I have been meaning to post my analysis of the FAO's new strategies for partnership with civil society organizations and  for partnerships with the private sector. I have not had time...

The G8 countries are implementing a New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in six African countries that will facilitate the transfer of control over African agriculture from peasants to...

In preparing a lecture for Monday, I was reviewing my notes on the G20 and their food security programmes and I was reminded of an article written by Professor Olivier de Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food (those of you who read this blog, will know I am a fan). In this particular article, published in advance of the Agriculture Ministerial Meeting, he proposed 5 priorities for the G20 so that we may start to seriously address the political problems that lead to hunger. He notes that:
It will take courage from G20 leaders to put the global food system back on track. They will have to break the "myth" of hunger as being reducible to a technical issue or to a failure of food systems to produce sufficient volumes. The French presidency appears determined to act decisively on the issue of speculation on the agricultural commodities market. But beyond that, the G20 members remain deeply divided over agricultural policy for the 21st century. The outcome of this debate will have real consequences for all humanity.
Unfortunately, the G20 failed to meaningfully incorporate his recommendations into their Agriculture Action Plan (check out a good summary here, or download the Plan here) but these 5 principles serve as a good reminder for all of us working in this field:
In this post I consider the main rights, obligations and responsibilities of right-holders and duty-bearers. The idea of International human rights instruments is to protect the rights of individuals and groups vis-à-vis state governments that have ratified the various agreements, declarations and covenants. When it comes to the right to food, people have the right to access adequate food or the means to procure it.  Because human rights are interrelated, the full realization of the right to adequate food can depend on the realization of other human rights, for example, land, labour, health and education.
International law recognizes every person’s right to food and the fundamental right to be free from hunger. The Voluntary Guidelines on the Progressive Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security were adopted unanimously by the governing council of the FAO in 2004, representing the first time that the there was agreement on the meaning of the right amongst states. The Right to Adequate Food is outlined into the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). The main concepts of the right to food include:
  1. Availability: Ability to feed yourself and your family directly from productive lands and other natural resources or from markets and stores.
  2. Adequate: You have enough food to satisfy dietary needs throughout your lifecycle. This takes into account needs linked to gender, age, occupation, and culture.
    1. To be adequate, food must not contain adverse substances (as outlined or established by international standards agencies).
    2. Must include values relates to food preparation and consumption.
  3. Accessibility:
    1. Economic accessibility: household or personal financial means to attain food for an adequate diet.
    2. Physical accessibility: food is available to everywhere, everywhere (rural, urban).
  4. Stability: Availability and accessibility must be guaranteed in a stable manner.