development agenda is not yet closed. The CFS 47th is rescheduled to February 2021, when negotiations for decisions-based policies are expected to happen.

UN Food Systems Summit

In the run up to the Food Systems Summit, on this year´s CFS attendees reflected about how the upcoming CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition, the CFS Policy Recommendations on Agroecological and the human rights-based approach can be relevant to this landmark.

 “The Summit will build on the best science and data and seek to motivate responsible actions that can support all people to progressively realize the right to food”, explained Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary General.

Michael Fakhri, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, noted that the Summit will be a success only if it ensures a paradigm shift attending to every individual’s inherent human dignity. “I was disappointed when I started my mandate, primarily defending why human rights is necessary. This is regressive. I shouldn´t have to spend my time explaining why the right to food is relevant. I should be spending my time pushing to implement the tools and to solve the problem and to get to work”, he added.

About the Committee on World Food Security

The CFS serves as the leading body in the United Nations System to review and follow-up policies concerning world food security.

After undergoing a reform in 2009, CFS became the most inclusive multi-stakeholder and inter-governmental platform on food security and nutrition for all, whilst striving for the realization of the right to food.


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