The Right to Food

Agriculture Ministers forge a bold roadmap to realize the Right to Food worldwide

News - 19.04.2024

"Food Systems for Our Future: Uniting Forces to Achieve Zero Hunger!" was the call at the 2024 Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) in Berlin. Hosted by Germany's Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture from 18-20 January 2024, this international gathering on global agricultural and food policies convened around 2,000 experts and leaders from politics, business, science, and civil society worldwide.

Over three days, they tackled one of humanity's greatest challenges – transforming food systems to accomplish the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger and realize the fundamental human right to adequate food for all. The political centerpiece was the 16th Berlin Agriculture Ministers' Conference, where 61 ministers were joined by 12 high-level representatives from international organizations to lay out a bold vision. Their Final Communiqué was a rallying cry, committing to the urgent transformation toward sustainable, resilient agriculture and food production as the only path to make adequate food a reality globally.

The document was a powerful call to action to promote sustainable production, fortify resilient supply chains, reduce food loss and waste, and strengthen vulnerable populations. Specifically, it declared that "adequate food satisfying everyone's dietary needs must be consistently available, accessible and affordable to realize the human right to adequate food." With 2024 marking 20 years of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Right to Food, the ministers vowed to "accelerate efforts to implement them and support their utilization."

Ministers also emphasized climate stewardship, protecting biodiversity, empowering women in agriculture, strengthening governance, halving global food waste, and improving fertilizer and plant protection management. The Communiqué recognizes the centrality of the right to food in efforts to make agrifood systems work better for people and the planet, underlines the vital role of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) as the foremost inclusive platform for work on food security and nutrition, and encourages FAO to enhance its technical support to member states' efforts to promote the right to adequate food at the national level.

A highlight was the high-level panel on "Realizing the Right to Adequate Food: Ending Hunger and Leaving No One Behind", jointly hosted by FAO and the CFS. Moderated by CFS Chairperson Ambassador Nosipho Jezile, the panel featured keynotes by FAO Chief Economist Máximo Torero and Michael Windfuhr of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Torero emphasized the Voluntary Guidelines' significance in progressively realizing the right to adequate food for national food security. He urged countries to fulfil its four essential elements: availability, accessibility, sustainability, and adequacy, stating that "the normative [framework] is there, but we need to implement actions to make it a reality.”

For Elisabetta Recine, President of the National Council for Food Security in Brazil (CONSEA), addressing the structural causes of hunger, such as poverty and inequality, is essential. "It is also important to give people the opportunity to participate in related legislative processes," she argued. Recine anticipates a constructive debate with civil society in the context of the G20 Summit, which Brazil will host in November.

The FAO Right to Food Team partnered with Germany's Institute for Human Rights to host an informal dialogue on January 19th, bringing together diverse stakeholders to foster constructive collaboration towards the shared vision of a world free from hunger.

For more information:

Share this page