The Right to Food


Endow global, regional and national organizations with the capacity to effectively contribute with the formulation, planning, implementation and monitoring of food security and nutrition legislation, policies and programmes incorporating right to food principles and governance practices in accordance with the guidance provided by Committee of World Food Security (CFS).

Governance work is problem-driven, context-specific and people-centric. It seeks to clarify the political nature of a problem, identify the primary issue(s) and involve all relevant stakeholders to arrive at workable solutions. FAO works at all levels of governance—national, regional and global—to improve capacities for effective collective action and to solve problems as diverse as ending hunger, malnutrition and achieve food security (SDG2) and eradicate poverty in all its form everywhere (SGD1).

A strong coordination of food security responses between the global, national and regional levels is paramount for food security governance.

Global governance of food security refers to a mechanism that facilitates debate, convergence of views and coordination of actions to improve food security at global but also at regional and national levels.

In order to make substantial and rapid progress towards global food security, coherence and convergence are fundamental elements among policies and programmes of countries, donors and other stakeholders when addressing the underlying causes of hunger and, the recognition of the human rights dimensions of food security.

CFS and the global and regional governance

The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) serves as a forum in the United Nations System to review and follow-up of policies concerning global food security including production and physical and economic access to food. CFS is the most inclusive international and intergovernmental platform for all stakeholders to work together to ensure food security and nutrition for all.

Regional organizations of food security governance

Regional organizations are well placed to help translate human rights standards and principles into practical policy guidance and other actions in support of the application at national and sub-national levels. They nurture global debate with salient issues and lessons learnt at local level and can be extremely helpful in contextualizing and disseminating outputs from global to local level.

While mandates, functions and services of regional organizations differ from region to region some generic functions can be identified in many regional organizations. One stream of activities is aimed at supporting national efforts, while a second stream of work is directed towards a global or continental level striving to represent regional concerns in these bodies. This intermediate position facilitates exposure to global debates and intimate knowledge of local level developments. Regional organizations are thus considered to hold a key place in the food security governance structure.

Read more about our work in close collaboration with regional organizations across the world:

National food and nutrition security councils

National councils on food and nutrition security are being established in many countries to serve as an advisory body to high-level authorities when developing policies and guidelines for guaranteeing the human right to adequate food. These councils have been effective in furthering the implementation of the right to food and encouraging civil society participation in the development and implementation of food security and nutrition policies and programmes. The Right to Food Team is supporting the implementation and further support in several of these councils at national and sub-national levels.

District level implementation of right to food

Participatory planning and implementation of local level actions offers the opportunity to fully address the priorities of families and communities through an empowering development process. However, three conditions are essential. First, an enabling policy, legislative and institutional environment needs to be in place for grass roots participation in actions aimed at furthering the realization of the right to food. Secondly, local governmental institutions, and non-governmental and community-based organizations need to have adequate capacity and resources to support local level actions. The third necessary condition is an empowered local population. Read more about implementation at district level and examples from the Right to Food Team’s work in Zanzibar.

The Right to Food Guidelines, specifically Guideline 1 (“Democracy, good governance, human rights and the rule of law”), recommend States to strengthen governance as an essential factor for sustained economic growth, sustainable development, poverty and hunger eradication and for the realization of all human rights including the progressive realization of the right to adequate food. In addition to Guideline 1, useful provisions relevant to this issue can be found in Guidelines 5 (“Institutions”), 6 (“Stakeholders”) and 13 (“Support for vulnerable groups”).

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