Towards Implementation: Reflecting on 10 years of the Right to Food

Today an interim report by the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, made to the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly has been released. You can download a PDF copy here: Assessing a decade of progress on the right to food

The report – Assessing a decade of progress on the right to food– provides insight into practical aspects of realizing the right to food. It notes that the right to food has “become an operational tool” that is “widely recognised as a key to the success of food security strategies” (para 3).

Focusing on progress made since the 1996 World Food summit, the report identified:

  • Best practices
  • Roles of key actors: governments, parliaments, courts, national human rights institutions, civil society organisations and social movements.

The report also notes that systems of national protection are being redefined in terms of rights, a welcome move away from the understanding social benefits as charitable hand-outs. It argues that the right to food has entered a new phase: implementation. This is key as it moves from theory and law to practice. Grievance redress mechanisms (e.g. courts, social audits) are playing a role in promoting this change.

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Rhetorical devices in feeding the world

Recently there were two food events here, a university run Food4you series of events and a series organised by critical student organisations Boerengroep and Otherwise called Food for All. The very different approaches to food are captured in their titles. The latter series finished yesterday on World Food Day with the Dutch premiere of the film Crops for the Future.  An instructive film about agroecology practices and food sovereignty from all over the world. Examples from the field were backed up with interviews with the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food , with an author of the Agriculture at a Crossroads report and others. The message; we urgently need to move to another paradigm, the coming century is one of biology/diversity instead of chemistry. Still, it seems that the protagonists of a gone-by era are capable of organising a stage for themselves, the PR machine of Louise Fresco seems overheated. What are their rhetorical devices? Continue reading