A binding Food Treaty for the post-MDG consensus

During 2009, I developed with a colleague (Andrew Macmillan) the idea of a Food Treaty to fight hunger and obesity by the rule of law and we distributed the proposal to a wide group of colleagues in the food security and nutrition domains so as to get their reactions and pulse the proposal´s feasibility. The proposal was even pre-discussed as an input for the Committee on World Food Security and distributed to high-profile developmental officers. Unfortunately, at that time, political timing seemed not to be adequate, and the impetus faded away.  


As the triple crises remains unabated, and it seems to be going for some years ahead, and the Post-MDG talks have already started, I took back the original idea, added up some rationale and recent developments on the international arena (such as the creation of a group to develop a binding Treaty on Climate Change), packaged it in a shorter way and rolling it over again. The goal is to make it widely known so as to be considered as a political option worth debating in the post-MDG consensus. I think a binding Food Treaty with those countries who are willing to abide themselves can complement the existing ICESCR and reinforce the multilateralism. Otherwise, we risk exacerbating the current drift where the G-8 assigns the transnational the duty to feed the world.   

The idea has so far been presented as a Memo in a Think Tank (please, just skip the point 3.4 as it is a set of recommendations to the Government of Spain).  http://www.falternativas.org/opex/documentos/memorandos/a-binding-food-treaty-a-post-mdg-proposal-worth-exploring

The idea of a binding Food Treaty was already mentioned by the former UK Environment Secretary, Hilary Benn during the 2008 food crisis peak, with no great success at that time I presume. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/dec/10/food-foodtech 

I would like to have the idea further discussed as an option within the farmers´ movements and the different constituencies of civil society interested on food security, food sovereignty and right to food. Actually, the Food Treaty could also incorporate civil society groups as members.  The negotiation of the Treaty could also be accompanied by a Global Movement to push national governments to sign the treaty.  

A summary can be found in the following link  HUNGERPOLITICS (Blog in english) https://hungerpolitics.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/a-food-treaty-to-secure-food-for-all-in-the-future/

I have seen the World Economic Forum and the Brookings Institution have recently issued a set of ideas to move towards a more sustainable future and they are anticipating their vision for the post-MDG talks, setting a new “Getting to Zero” agenda. Zero extreme poverty and zero hunger seem to be two ideas launched for debate. http://forumblog.org/2012/05/goals-for-getting-to-zero-on-extreme-poverty/

I hope this Food treaty idea can be further discussed within this forum, and be part of a Zero Package of absolute and uncontested goals such as:

  Zero Hunger, Zero Extreme Poverty, Zero Iliteracy, Zero Deforestation, Zero Extinction, Zero Slavery, and others that could be termed as “Total access to potable water” or “Total social protection”.

Best regards

Jose Luis Vivero

Universite Catholique de Louvain, Belgium