(Dr. krishan Bir Chaudhary)
Slow Food international organized the meet TERRA MADRE - 2010 in Turin (Italy) from 21 to 24th October 2010 and more then 5000 delegates participate from 154 countries. They believes that the development of sustainable food policies and the enactment of legislation in this sphere must be firmly rooted in a human rights based approach, which envisages the right to food as a predominant component.
The right to food can be defined as the right of every person to have regular, permanent and unrestricted access, either directly or by means of financial purchases, to quantitatively and qualitatively adequate and sufficient food corresponding to the cultural traditions of the people to which the consumer belongs, and which ensures a physical and mental, individual and collective, fulfilling and dignified life free of fear .
They embraces the foregoing definition and recognizes the corresponding obligations of states, which are called upon to respect, protect and fulfil the right to food and highlights the vital role of the concepts of food security and food sovereignty as guiding principles for all state action at the community, local, national, regional, and international level.
They firmly believes in the customary nature of the right to food under international law and urges states to ratify all relevant international and regional instruments and calls upon states to explicitly include the right to food in the national Constitution or analogous instruments thus imposing on all branches of the state on obligation to take measures to respect protect and fulfil the right to food.
They identifies and makes recommendations with regard to a number of areas requiring both legislative and policy interventions and urges States to improve access to the sustainable use and allocation of resources such as land ,water, labour and genetic resources among all segments of the population with no discrimination.
They urges states to shift the structuring measurement allocation and disbursement of subsidies from the current commodity- heavy and industrial agriculture focus to local small scale sustainable and/or organic community or family based farming and food harvesting.
Considering the negative effects trade liberalization may have on the enjoyment of the right to food, Terra Madre encourages states to work towards ending their dependence on international trade and to increase capacity to produce the food they need locally and nationally and urges states to regulate and monitor transnational corporations in order to limit their negative impact on the enjoyment of the right to food.
They urges international financial institutions to act in compliance with human rights principles and refrain from adopting any policy or program that violates or has negative repercussions on the right to food.
Terra Madre is persuaded that plant genetic resources constitute a common heritage they should not be subject to commercial patenting and should be shared among farmers worldwide. They acknowledges the vital role of farmers and indigenous communities and calls on states to recognize their rights. States must further ensure that the development of intellectual property rights regimes is compatible with and instrumental to the realization of the right to food.
(Editorial : Kisan Ki Awaaz Magazine)