Comments on the role played by the Special Rapporteur on the right to food

11/11/2009
Session 10Human Rights Council

Item 3 : promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development. Written statement submitted by CETIM and FIAN International.



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Mr. President, Mr. the Special Rapporteur, distinguished delegates,

We would like to commend the role played by the Special Rapporteur, Professor de Schutter, in the current efforts to promote a prominent role for the right to food in the search for responses to the food crisis.

On several occasions, we expressed its concern about the lack of integration of human rights in the work of the High Level Task Force and in its Comprehensive Framework for Action with its twin track approach combining immediate measures against hunger with long term support for food production. We thus welcomes the statement in favour of the inclusion of the right to food as the third track in the strategy against Hunger, as proposed by the UN Secretary General during the Madrid High Level Meeting on Food Security for All.

We reiterates the role of human rights violations and misguided policies in provoking the food crisis. Accordingly, we appeal upon states to take their human rights obligations seriously and to respect human rights principles such as the priority given to the most vulnerable, participation and accountability. One important demonstration of State commitment towards this would be a speedy process of ratification of the Optional Protocol of the ICESCR by a significant number of States.

We urges the states not to deprive the United Nations of the global governance over the food system. On the contrary, the role of existing UN institutions should be strengthened. Only such governance has the potential to guarantee the respect of key universal standards like human rights.

Finally we reiterates the pressing need for advancing the protection of specific vulnerable groups such as peasants. The latter are not only among the most vulnerable to violations of their rights but they also have a crucial role in finding sustainable solutions to the food crisis. We supports the declaration on the rights of the peasants of La Via Campesina, as well as the request by the Advisory Committee to be mandated with the task to prepare a study on those rights.

Geneva, March 9th 2009


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