Features of the Food Treaty: ending hunger and obesity by the rule of law

Today, I´ll briefly summarised the most important features of the Food Treaty proposal, so as let you know its singularity and powerful hand. I´ll use bullets to facilitate the reading, so this post will differ from the usual writing style.

Should you like the idea or be interested in its development, please feel free to disseminate the post to colleagues of yours that willbe attending the Rio+20 Conference.

1.- The focus of the Treaty should be on “eradication” rather than “halving” hunger.

2.- The goal of the Treaty should be achieved no later than 2025, because we have already the means and knowledge to do it, and the Treaty needs to set up a feasible timeframe that does not delay the goal beyond the time over which it should be possible to retain political commitment.

3.- The Food Treaty should cover both hunger as well as other manifestations of malnutrition, including over-consumption, leading to overweight and obesity, that are contributing to premature death .

4.- The provisions of the Treaty should be set up in such a way that they act in the long-term global interest.

5.- The Treay should provide for the self-imposition by all governments that are motivated to participate of binding and monitorable long-term commitments.

6.- The Treaty should link the commitments of developing country parties to embark on defined comprehensive long-term programmes to end hunger no later than 2025 with commitments by donor countries to assist in funding their programmes and in providing technical cooperation services in a predictable manner. In any case, the donor and the recipient country should deposit the pledge at the International Register of Commitments against Hunger, a unit established in the Secretariat of the Treaty .

7.- The agreements included in the Treaty should incorporate provisions whereby countries abide by decisions taken by the Conference of the Parties to improve governance and accountability.

8.- Whereas the signatories of the Treaty would be nations, the governance arrangements should be broadened to engage the UN system, civil society organizations, the private sector, philanthropic foundations, academia and religious institutions. Small-scale and large-scale food producers and consumers shall be given an appropriate decision-making space.

9.-The secretariat of the Treaty could be hosted by an existing UN agency or, better still, by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). However, other possibilities could also considered, such as a consortium of UN agencies or any other suitable institution that may emerged from current debates at CFS, G-8, G-20, G-77, Rio+20 or the UN General Assembly.

10.- The Food Treaty shall have a double accountability system, being operating at national and international level. The international mechanism could be based on a peer-review process similar to the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review, OECD or the New Partnership for Africa´s Development. The national accountability system could be led by the Ombdusman’s Office or any other Human Rights institution.

11.- Support the creation and implementation at national and global levels of real-time systems for monitoring delivery on commitments and progress towards the goal adopted by the Treaty.

12.- Offer a forum where countries could agree on strategies to be adopted in international negotiations that may have a significant effect on hunger and malnutrition, especially those related to food trading, regulation of market speculation, land grabbing, global food stocks and research for small-scale farming.

13.- Bring the failure by any state party to honour its commitments to the attention of the Conference of the Parties (or the Claim and Redress Committee), and put in place procedures to remedy the situation.

I hope this 13 points will shed further light on what the Treaty is about. Basically, turning upside down the current international initiatives against hunger by increasing the ruleof law, accountability, transparency, participation, funding commitments and mutual responsibility.