11.11.2009

The Right to Food at the centre of the World Food Week 2009
Expert Panel on “The Role of the Right to Food in Addressing the Global Food Crisis”

Following the launch of the Toolbox held on 15th October, the Expert Panel on “The Role of the Right to Food in Addressing the Global Food Crisis” brought together the views of economists, policy makers, human rights experts and academia to discuss about the most important issues and challenges of the current food crisis. Chaired by the Assistant Director-General of the Economic and Social Development, Mr Hafez Ghanem, the panellists answered specific questions regarding the role of human rights in addressing hunger.

Mr. David Nabarro, coordinator of the High Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis highlighted the importance of coherence between the different agencies and organizations dealing with food issues and explained the achievements regarding the implementation of human rights principles in the Comprehensive Framework for Action. Mr. Flavio Valente, Secretary-General of FIAN International stressed the need to ensure adequate access to natural resources as a condition to realize the right to food. “Land is a big problem” he said before illustrating this issue with examples of evictions affecting the access to food of hundreds of people in Brazil. Professor Osmani from the School of Economics of Ulster University explained how the right to food constitutes an overarching framework for all the activities undertaken against hunger, including FAO´s twin track approach. Following Valente´s perspective Professor Asbjørn Eide, from the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights stressed that hunger was not a problem of lack of supply but a lack of entitlements and lack of access to the markets; in this regard he illustrated his words with examples of food starvation in India. Finally, Ms Eve Crowley representing the Gender, Equity and Rural Employment Division of FAO underlined the important role of women in increasing both, production and distribution of food. She also insisted on the importance of improving research, access to land, social and human capital, infrastructure and technology as key conditions to eradicate hunger.

If you are interested in having more details of the panellists’ interventions, see the event website.