More than one billion people suffer from hunger. To tackle this problem, global governance for food security and nutrition needs to be improved. Access to land is a crucial factor in this context. These issues were addressed by the international conference “Policies against Hunger VIII”, hosted by the Government of Germany from June 9-11 in Berlin.
Berlin/Heidelberg, 17-06-2010. The right to food is the most frequently violated human right in the world. The number of people suffering from hunger has reached an historic high of 1.02 billion (FAO 2009). To gain ground in the fight against hunger, global and regional initiatives have to be coordinated in a more effective way. For this purpose, about 250 participants from governments, civil society, science and industry gathered at the international conference ‘Policies against Hunger’ to discuss the issue of improving governance for food security and nutrition, and to prepare for the first meeting of the reformed World Committee for Food Security (CFS) in October.
Ministry supports ‘Security Council’ for global food situation
“Our aim is to bring together representatives from global, regional and local levels and link existing resources”, said Ilse Aigner, German Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection. Among the participants of the conferences were not only members of governments and the United Nations but also representatives of civil society, science and the private sector. “We want to take up our joint responsibility”, said the Minister. “Now that the FAO’s Committee on Global Food Security (CFS) has been reformed, we have a kind of enlarged UN-Security Council for the global food situation, which inspires us with a lot of hope.” She demanded that “The global policy against hunger has to be guided by the right to food.”
Towards a human-rights-based approach to land use
Since the financial crisis, land has increasingly become a target for speculations and foreign investors. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in the last three years foreign investors have purchased about 50 million hectares of African territory.
Therefore the German Minister emphasized the importance of strengthening the rights of the poor and improving their access of land. Aigner said that it was extremely problematic if land was used to produce raw material for bioenergy, and if the local population was driven away for this purpose. She stressed that it was necessary to promote responsible investment in rural development, and support participation of the local population. For this reason, her ministry welcomes the adoption of the Voluntary Guidelines for Good Governance of Land and Natural Resources Tenure which aim to be a framework for a human-rights-based approach to land use.
Flavio Valente, Secretary General of the human rights organization FIAN International, pointed out that “about 75 percent of the world’s hungry are peasants, rural workers, indigenous peoples and pastoralists, most of them women. In order to address the root causes of hunger and to realize their right to food, they have to be involved in the local, national and global decision-making to hold their governments accountable. The reform of the CFS offers this opportunity. The October session should pay special attention to the land issue and to the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition that must be developed”.
Press release based on http://www.dw-world.de/dw/0,,1432,00.html , http://www.bmelv.de/cln_182/SharedDocs/Pressemitteilungen/EN/2010/101-AI-Policies-against-Hunger.html and own sources.
Information about the conference can be found at http://www.policies-against-hunger.de
For further information please contact Martin Wolpold-Bosien, FIAN International, email@example.com
FIAN is an international human rights organization that has been advocating the realization of the right to food for more than 20 years. FIAN consists of national sections and individual members in over 50 countries around the world. www.fian.org
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