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Special Rapporteur on the right to food – Questionnaire for report to the General Assembly (68th session, 2013)

The Special Rapporteur’s report to the General Assembly at its sixty-eighth session, pursuant to resolution A/RES/67/174, will focus on global trends worldwide in the follow-up to the Declaration of the 2009 World Summit on Food Security. In particular, the Special Rapporteur will consider the Declaration’s commitment to give particular attention to the implementation and progressive realization of the right to adequate food as a means of achieving sustainable food security for all.

On the basis of a cross-regional assessment of national experiences, the report will discuss trends and challenges faced in establishing legal, institutional and policy frameworks for the progressive realization on the right to adequate food. That is, in line with the guidance provided by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Voluntary Guidelines to support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security (Right to Food Guidelines), adopted by FAO Member States in 2004.

The report of the Special Rapporteur will also serve as a contribution to the ten year retrospective on progress made in implementing the Right to Food Guidelines which the Committee on World Food Security agreed to undertake in 2014 (CFS 2012/39, para. 20 (d)).

In preparing his report, the Special Rapporteur sought information from Governments through a questionnaire, sent on 5 February 2013 (see below).

The Special Rapporteur is grateful for the replies received from:

  1. Albania
  2. Argentina
  3. Azerbaijan
  4. Cameroon
  5. Colombia
  6. Cuba
  7. Germany
  8. Honduras
  9. Mexico
  10. Norway
  11. Qatar
  12. Slovenia
  13. Turkey
  14. Ukraine
  15. United States of America
  16. Uzbekistan
  17. Venezuela

Questionnaire

Legal framework (cf. Right to Food Guidelines, Guideline 7)

1. Please indicate whether provisions in the national constitution and/or other domestic law, such as food and nutrition security framework laws, provide specific protection for the right to food and its progressive realization.

2. If so, please indicate whether such legal provisions have been invoked before administrative, quasi-judicial and judicial mechanisms, and with which results.

3. Please clarify whether consideration is currently being given to the inclusion of such provisions in domestic law.

National strategies (cf. Right to Food Guidelines, Guideline 3)

4. Please indicate whether a national human-rights based strategy (or policy/programme) for the progressive realization of the right to adequate food has been adopted.

5. If such national strategy (policy/programme) is in place, please provide information on:

(a) The process through which objectives, targets, benchmarks and time frames are set, including the role of civil society actors;

(b) Mechanisms to ensure adequate funding for the implementation of the strategy (cf. Right to Food Guidelines, Guideline 12);

(c) Mechanisms to ensure adequate targeting to improve the situation of the groups most affected by food insecurity, such as women, children, and small-holder farmers (cf. Right to Food Guidelines, Guideline 13).

(d) Mechanisms to ensure monitoring of the implementation of the strategy concerned, and whether such monitoring mechanisms are independent from the Executive (cf. Right to Food Guidelines, Guideline 17).

Institutional mechanisms (cf. Right to Food Guidelines, Guideline 5)

6. Please indicate whether inclusive, intersectoral coordination mechanisms been set up to:

(a) Coordinate the efforts of relevant Government ministries and agencies and ensure the concerted implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies, plans and programmes;

(b) Improve accountability, including through the allocation of specific responsibilities to different actors and the setting of precise timeframes for the realization of the dimensions of the right to food which require progressive implementation (cf. Right to Food Guidelines, Guideline 17);

(c) Enable full and transparent participation of the private sector and of civil society, in particular representatives of the groups most affected by food insecurity (cf. Right to Food Guidelines, Guideline 6).

7. Do national human rights institutions or ombudspersons, which are independent and autonomous from the Government, have a mandate to monitor the implementation of the right to adequate food (cf. Right to Food Guidelines, Guideline 18).

Lessons learned

8. What are the main challenges encountered and lessons learned from national efforts to strengthen the legal, policy and institutional framework for the realization of the right to adequate food?