‘Human Rights’ is a universal phenomenon therefore Right to food has to be seen from international perspectives, and as it is recognized on international level expressly in many documents/ instruments quite early.
The UDHR provides under Article 25 paragraph (1) that, everyone has the right to standard of living adequate for the health and well being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. It is expressly provided first time on international level. The right is not absolute; it is an aspect of Right to health, right to livelihood. Persons are entitled only in above-mentioned circumstances.
Article 11 paragraph (2) of the covenant recognized the right of everyone to be free from hunger as a fundamental right.The paragraph (2) of the same article also provides measure to be adopted individually or collectively by states to achieve above-mentioned object. In particular to improve methods of production, conservation and distribution of food by making full use of technical and scientific knowledge, by disseminating knowledge of the principles of nutrition and by developing or reforming agrarian system in such a way so as to achieve the most efficient development and utilization of natural resources. Further to ensure on equitable distribution of world food supplies in relation to need by taking into account the problems of both food importing and food exporting countries.
UN World Food Conference: 1974
It was convened at Rome from 5th to 6th November1974. In that Conference 22 resolutions were adopted and Universal Declaration on the Eradication of Hunger and Malnutrition was also made. In the preamble of the Declaration it was stated that gravity of problem is more in developing countries. The object was enunciated as elimination of hunger and malnutrition. The causes had been mentioned and also their historical circumstances, especially social inequalities, including in many cases alien and colonial domination, foreign occupation, racial discrimination, apartheid and neo-colonialism in all its forms which continue to be among the greatest obstacles to the full emancipation and progress of the developing countries and all the people involved.
Three Propositions made:
1. Equal right of all persons
2. Adequate resources
3. A common problem in all countries
Food and Agriculture Organization:
One of the objects of FAO of the United Nations is the elimination of hunger and malnutrition and to attain this object FAO has started following actions for ensuring food security:
• International undertaking on world food security of 1974.
• The plan of action on world security of 1979.
• The agenda for consultations and possible action to deal with acute and large-scale food shortages 1981.
• The world food security compact of 1985.
These all are instances of international agreements. These agreements have been entered upon by different states to achieve above purpose laid down.
World Food Programme
It is a joint programme of the United Nations and FAO. Initially it was designed on experimental basis for three years, but later on in 1965 its term was extended and it was made operational continuously for as long as multilateral food aid remained feasible and desirable. The aim of WFP is to provide food aid to support development projects and to meet emergency needs. The Economic Council and the General Assembly review the operation of the programme annually.
Beijing Declaration of the World Food Council
The World Food Council adopted the Beijing Declaration in June 1987. The member states have resolved to join together and in our united strength and interest to eliminate the scourge of hunger forever. The World Food Day is observed on 16th October every year, it was decided by FAO in the year 1979 unanimously.