The World Food Crisis – A Human Rights Disaster

FIAN International press release

Geneva/Heidelberg, 22.05.08: Today, the UN Human Rights Council stresses the key role of the Human Right to Food to address the immediate and root causes of the current world food crisis. FIAN, the International Human Rights Organisation for the Right to Food, welcomes this clear message to the international community. “The World Food Crisis is a Human Rights Disaster”, stated FIAN International General Secretary Flavio Valente today in Geneva.

The Human Rights Council has adopted the urgent call of the new U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food to hold today in Geneva a Special Session on the negative impact of the world food crisis on the realization of the Right to Food. The Right to Food perspective is crucial to revise thoroughly all international and national policies which have, in fact, generated hunger.

In a Joint Written Statement to the Human Rights Council, FIAN, CETIM, Action Aid, Habitat International Coalition, the International Federation of Human Rights Leagues (FIDH) and Vía Campesina point out: “Differently from the diagnosis that the UN presented at the creation of its Task Force on the Global Food Crisis, we recognize the present crisis as deeply rooted in decades of misguided international policies – decided and implemented under the auspices of the Bretton Woods Institutions and, more recently, the WTO – that have failed to create and maintain an enabling environment for states to respect, protect and fulfil the human right to adequate food.”

“The world does not need more of the same medicine”, the FIAN General Secretary said. “It is remarkable that the the UN Task Force Response to the World Food Crisis under the clear influence of the Bretton Woods Institutions and the WTO does not mention with a single word the Human Right to Food, but it calls for a green revolution in Africa and accelerated trade deregulation processes .”

FIAN welcomes the statement delivered by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to the Council. The Committee “urges State parties to address the structural causes at the national and international levels, including by: revising the global trade regime under the WTO to ensure that global agricultural trade rules promote, rather than undermine the right to adequate food and freedom from hunger, especially in developing and net food-importing countries”.

Further Information

Flavio Valente +49- 172-1394447

Sandra Ratjen +49- 174- 1925 771

Links to sources:

Joint Written NGO Statement to the Human Rights Council

Statement of the UN Special Rapporteur to the Human Rights Council

Statement of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to the Human Rights Council

FIAN is an international human rights organization that since more than 20 years advocates for the realization of the right to food. FIAN consists of national sections and individual members in over 50 countries around the world.

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