Today (September 25, 2012), the Right to Food and Nutrition Watch officially release their report: “Who Decides About Global Food and Nutrition? Strategies to regain control.” Below is their press release, as well as a link to the report’s Executive Summary.
In preparation for World Food Day 2012, the fifth annual Right to Food and Nutrition Watch will be presented to the public in over twenty countries by representatives of fifteen civil society organizations and their partners who worked together to publish this report.
In this 2012 edition, the Right to Food and Nutrition Watch offers a multi-facetted overview of how the unfairly concentrated power of decision-making results in the persistence of hunger and malnutrition.
The Watch 2012 analyses the increasing influence and control of agribusiness and financial actors on food and nutrition, including their impact on food speculation and on the production of food resources. It also describes the worrisome trend of governments’ and multilateral organizations’ increased recognition and promotion of the private sector and related philanthropic foundations as important stakeholders in the struggle against hunger and malnutrition. Their role is played out importantly through public private partnerships (PPPs) and as key investors in agriculture, health, and other development ventures. The Watch highlights the lack of adequate public regulation and the blatant conflicts of interest in these developments.
On the other hand, social movements and other expressions of civil society have engaged in strategies to regain people’s control over food and nutrition. Several of these initiatives are analyzed in the Watch as well. A certain pattern of common denominators is highlighted: many of these struggles are rooted in the conviction of food sovereignty and peoples sovereignty, and relate directly in their political action to the use and strengthening of human rights instruments. Last but not least, these movements seem to follow a strategy to effectively occupy political decision space in local, national, and global governance structures.
The Right to Food and Nutrition Watch is the first and only international periodical review that monitors state actors’ actions related to the realization of the right to food and nutrition. This report provides a platform for human rights experts, civil society activists, social movements, the media, and scholars to exchange their experiences on how best to carry out right to food and nutrition work, including lobbying and advocacy work. The Watch is also a powerful tool to put pressure on policymakers at the national and international level to take the human right to food and nutrition seriously into account.