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Parliamentary Networks

While a large part of the world still faces significant challenges in accessing food, challenges are even greater in terms of accessing healthy diets. Parliamentarians have a critical role to play in ensuring that food security and nutrition remain high on political and legislative agendas to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Parliamentary networks to end hunger and malnutrition

Collaboration among parliamentarians can strengthen political will and increase the impact of public decision-making. FAO supports parliamentarians in developing national and regional framework laws on matters pertaining to its mandate, accessing technical knowledge, and exchanging good practices and lessons learnt. 

In June 2023, FAO organized the Second Global Parliamentary Summit Against Hunger and Malnutrition. The Summit closed with a Global Parliamentary Pact to contribute to transforming agrifood systems and promote the right to adequate food for all. This follows the call for action of the first Summit (2018) and a series of parliamentary dialogues  (2021) documented in a publication.

Key policy messages

  • Everyone has a right to adequate, safe, sufficient and nutritious food and to freedom from hunger. Parliamentarians’ action is critical to securing the right to adequate food and building food systems that guarantee access to a healthy diet for all. Food security and nutrition indicators tend to show significant improvement when there is strong political will that informs public policies and anchors programmes in legislation.
  • The 2030 Agenda recognizes the essential role of national parliaments, through their enactment of legislation, adoption of budgets and their role in ensuring accountability for the effective implementation of commitments made by governments. Through their legislative, budgetary and oversight responsibilities, parliaments are uniquely positioned to strengthen initiatives to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on food systems and to improve food security and nutrition; based on inclusive, integrated and multisectoral approaches to legislation and policymaking.
  • Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, parliamentarians around the world have taken action to mitigate the negative impacts of the pandemic on food systems. For example, some countries worked on legislation on school feeding, and measures to ensure access to basic food items during the health emergency, among others. Find more information here: Virtual parliamentary dialogues: food security and nutrition in the time of COVID-19. March-September 2021.
  • Eradicating hunger does not involve the agricultural sector alone – it is a complex endeavour involving multiple sectors and domains. Forms of collaboration that are transversal to political affiliations can help build trust between parties at national level to speed up progress towards the achievement of common goals. This also helps to keep relevant topics in policy agenda setting during institutional transitions. The Pan-African Parliament adopted a Model Law on Food and Nutrition Security in Africa (2022) with the support of FAO.
  • Examples of ongoing collaborations with parliamentarians include the Parliamentary Front Against Hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean, the FAO-Parliamentarian Friendship League in Japan, the FAO-Legislative Advisory Group in Philippines, the European Parliamentary Alliance against Hunger and Malnutrition, the Pan-African Parliament’s Parliamentary Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, the ECOWAS Network of Parliamentarians on Gender Equality and Investments in Agriculture and Food Security and the Parliamentary Network on Food Security in Africa and the Arab world, among others.
  • The FAO Strategic Framework 2022-2031 will direct the Organization’s efforts to transform agrifood systems and address hunger, poverty and inequality over the next decade. It encourages stronger engagement with parliamentary networks and regional/local networks as key stakeholders for agrifood systems transformation through their scope for positive impact on national legislative agendas.  

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