The Right to Food

Bangladesh and Nepal exchange experiences

On the ground - 01.08.2016

FAO support in Nepal continues to be instrumental in assisting the Government-led efforts in the implementation of the right to adequate food. Through the project financially supported by Norway "Integrating the Right to Adequate Food and Good Governance in National Policies, Legislation and Institutions” started in 2011, FAO role has been fundamental in the constitution-making process since the beginning, through technical input, advocacy and awareness raising. Also as a result of this process, the country has made explicit commitments towards the protection, respect and fulfilment of the human right to adequate food therefore improving an enabling national environment to ensure food security and nutrition to its people. included the right to food as a fundamental human right in articles 36 and 42 and other related provisions of its new Nepal Constitution adopted in September 2015.

Further to this process, explicit request has been made to FAO by the national Government to assist in the preparation of a policy for food security and nutrition and in the drafting of a legal framework to ensure the progressive realization and implementation of the right to food in the country. As a way also to promote south-south cooperation on this area of work, an international mission to Bangladesh was carried out in July 2016 by a delegation made of representatives of the Nepal Law Commission, accompanied by technical members of the FAO National Office in Nepal. Purpose of the visit was to increase experience sharing, boost synergies and improve exchanges at a regional level on issues related to the right to food.

The mission, which was greatly facilitated by the FAO Representation in Bangladesh, provided the two countries with the opportunity to: share experiences on the current status of the right to food and on any ongoing policy processes related to food and nutrition security (FSN) which could affect the realization of the right to food in both countries; reflect on enhancing the effectiveness of coordination and collaboration to further promote the right to food and FSN policy-making in Nepal; strengthen partnership; and finally discuss future legislative and policy processes in Bangladesh, where the right to food is currently recognized in the Constitution (arts. 15 and 18), and an adequate implementing framework will be discussed in the near future.

The visit represented a successful learning experience for both countries and allowed for reflection over many collateral issues related to right to food such as the guarantee of the right to food for most vulnerable groups, the role of civil society, the institutional and technical arrangements for monitoring food and deal with food shortages, food subsidies for small-scale farmers, and consumers and quality control mechanisms.

The visit also recalls the successful experience of the South Asian Dialogue on the Right to Food organized in Dhaka in November 2015 with the aim of promoting an emerging right to food community of practice for improved food security and nutrition in South Asia during which, representatives of both countries, showed great interest in keeping strong ties between the two countries over issues related to the right to food.

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