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Morocco: UN human rights expert to assess food security policies

GENEVA (2 October 2015) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Hilal Elver, will undertake an official visit to Morocco from 5 to 12 October 2015 to assess the Moroccan authorities’ efforts to achieve the right to food, and the obstacles faced both at the national and international level in this regard.

“During the visit I look forward to learning whether Morocco’s reported reforms to place agriculture at the forefront of its strategies on economic growth sector have been translated into inclusive growth policies that benefit people, especially those living below the poverty line and vulnerable groups” Ms. Elver noted.

“I will assess the extent to which the right to food is being realized in Morocco as a result of governmental policies, both with respect to access to food and the nutritional quality of food available to the people at different income levels,” she said.

This is the first visit to the country by an independent expert on the right to food assigned by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor and report on initiatives to ensure the full realization of the right to food across the world.

The Special Rapporteur, who visits the country at the invitation of the Government, will engage with the authorities to identify the main obstacles hindering the full realization of the right to food and propose strategies for tackling these obstacles and improving the enjoyment of rights by the most vulnerable in society.

During her eight-day visit, the rights expert will meet with senior Government officials, as well as representatives from the UN system, international agencies, the development community, civil society, the National Commission on Human Rights and individual communities in various locations throughout the country.

The Special Rapporteur will also visit Dakhla in Western Sahara on 10 October 2015.

Ms. Elver will hold a press conference to share the preliminary findings of her visit at 11:00 a.m. on Monday 12 October 2015, at the Golden Tulip Farah Hotel, Place Sidi Makhlouf, Rabat.. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.

The Special Rapporteur’s observations and recommendations will be reflected in her final report, which will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2016.

Ms. Hilal Elver (Turkey) was appointed Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food by the Human Rights Council in 2014. She is a Research Professor, and co-director of the Project on Global Climate Change, Human Security, and Democracy housed at the Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has a law degree, a Ph.D. from the University of Ankara Law School, and SJD from the UCLA Law School. She started her teaching career at the University of Ankara Faculty of Law. Learn more: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Food/Pages/FoodIndex.aspx

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Morocco: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/MENARegion/Pages/MAIndex.aspx

For more information and press inquiries, please contact Orlagh McCann (Geneva): +41 22 917 9578 (before and after the visit) / +41 079 109 6873 (mobile number in Morocco) / srfood@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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