Latin American Parliament recognizes the right to food

January 15, 2013

PANAMA CITY, Panama

The Latin America and the Caribbean without Hunger Initiative is a commitment from the countries and organizations in the region to create the conditions to eradicate hunger by 2025. It began in 2005 during the Latin American Summit on Chronic Hunger held in Guatemala, and the proposal goes beyond the Millennium Development Goals of cutting in half hunger and poverty rates by 2015; it sets out to reduce child malnutrition below 2.5 percent by 2025.

As part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ Latin America and the Caribbean without Hunger Initiative, the Latin American Parliament, or Parlatino, on Dec. 19 approved a Framework Law for Food Security and Sovereignty that recognizes the human right to food.

The law will be submitted for consideration of the congresses and parliaments of the 23 Latin American and Caribbean countries that comprise Parlatino, which is based in Panama.

“This is the first legal framework that recognizes the right to food from the supranational perspective, thus giving greater strength to international instruments like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966, which are recognized international treaties entered into by the member-states,” said José Carlos Cardoso, an Uruguayan who is president of the Agriculture, Livestock, and Fishing Commission for Parlatino, and who headed the initiative.

Adoniram Sanches, Senior Policy Officer of the FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, said the law “reflects the conviction and political commitment that exists in the Latin America and the Caribbean region, and in its parliaments, to strengthen institutional development in the fight against hunger on our continent.”

According to the FAO report, State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012, released Oct. 10 in conjunction with the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Program, hunger currently affects 49 million of the region’s 600 million inhabitants.

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