At last year’s World Food Day, UN Secretary General António Guterres announced that he would convene a UN Food Systems Summit in the fall of 2021. Little did anyone know that the stakes would become so acute so fast. The COVID-19 pandemic has quickly become a hunger crisis. At this moment of upheaval, what gets decided in the next few years will determine the path for global food governance for decades to come. Guterres‘s goal is to host an event that will push the world to transform food systems with a particular emphasis on eliminating hunger and malnutrition. But to over 500 peasant-led social movements, food worker unions, and human rights activists, the UN Secretary General’s call reflected an attempt by the private sector to take over global food politics. These claims were not unfounded
The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food will discuss the different visions surrounding food systems: namely agroecology versus “sustainable intensive agriculture” and the international political landscape around those visions. He will describe the unfortunately marginal role that human rights have played during the Summit preparation so far. And he will outline why he thinks people at the Oxford Real Farming Conference can make a difference and how they may use their collective power to change the world’s food systems.
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