UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Calls for Human Rights Approach to World Food Crises
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4 June 2008: Speaking at the FAO High-Level Conference on World Food Security, which convened in Rome, Italy, from 3-5 June 2008, Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that the food crisis is a forceful signal “about individual human rights and the need for collective action.” Reporting on a special session of […]

4 June 2008: Speaking at the FAO High-Level Conference on
World Food Security, which convened in Rome, Italy, from 3-5 June 2008, Louise
Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that the food crisis is a
forceful signal “about individual human rights and the need for collective
action.” Reporting on a special session of the Human Rights Council on the food
emergency, she called for a human rights framework to analyze the causes of the
crises and “to clarify the power imbalances inside and between countries that
trigger or exacerbate the food crisis, including unfair trade practices or
skewed policies involving incentives and subsidies.”

Noting that food insecurity is often compounded by warfare,
she said that human rights principles “call for the empowerment of people to
secure their own access to food through the full participation of those most
affected, either directly or through their representative organizations.” In
closing she recalled countries’ obligation to confront the current food crisis
through international cooperation in ways that respect human rights without
discrimination. [Statement]
[UNHCHR
press release
] [Conference
website
] [IISD RS coverage]

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