FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean

The day after the law: the new challenges of the Parliamentary Fronts against Hunger

Legislators from the region seek to enforce compliance of the laws and budgets that favor food and nutrition security.

VI Planning Meeting of the Parliamentary Fronts, held in Antigua Guatemala

July 12, 2018, Santiago de Chile - With laws without budgets or oversight, it will not be possible to eradicate hunger by 2030, said the legislators that make up the Parliamentary Fronts against Hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean today.

During the VI Planning Meeting of the Parliamentary Fronts, held in Antigua Guatemala, more than 30 parliamentarians from 19 countries of the region agreed that their goal for 2018 will not be just to push for laws, but to enforce those that have already been put in place.

To achieve this, “we will also seek to strengthen the responsibilities of parliaments to ensure compliance with the actions against hunger and malnutrition that are already established by law”, said the Mexican senator and General Coordinator of the Parliamentary Fronts against Hunger, Luisa María Calderón.

According to the FAO Representative in Guatemala, Diego Recalde, in addition to creating legislation, “parliaments have a great responsibility to oversee the laws and other actions of the State powers, ensuring adequate budgets and accountability”.

From Latin America and the Caribbean to the world

Inspired by the experiences of Latin American and Caribbean experience, from the 29-30 of October 2018, the first World Parliamentary Summit against Hunger and Malnutrition will take place, in the Spanish courts.

During the global meeting, the 19 Parliamentary Fronts against Hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean will share their achievements and lessons learned, in order to motivate the creation of similar instances throughout the planet.

The FAO, the Latin American and Caribbean Parliament (Parlatino), the Spanish Cooperation and the Spanish Parliament are some of the organizations supporting the global summit.

Qualified Parliaments

According to the Secretary General of Parlatino, Pablo González, “the task of the Parliamentary Fronts is not limited only to parliamentarians; to create good laws that can be sustainable the role that legislative advisers play is key.”

Recently, more than 30 of such advisors received trainingby FAO in responsible investment for agriculture and sustainable food systems.

"The international community established the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems; during the training sessions, the advisors explored this document and learnt how to put these principles into practice within the framework of the Parliamentary Fronts,” said FAO economist Pedro Arias, of the Trade and Markets Division.

Laws to reach the most vulnerable territories

The Parliamentary Fronts against Hunger are strongly focused on fighting the hot-spots of regional hunger and poverty.

Currently they work together with the governments of the region and the academy - through the Right to Food Observatory of Latin America and the Caribbean - to identify the obstacles that prevent already approved laws from having a positive impact on the most vulnerable people of the region.

"Our goal is for our actions to transform the current reality of millions of people in the region," said the Coordinator of the Parliamentary Fronts Against Hunger of South America,  the Paraguayan Senator Hugo Richer.

Increased cooperation

The Spanish Cooperation, the Brazilian Cooperation Agency, the Hunger-Free Mesoamerica Program - executed by the Government of Mexico - and FAO ratified their support for the Parliamentary Fronts against Hunger.

For its part, the European Union (EU) and the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB) highlighted the efforts of the fronts to form alliances; since hunger eradication will not be possible without legislative work and the participation of all social sectors.