Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Khoo, S.
Symposium on Economic Social and Cultural Rights
The Right to Food Legal, political and human implications for a food security agenda , June 12, 2010
School of International Relations Tehran
Invited Lecture
Optional Fields
This talk provides an introduction to the Right to Food as a fundamental area of convergence between human rights in practice and rights-based approaches to development. The Introduction presents three main concerns or drivers, which comprise a common agenda for development and rights: recovering indivisibility, democratizing development and humanising rights. Section 1 explores second and third generation rights (Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Right to Development) as broad frameworks for understanding the right to food and discusses specific instruments for the progressive realization of the right to food, particularly Art 25 of UDHR, Art 11 ICECSR and General Comment 12. Normative foundations, concepts and criteria are examined through a detailed consideration of General Comment 12. Section 2 outlines the role of FAO as the specialized agency with the global remit relevant to realizing the right to food. This section reviews the policy, advocacy and monitoring functions and the role of summit meetings. It comments briefly on the role of data and monitoring and more broadly discusses the rise of food security as a specific concept in global governance. Section 3 reviews and comments upon the important role played by civil society in giving substance to the concept of “adequate food’ and its role in highlighting obstacles and conflicts between markets and needs. It addresses the issue of ‘commerciogenic malnutrition’ and the promotion of voluntary codes of conduct restraining market-led approaches to food. Section 4 examines current state of the art on justiciability in national contexts and the right to food, using the case of India. The discussion centres on the spaces created by legal and judicial activism and how progressive realization can realistically benefit from the appeal to seemingly abstract and normative Directive Principles, and also discusses the obstacles to responsibility within the bounds of ‘adequate resources’. Section 5 highlights new challenges of sustainability and globalization, particularly in relation to challenges of global climate change and the control of seeds. Section 6 concludes with a discussion of what it means to take an interdependent and substantive approach to the right to food and the implications for donor countries, and in particular for Ireland since it has indicated strong commitments to make hunger a priority issue in its development agenda and programming. The discussion raises concerns about the new realist, commercial and technocentric perspectives that have come to dominate contemporary discussions of food security. Further questions surrounding monitoring and evaluation, policy targeting and policy coherence are considered, interrogating current concerns with donor and recipient effectiveness against a backdrop of wider obligations to progressively realize the right to food with reference to human capabilities, non-discrimination and dignity.
School for International Relations, Tehran
Publication Themes