Rio+20 is the short name for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development and will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 20 to 22 of June 2012. It is a historic opportunity to define pathways to a sustainable future for mankind. For FAO, “The Future We Want” will not materialize as long as hunger and malnutrition persist, and it will not materialize without sustainable management of agriculture and food systems. In other words, sustainable development cannot be achieved unless hunger and malnutrition are completely eradicated.
The Right to Food
The FAO report, “Towards the future we want: end hunger and make the transition to sustainable agricultural and food systems”, urges governments to establish and protect rights to resources, especially for the poor; incorporate incentives for sustainable consumption and production into food systems; promote fair and well-functioning agricultural and food markets; reduce risks and increase the resilience of the most vulnerable; invest public resources in essential public goods, especially innovation and infrastructure.
It calls the commitment of governments to use the “Voluntary guidelines to support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security”, as a practical, human-rights-based tool to help implement the right to adequate food.
The paper urges for fair and effective food security governance systems that are transparent, participatory, results-focused and accountable at the global, regional, national and sub-national levels.
Hunger Zero Challenge
The right to food continues to feature in the Rio+20 agenda. This week, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is launching his new Zero Hunger Challenge as part of his vision of the “Future We Want”.
His challenge has 5 objectives:
A world where everyone has access to enough nutritious food all year round.
No more malnutrition in pregnancy and early childhood: an end to the tragedy of childhood stunting.
All food systems sustainable — everywhere.
Greater opportunity for smallholder farmers — especially women – who produce most of the world’s food — so that they are empowered to double their productivity and income.
Cut losses of food after production, stop wasting food and consume responsibly.
“In a world of plenty, no one, not a single person, should go hungry. I am not proposing a new goal but I am sharing my vision for the future, a future where food systems are resilient, a future where everyone enjoys their right to food. This will boost the economic growth, reduce poverty and safeguard the environment and it will foster peace and stability” says the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.