20th anniversary of the Right to Food Guidelines - Call for inputs on the realization of the Human Right to Adequate Food
2024 marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Voluntary Guidelines to Support the Progressive Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security (RTFG).
The right to food is a legally binding right, guaranteed in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. It is realized when everyone has physical and economic access at all times to adequate food or means for its procurement, as established in General Comment 12, Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR).
The Right to Food Guidelines provide practical guidance for States on how to realize the right to adequate food through the development of strategies, programmes, policies and legislation. They were endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and adopted by FAO Council in November 2004, after two years of intergovernmental negotiations and multi-stakeholder participation.
Governments have legal obligations to ensure the right to food, while everyone is entitled to enjoy it as a universal right, without discrimination. Moreover, all of us, individuals or collectives, including government officials, lawmakers, local communities, non-governmental organizations, academics, consumer organizations, youth groups, Indigenous Peoples, small holders, women’s organizations, civil society organizations as well as the private sector are crucial actors in the realization of the right to adequate food.
The RTFG anticipated the urgency of today’s most pressing global challenges to achieving sustainable development, including conflicts, inequalities, diseases, climate change, and loss of biodiversity. In our complex world with ever-growing and changing challenges, the Guidelines prove as relevant as ever. They remind us of the importance of international cooperation and collaboration towards the collective public good of ending hunger, malnutrition in all its forms, poverty and inequality. Their full implementation contributes to our efforts towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), themselves grounded in human rights.
The last 5 years have been particularly challenging with the COVID-19 pandemic, increased hunger and malnutrition in all its forms, rising inequalities, and a cost-of-living crisis. Innovative responses have been implemented by governments and other actors globally. 20 years on, it is time to take stock of progress and consider key takeaways.
Have your say where it matters!
Looking towards the 20th anniversary of the Right to Food Guidelines, the results of this call will help inform on efforts made to realize the right to adequate food at local, national, regional or global level, and provide an important stock taking opportunity for countries and their people.
The FAO Right to Food Team and the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) invite stakeholders to:
Share your experiences and good practices on the realization of the right to food for everyone, always.
Identify any gaps, constraints and challenges encountered in realizing the right to food or in implementing the Right to Food Guidelines.
Share any lessons learned and suggest recommendations for improvement in realizing the right to adequate food.
Next steps: are there any concrete plans to (further) use and apply the Guidelines?
How to take part in this Call for Submissions
Please share your experience(s) using the following template: Link to Template
Submissions can be made in any of the 6 UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish). Please keep the length of submissions limited to 1,000 words. You can upload the completed form here or, alternatively, send it to [email protected].
The Call for Submissions is open until 17 December 2023.
We thank you very much for your valuable contributions and look forward to learning from your experiences.
- Marie-Lara Hubert-Chartier, Right to Food Specialist
- Claire Mason, Right to Food Adviser
- Sarah Brand, Associate Professional Officer
- Chiara Cirulli, Economist (Food Security and Nutrition Policy), the CFS Secretariat
- Right to Food Guidelines
- Fifteen years implementing the RTFG
- RTF Handbooks
- RTF Methodological Toolbox
Please read the article on more FAO publications on this topic here.