On June 9 and 10, 2011, an expert consultation on the right to food in Latin America and the Caribbean was held in Bogotá jointly organized by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). In all, around 50 food experts, parliamentarians and policy-makers from the region discussed on the progress made and the challenges ahead in the realization of the right to adequate food for all.
Amongst its main objectives, the consultation looked at ways to strengthen the implementation of the right to food by encouraging dialogue at national level and by supporting existing initiatives. Furthermore, with Latin America and the Caribbean being one of the most dynamic regions in regards to laws and concrete policies towards the realization of the right to food, this event offered a unique opportunity to a range of experts from different institutions and organizations, both governmental and non-governmental, to share the valuable lessons learned in implementing the right to food, to present practical solutions and concrete actions on ways to promote the right to food through legislation and strategies, as well as to strengthen accountability through monitoring and claims mechanisms.
Moreover, while an official report will be published shortly, four central recommendations have been retained by Ms Barbara Ekwall, Senior Officer - Right to Food, FAO, during the press conference on 10 June 2011: “first, we need to build awareness and capacity not only of right holders but also public officials, judges, parliamentarians and society at large; second, the Justice sector needs to be better aware of the human right to adequate food as a right and claims mechanisms should be more accessible to the poor; third, partnerships with civil society organizations should be strengthened taking into account the important role they play in all activities related to the right to food implementation; and fourth, we need to integrate a human rights perspective in all policies, legislations and programs, to make them better targeted, more coherent, efficient, transparent and accountable.
This was the first regional multi-stakeholder expert consultation and the beginning of a process that will be replicated on other continents as well, with the next consultation to take place in 2012 in Africa to discuss experiences from sub-Saharan Africa.
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Report from the consultation (in Spanish only)