The Right to Food

Right to adequate food should be a key dimension for Zero Hunger, says FAO Director General

News - 31.05.2019

31 May 2019, Rome – Realizing the right to food requires a new approach that encompasses healthy diets which are socially, economically and culturally acceptable and adapt for everyone, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization Director-General José Graziano da Silva stressed during a lecture at University of California (UCLA) Law School last February 17.

"We need to reposition our food systems from feeding people to nourishing people," Graziano da Silva said. Ensuring the right to adequate food means empowering people to feed themselves and their family in dignity. It is about ensuring all children have access to the healthy diets they need to reach their full potential, he pointed out

The right to adequate food is being overlooked, as the number of undernourished people in the world has increased over the past three years to 821 million and more than two billion people are overweight. A third of these (more than 670 million) are obese, a condition strongly associated with higher risks of chronic diseases such as diabetes or hypertension. 

Graziano da Silva stated that achieving Zero Hunger calls for regulation regarding access to adequate and healthy food. It must focus on vulnerable groups and the lack of regulation of the nutritional value of food, one of the core elements of adequacy of the human right to food.

The Right to Food is included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was endorsed by all countries more than 70 years ago. It is guaranteed in numerous international instruments and national constitutions too.

The Right to Food Guidelines, which have been now implemented for almost fifteen years, have demonstrated that eradicating hunger and malnutrition needs a paradigm shift and periodic assessments of human rights standards. They promote that all duty-bearers, from the individual to global institutions, become agents of greater accountability. The Guidelines also contribute to sounder legislative, policy and monitoring frameworks in each food systems.

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