News

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Calls for Human Rights Approach to World Food Crises

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]