This paper is a product of a broad civil society consultation process, facilitated by the Global Network for the Right to Food and Nutrition, with the political support of the member organizations of the Civil Society Mechanism to the Committee on World Food Security.
Ten years ago, in November 2004, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) adopted the Voluntary Guidelines to support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security (RtAF Guidelines). Initiated by civil society, negotiated in a collaborative process, and unanimously adopted by all FAO member states, the RtAF Guidelines represented hope for a greater consensus on what was needed to make the human right to adequate food and nutrition a reality for people on the ground. Indeed, by delineating clear steps on how states could implement the right to food, and further still how to take a holistic approach – one that recognizes the importance of legal entitlements, policy coherence, and participation of rights holders – the RtAF Guidelines were set to reshape food system governance.
But what happened in the last ten years? What trends and events have shaped the context in which the right to food must be implemented? What, if any, successes at implementation have been achieved at the national, regional, and global level? What obstacles and challenges have inhibited progress? And how do we move forward to ensure a world where every person and community can enjoy the right to adequate food and nutrition? To mark the 10th anniversary of the RtAF Guidelines, civil society and social movements contributing to the promotion and defense of the human right to adequate food and food sovereignty have embarked on a critical assessment of where we are now in the struggle for solidifying the human right to adequate food and nutrition and where we must go.
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