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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Food And Agricultural Organisation and Right to Food

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FAO is the specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for food and agriculture. Its mandate is to raise levels of nutrition, improve agricultural productivity and better the lives of rural populations, thus “ensuring humanity’s freedom from hunger”, as enshrined in its Constitution. FAO seeks to achieve this goal by putting information within reach, sharing policy expertise, providing an international forum for dialogue and exchange, and bringing knowledge to the field.

FAO member States have repeatedly affirmed the right to adequate food and the fundamental right to be free from hunger. All FAO member States have accepted the Right to Food Guidelines by adopting it at the FAO Council in November 2004. In 2006, the Right to Food Unit was created to support members with the implementation of the Right to Food Guidelines through awareness and capacity development, the development of methodologies and tools, mainstreaming the right to food into FAO work and providing technical expertise and policy advice to interested countries.

FAO supports its member States in taking seven practical steps to implement the right to food:
1. Identify hungry people, whose right to food is not realized
2. Assess existing policies and programmes
3. Develop strategies for an enabling environment and assistance
measures
4. Improve institutional coordination and functioning
5. Review and strengthen the legal framework
6. Monitor progress over time with a human rights focus
7. Ensure effective recourse for violations of the right to food
In the current reform process of FAO, the right to food is an “organizational result” within the FAO strategic framework.



Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women 

– Creating an enabling environment for women to enjoy their right to food The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women provides concrete actions necessary for creating an enabling environment for women to enjoy the right to food. For example, article 14 requires State parties to take measures to ensure the rights of women in rural areas:

• To participate in the elaboration and implementation of development planning at all levels;
 • To have access to adequate health-care facilities, including information, counselling and services in family planning:
 • To benefit directly from social security programmes;
 • To obtain all types of training and education, formal and non-formal, including that relating to functional literacy, as well as, inter alia, the benefit of all community and extension services, in order to increase their technical proficiency;
• To organize self-help groups and cooperatives in order to obtain equal access to economic opportunities through employment or self-employment;
 • To participate in all community activities;
 • To have access to agricultural credit and loans, marketing facilities, appropriate technology and equal treatment in land and agrarian reform as well as in land resettlement schemes;
 • To enjoy adequate living conditions, particularly in relation to housing, sanitation, electricity and water supply, transport and communications. All these rights are necessary for the full enjoyment of the right to food by women in rural areas.
credit: FAO

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