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SDG GOAL 2 END HUNGER, ACHIEVE FOOD SECURITY and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow
Wednesday, 19 August 2015 12:32

By Joan Russow Global Compliance Research Project

 

image from flooding agricultural land in Kenta

 

To achieve  food security, States  must consider:  A.What constitutes food security?  B.What obligations in covenants still need to be discharged? C. and D, What commitments in declarations, and conference action plans need to be fulfilled? E. What must be not only prescribed but also proscribed?

 

A.WHAT CONSTITUTES FOOD SECURITY

There is a need to redefine what constitutes food security. True food security would enshrine the right to be free from hunger and the inalienable right to food. It is essential to delineate the steps to achieve the realization of these rights, and to ensure the equitable access to unadulterated food free from harmful pesticides, and from transgenic food and crops.

We are living in a wake of corporate/government/university/ negligence from previous harmful substances that were once deemed safe for human health and the environment.

Throughout the years, in international  covenants, declarations conferences action plans, the member states of the United nations have incurred obligations or made commitments to achieve food security; through the following objectives or actions;

 

To ensure the inalienable right to be free from hunger.

To recognize the urgent and sustained action is vital to end the scourge of hunger.

To affirm the right of everyone to adequate food, to be free from hunger.

To proclaim that eradication of hunger is a common objective of international community.

To properly channel resources in ways that will eradicate hunger rather than exacerbate it.

To achieve food security is a high priority in many countries, and agriculture must not only provide food for rising populations, but also save water for other uses.

 To introduce and monitor policies, laws and regulations and incentives leading to sustainable agricultural and rural development and improved food security.

To carry out national policy reviews related to food security, including adequate levels and stability of food supply and access to food by all households.

To increase food production in a sustainable way and is the main objective of Sustainable agriculture and rural development (SARD).

To assess comprehensively the impacts of … policies on food and agriculture sector performance, food security.

To maintain and develop operational multisectoral plans, programmes and policy measures, including programmes and measures to enhance sustainable food production and food security.

To Manage Fragile Ecosystems: Combat Desertification and Drought.

 To work for...equitable and efficient distribution of food.

To introduce and monitor policies, laws and regulations and incentives leading to sustainable agricultural and rural development and improved food security.

To carry out national policy reviews related to food security, including adequate levels and stability of food supply and access to food by all households.

To increase food production in a sustainable way and is the main objective of Sustainable agriculture and rural development (SARD).

To assess comprehensively the impacts of … policies on food and agriculture sector performance, food security.

To proclaim that eradication of hunger is a common objective of international community.

To properly channel resources in ways that will eradicate hunger rather than exacerbate it.

To maintain and develop operational multisectoral plans, programmes and policy measures, including programmes and measures to enhance sustainable food production and food security.

To Manage Fragile Ecosystems: Combat Desertification and Drought.

 To work for...equitable and efficient distribution of food.

 

B. OUTSTANDING OBLIGATIONS FROM COVENANT

Under Article 11 of the 1966 legally binding Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is an obligation to embrace actions to support food security:

Article 11 affirms the right of everyone to adequate food, to be free from hunger and to the realization of this right

1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize THE RIGHT OF EVERYONE TO AN ADEQUATE STANDARD OF LIVING FOR HIMSELF AND HIS FAMILY, INCLUDING ADEQUATE FOOD, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions. The States Parties will take appropriate steps to ensure the realization of this right, recognizing to this effect the essential importance of international co-operation based on free consent.

2. The States Parties to the present Covenant, recognizing the FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT OF EVERYONE TO BE FREE FROM HUNGER, shall take, individually and through international co-operation, the measures, including specific programmes, which are needed:

(a) To improve methods of production, conservation and distribution of food by making full use of technical and scientific knowledge, by disseminating knowledge of the principles of nutrition and by developing or reforming agrarian systems in such a way as to achieve the most efficient development and utilization of natural resources;

C.COMMITMENTS FROM DECLARATION RELATED TO FOOD SECURITY; THE ERADICATION OF HUNGER AND THE INALIENABLE RIGHT TO FOOD

Under the 1974 Universal Declaration on the Eradication of Hunger and Malnutrition the following commitments were made:

Time is short, urgent and sustained action is vital to end the scourge of hunger

Time is short. Urgent and sustained action is vital. The conference, therefore, calls upon all peoples expressing their will as individuals, and through their Governments, and non-governmental organizations to work together to bring about the end of the age old scourge of hunger.

(Universal Declaration on the Eradication of Hunger and Malnutrition, 1974)

The inalienable right to be free from hunger for every man, woman and child

Every man, woman and child has the inalienable right to be free from hunger and malnutrition in order to develop fully and maintain their physical and mental faculties. Society today already possess sufficient resources, organizational ability and technology and hence the competence to achieve this objective. Accordingly, the eradication of hunger is a common objective of all the countries of the international community, especially of the developed countries and others in a position to help. (Art. 1. Universal Declaration on the Eradication of Hunger and Malnutrition, 1974)

 

. (Sect.1. Universal Declaration on the Eradication of Hunger and Malnutrition, 1974)

The eradication hunger is a common objective of international community

Every man, woman and child has the inalienable right to be free from hunger and malnutrition in order to develop fully and maintain their physical and mental faculties. Society today already possess sufficient resources, organizational ability and technology and hence the competence to achieve this objective. Accordingly, the eradication of hunger is a common objective of all the countries of the international community, especially of the developed countries and others in a position to help. (Art. 1. Universal Declaration on the Eradication of Hunger and Malnutrition, 1974)

The grave food crisis is not only fraught with grave economic and social implications but also associated with the right to life and human dignity

The grave food crisis that is afflicting the peoples of the developing countries where most of the world’s hungry and ill-nourished live and where more than two thirds of the world’s population produce about one third of the world’s food—and imbalance which threatens to increase in the next 10 years—is not only fraught with grave economic and social implications, but also acutely jeopardizes the most fundamental principles and values associated with the right to life and human dignity as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; Universal Declaration on the Eradication of Hunger and Malnutrition, Adopted on 16 November 1974 by the World Food Conference convened

The fundamental responsibility of governments is to work for...equitable and efficient distribution of food

It is a fundamental responsibility of Governments to work together for higher food production and a more equitable and efficient distribution of food between countries and within countries. Governments should initiate immediately a greater concerted attack on chronic malnutrition and deficiency diseases among the vulnerable and lower income groups. In order to ensure adequate nutrition for all, Governmentsshould formulate appropriate [shall ensure] food and nutrition policies [are] integrated in overall socio-economic and agricultural development plans based on adequate knowledge of available as well as potential food resources (Sect. 2, Universal Declaration on the Eradication of Hunger and Malnutrition, 1974)

D.PREVIOUS COMMIITMENTS IN CONFERENCE ACTION PLANS SUCH AS in UNCED

 

 Commitments to achieve food security in Agenda 21

3.7.1Undertake activities aimed at the promotion of food security

undertake activities aimed at the promotion of food security and, where appropriate, food self-sufficiency within the context of sustainable agriculture (3.7.l., Combating Poverty, Agenda 21, UNCED, 1992)

 5.46 . Food security, access to secure tenure, basic shelter, and essential infrastructure, education, family welfare….should, as appropriate, be included among other factors

Nationally determined policies for integrated and multifaceted programmes, with special attention to women, to the poorest people living in critical areas and to other vulnerable groups should be implemented, ensuring the involvement of groups with a special potential to act as agents for change and sustainable development. Special emphasis should be placed on those programmes that achieve multiple objectives, encouraging sustainable economic development, and mitigating adverse impacts of demographic trends and factors, and avoiding long-term environmental damage. Food security, access to secure tenure, basic shelter, and essential infrastructure, education, family welfare, women's reproductive health, family credit schemes, reforestation programmes, primary environmental care, women's employment should, as appropriate, be included among other factors.( 5.46 Demographic Dynamics and Sustainability agenda 21.UNCED 1992)

12.50 c Support FAO programmes for the development of national early - warning systems and food security assistance

Support FAO programmes and other programmes for the development of national early - warning systems and food security assistance schemes;( 12.50 c Managing Fragile Ecosystems: Combating Desertification and Drought

Agenda UNCED)

 

14.2 sustainable agriculture and rural development (SARD). The major objective of SARD is to increase food production in a sustainable way and enhance food security.

Major adjustments are needed in agricultural, environmental and macroeconomic policy, at both national and international levels, in developed as well as developing countries, to create the conditions for sustainable agriculture and rural development (SARD). The major objective of SARD is to increase food production in a sustainable way and enhance food security. This will involve education initiatives, utilization of economic incentives and the development of appropriate and new technologies, thus ensuring stable supplies of nutritionally adequate food, access to those supplies by vulnerable groups, and production for markets; employment and income generation to alleviate poverty; and natural resource management and environmental protection. (14.2. chapter 14 promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development Agenda UNCED.1992)

 

14.4. , planning and integrated programming in the light of the multifunctional aspect of agriculture, particularly with regard to food security and sustainable development;

The following programme areas are included in this chapter:  Agricultural policy review, planning and integrated programming in the light of the multifunctional aspect of agriculture, particularly with regard to food security and sustainable development; chapter 14 promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development (14.4 a. chapter 14 promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development Agenda UNCED.1992)

14.6. All countries need to assess comprehensively the impacts of … policies on food and agriculture sector performance, food security

The absence of a coherent national policy framework for sustainable agriculture and rural development (SARD) is widespread and is not limited to the developing countries. In particular the economies in transition from planned to market-oriented systems need such a framework to incorporate environmental considerations into economic activities, including agriculture. All countries need to assess comprehensively the impacts of such policies on food and agriculture sector performance, food security, rural welfare and international trading relations as a means for identifying appropriate offsetting measures. The major thrust of food security in this case is to bring about a significant increase in agricultural production in a sustainable way and to achieve a substantial improvement in people's entitlement to adequate food and culturally appropriate food supplies. (14.6. chapter 14 promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development Agenda UNCED.1992)

14.75 (c) To maintain and develop, as appropriate, operational multisectoral plans, programmes and policy measures, including programmes and measures to enhance sustainable food production and food security

The objectives of this Programme area are: a. By 1995, to review and, where appropriate, establish a programme to integrate environmental and sustainable development with policy analysis for the food and agriculture sector and relevant macroeconomic policy analysis, formulation and implementation; b. To maintain and develop, as appropriate, operational multisectoral plans, programmes and policy measures, including programmes and measures to enhance sustainable food production and food security within the framework of sustainable development, not later than 1998; c. To maintain and enhance the ability of developing countries, particularly the least developed ones, to themselves manage policy, programming and planning activities, not later than 2005.Not later than the year 1998, to establish operational and interactive networks among farmers, researchers and extension services to promote and develop integrated pest management. 14.75 (c) Agenda 21 UNCED

 

14.9. . Carry out national policy reviews related to food security, including adequate levels and stability of food supply and access to food by all households; .

Governments at the appropriate level, with the support of the relevant international and regional organizations, should: a. Carry out national policy reviews related to food security, including adequate levels and stability of food supply and access to food by all households; .

, (14.9 e. introduce and monitor policies, laws and regulations and I  incentives leading to sustainable agricultural and rural development and improved food security

Introduce and monitor policies, laws and regulations and I  incentives leading to sustainable agricultural and rural development and improved food security and to the development and transfer of appropriate farm technologies, including, where appropriate, low-input sustainable agricultural (LISA) systems; . (14.9 e. chapter 14 promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development Agenda UNCED.1992)

 14.11 United Nations agencies. Implement integrated and sustainable agricultural development and food security strategies

United Nations agencies, such as FAO, the World Bank, IFAD and GATT, and regional organizations, bilateral donor agencies and other bodies should, within their respective mandates, assume a role in working with national Governments in the following activities: a. Implement integrated and sustainable agricultural development and food security strategies at the subregional level that use regional production and trade potentials, including organizations for regional economic integration, to promote food security; . (14.11. chapter 14 promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development Agenda UNCED.1992)

(14.18. undertake natural resource management and food security activities, taking into account the different needs of subsistence agriculture as well as market oriented crops;

. Governments at the appropriate level, with the support of the relevant international and regional organizations, should: a. Develop and improve integrated agricultural extension services and facilities and rural organizations and undertake natural resource management and food security activities, taking into account the different needs of subsistence agriculture as well as market oriented crops; . (14.18. chapter 14 promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development Agenda UNCED.1992)

Objectives 14.26. To improve farm productivity in a sustainable manner, as well as to increase diversification, efficiency, food security

The objectives of this programme area are: a. to improve farm productivity in a sustainable manner, as well as to increase diversification, efficiency, food security and rural incomes, while ensuring that risks to the ecosystem are minimized; . (14.26. chapter 14 promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development Agenda UNCED.1992)

18.8.  Give priority to basic human needs for drinking-water, health protection and food security

[Priority must be given to the sustenance of land/water ecosystems, with particular attentions to wetlands and biodiversity, and the satisfaction of basic human needs for drinking-water, health protection and food security (Prep Com bracketed section. 18.8. Fresh Water, Agenda 21, UNCED, 1992)

F. Water for sustainable food production and rural development Basis for action

18.65. Achieving food security is a high priority in many countries, and agriculture must not only provide food for rising populations, but also save water for other uses

Sustainability of food production increasingly depends on sound and efficient water use and conservation practices consisting primarily of irrigation development and management, including water management with respect to rain-fed areas, livestock water-supply, inland fisheries and agroforestry. Achieving food security is a high priority in many countries, and agriculture must not only provide food for rising populations, but also save water for other uses. The challenge is to develop and apply water-saving technology and management methods and, through capacity-building, enable communities to introduce institutions and incentives for the rural population to adopt new approaches, for both rain-fed and irrigated agriculture. The rural population must also have better access to a p potable water-supply and to sanitation services. It is an immense task but not an impossible one, provided appropriate policies and programmes are adopted at all levels - local, national and international. While significant expansion of the area under rain-fed agriculture has been achieved during the past decade, the productivity response and sustainability of irrigation systems have been constrained by problems of waterlogging and salinization. Financial and market constraints are also a common problem. Soil erosion, mismanagement and overexploitation of natural resources and acute competition for water have all influenced the extent of poverty, hunger and famine in the developing countries. Soil erosion caused by overgrazing of livestock is also often responsible for the siltation of lakes. Most often, the development of irrigation schemes is supported neither by environmental impact assessments identifying hydrologic consequences within watersheds of interbasin transfers, nor by the assessment of social imp acts on peoples in river valleys. (18.65 Agenda  21 UNCED)

Activities 32.6 (a) Management-related activities 32.6. National Governments should: a. Ensure the implementation of the programmes on sustainable livelihoods, agriculture and rural development, managing fragile ecosystems, water use in agriculture, and integrated management of natural resources; b. Promote pricing mechanisms, trade policies, fiscal incentives and other policy instruments that positively affect individual farmer's decisions about an efficient and sustainable use of natural resources, and take full account of the impact of these decisions on household food security, farm incomes, employment and the environment; (32.14. Governments should, in the light of each country's specific situation: a. Create the institutional and legal mechanisms to ensure effective land tenure to farmers. The absence of legislation indicating land rights has been an obstacle in taking action against land degradation in many farming communities in developing countries; b. Strengthen rural institutions that would enhance sustainability through locally managed credit systems and technical assistance, local production and distribution facilities for inputs, appropriate equipment and small-scale processing units, and marketing and distribution systems; c. Establish mechanisms to increase access of farmers, in particular women and farmers from indigenous groups, to agricultural training, credit and use of improved technology for ensuring food security. Chapter 32 Agenda 21 – Chapter 32 Strengthening the Role of Farmers)

D OTHER RELEVANT INTERNATIONAL SOURCES

Reduce vulnerability calls for enhance food security by recognizing access to food as a basic human right

World Summit for Social Development enhance food security by recognizing access to food as a basic human right

(Prep Com II Reduction and Elimination of Widespread Poverty

Reduce vulnerability calls for enhancing food security by recognizing access to food as a basic human right (Prep Com II Reduction and Elimination of Widespread Poverty, UN Secretariat Plan of Action World Summit for Social Development, March 1995)

 

E.COMMITMENTS FROM WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

 

In the document from the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable

Development were the following commitments including time-based commitments to the provision food and to food security:

 

WSSD38a  promote food security and fight hunger in combination with measures which  address poverty, consistent with the outcome of the World Food Summit and, for State Parties

 

 (a) Achieve the Millennium Declaration target to halve in the year 2015, the  proportion of the world`s people who suffer from hunger and realize the right to a standard of  living adequate for the health and well-being of themselves and their families, including food,  including by, promoting food security and fighting hunger in combination with measures which  address poverty, consistent with the outcome of the World Food Summit and, for State Parties,  with their obligations under Article 11 of the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural  Rights. . (38 a, WSSD)

 

WSSD61 Achieve significantly improved sustainable agricultural productivity and food  security

Achieve significantly improved sustainable agricultural productivity and food security. In furtherance of the agreed Millennium Development Goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration, in particular to halve by 2015 the proportion of people who suffer from hunger, including through initiatives at all levels to: 

WSSD 61a develop and implement food security strategies, within the context of national poverty  eradication programmes

 Support the development and implementation of national policies and programmes,  including, research programmes and development plans of African countries to regenerate their  agricultural sector and sustainably develop their fisheries, increase investment in infrastructure,  technology and extension services, according to country needs. Countries should be in the process of  developing and implementing food security strategies, within the context of national poverty  eradication programmes [by2005];  (61a,WSSD,2002)

 

E.PROSCRIPTION OF UNSUSTAINABLE PRACTICES THAT LEAD TO

FOOD INSECURITY

Eliminate the practice of adding poverty programs as an afterthought

How can poor and traditionally excluded people gain an integral role in economic development that addresses squarely the poverty and inequality that is crippling the hemisphere? Poverty programs should not be added to development strategies as an afterthought. Poor people, small farmers and small businesses must be treated as potential generators of wealth and engines of economic growth. Critical issues of food security, land tenure and agricultural policy for the majority of the region's farmers (PROMISES TO KEEP The Unfinished Agenda for Human Rights and Economic Justice in the Americas, 1994)

End the undermining, in trade agreement s, of the regulations that protect food security and ­­other international peremptory norms­­­.

End the negative impact of structural adjustment programmes.The international debt crisis, which has forced nations to undergo structural adjustment programs, has undermined nation states to implement or maintain food security policies. Increased trade liberalization, with the World trade Agreement will further restrict the nation state from implementing food security policies.

End the misappropriation of agricultural land for the growing of biofuel and contributing to food insecurity, and prohibit the purchase and use of land for biofuels to serve foreign markets and undermine food security. End the land grab in developing countries and the conversion of arable land to biofuel

 

End the flooding of arable land for large hydro projects.

 

Given the unattended consequences of genetically engineered foods and crops, and the global commitment to the precautionary principle, it becomes imperative to institute a complete ban on genetically engineered foods and crops. There is sufficient emerging scientific evidence to justify the banning, and to prohibit all further production and export of genetically engineered foods and crops.  

 

End the practice of member states relying not on the emerging scientific data, The emerging data now indicates the urgency of keeping the rise in temperature below the dangerous level of 1°C, [which is the point at which global systems on land, water and air will be so affected as to create vicious feedback cycles and destabilise many ecosystems and human societies]; At an average rise of  2 degree rise, the poor the vulnerable and the disenfranchised will not survive at 1.5 degree dire impact , of climate change, on food security  demands  bold action at COP21

 

End the assessment of “mitigation commitments” only applying to emissions and not to development and exploitation of fossil fuels. For example while states claim that they will mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, they continue to permit the exploration and development of new fossil fuel sources.

.

End the discounting of the methane gas resulting from the dependency on animal protein.

 

Abandon the market based proposal of the so-called Green Economy that could lead to the commodifying nature and to food insecurity

 

 End the continued production and export of products that have been,   restricted, banned or not yet approved in country

 

End the approving of foods by regulatory agencies that have members with vested corporate interests

 

End the production of genetically engineered food and crops.

 

Genetically engineered food and crops have contaminated the Global food system and undermined food security and must be banned. The institutional Collusion, in relation to genetically engineered food and crops, among corporations, governments, universities and regulatory agencies has been endemic; this collusion has sadly spread to certain scientific publications.  For the sake of food security for present and future generations: (i) this collusion must end; (ii) the precautionary principle must be invoked, (iv) genetically engineered food and crops, banned; (v) the charters of Monsanto et al, revoked; and (vi) charges of gross/criminal negligence against these corporations, levied.

In1999, Vandana Shiva organized the Biodevastation II Conference in Delhi Where the following Global Declaration was endorsed by all but one of the participants;

Biodevastastion II Global Ban Declaration

 

(i)  A global ban on genetically engineered foods and crops;

(ii) A global ban on the patenting of life forms;

(iii) An end to the exploitation of the knowledge of farmers, peasants and indigenous peoples;

(iv) A global support program for promoting organic agriculture and other forms of ecological farming, and for instituting a fair and just transition program for affected farmers and communities.

 

End the violation of the transboundary principle by PRO-GE States, adjacent to other states that have  banned or called for GE-free zones, which plant  transgenic food and crops which  could result in genetic drift or contamination thus  jeopardizing  GE-free and organic food and crops .

We are living in a wake of corporate/government/university/ negligence from previous harmful substances that were once deemed safe for human health and the environment. Given the unattended consequences of genetically engineered foods and crops, and the global commitment to the precautionary principle, it becomes imperative to institute a complete ban on genetically engineered foods and crops. There is sufficient emerging scientific evidence to justify the banning to prohibit all further production and export of genetically engineered foods and crops will increasingly contribute to food insecurity 

 

We are living in a wake of corporate/government/university/ negligence from previous harmful substances that were once deemed safe for human health and the environment. Given the unattended consequences of genetically engineered foods and crops, and the global commitment to the precautionary principle, it becomes imperative to institute a complete ban on genetically engineered foods and crops. There is sufficient emerging scientific evidence to justify the banning to prohibit all further production and export of genetically engineered foods and crops will increasingly contribute to food insecurity 

 

In Addition, While over the years there have been calls to reallocate mlitary expenses, The globl community has not been willing to recognis that the global military budget of 1.75 trillion,is a waste  and misuse of resources; and that Militarism is also at all levels a destruction of all facets of global society including  human rights, ecological rights and true  food security.  

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 August 2015 04:42
 

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