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News - December 2004

Guidelines to support the Right to Food adopted by FAO Council

Voluntary Guidelines to "support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security" were adopted by the FAO Council (executive governing body of the organization) during its 127th session held at its headquarters in Rome from 22 to 27 November 2004.

The implementation of these guidelines should increase the hope of reducing by half the number of hungry in the world by 2015 since they focus on the actual steps countries should take to ensure that their policies and legislation respect, protect and fulfil the right to food of everyone.

The creation of these guidelines was recommended by Heads of State and Government during the June 2002 World Food Summit: five years later, in which they reaffirmed "the right of everyone to have access to safe and nutritious food." Following this recommendation, the Intergovernmental Working Group for the Elaboration of a Set of Voluntary Guidelines to Support the Progressive Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security (IGWG) was established and held four sessions as well as an open-ended working group session before submitting the final draft to the Committee on World Food Security which adopted them and subsequently submitted them to the FAO Council.

Among the various stakeholders involved in the drafting of the guidelines were: the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food and the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the North-South Alliance, which is a coalition of a large number of NGOs.

To read the final report of the IGWG please click here.

Documents relating to the right to adequate food can be obtained by visiting the website of the IGWG-RTFG.