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Law as Catalyst in the Eradication of Hunger 

Bread for the World Institute, an affiliate of the Bread for the World anti-hunger lobbying organization in the USA, published “Law as Catalyst in the Eradication of Hunger,” in its publication Hunger 2000 - The Tenth Annual Report on the State of World Hunger: A Program to End Hunger.  The article, by IFST Association Director John Teton, was written in response to the organization’s request for a blueprint laying out how the IFST, as a proposal for a binding international agreement to end world hunger, could evolve over time from concept to fully realized policy and practice. It included the following chart illustrating the five phases of this evolution (revised for this website in May 2019):

The Five Phases of IFST Evolution


Design by Justin Mikkelsen Photography & Design

The chart takes into account the unpredictability of time spans that required to accomplish each phase by showing two timelines representing slower and faster rates of progress the Treaty might achieve in each of the following stages:

Phase 1: Concept Development and Validation (12 years)
Phase 1 focused on constructing and circulating the IFST Principles, gathering a critical mass of expert opinion, drafting the principles into Treaty form, and organizing a network of supporters among leading figures in the United Nations, anti-hunger organizations, religious and political leaders, and grassroots volunteers.

Phase 2: Proposal to the United Nations (16-17 years)
The IFST must be formally brought to the table that counts in treaty-making: the global community of national governments. Formal sponsorship will be established by one or more governments and/or by an intergovernmental organization like the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization, and debate begun within the United Nations.

Phase 3: Initial Ratifications (2-4 years)
The IFST would come into force when twenty governments have ratified it. Once the first few nations have ratified the Treaty, expanding their number to twenty could prove a relatively easy matter.

Phase 4: Early Treaty Era (3 years)
Within three years after coming into force, individual nations must: (1) establish their own laws criminalizing the use of hunger as a weapon and insuring access to food for those unable to obtain it on their own; (2) participate in the functioning of the world food reserve and resource center; (3) file the first round of triennial reports to the United Nations on their progress and plans to implement the IFST, and (4) support any food security monitoring or enforcement actions proven necessary within the United Nations. At the same time, governments, organizations, and individuals will continue urging all nations to support the Treaty.

Phase 5: Campaign for Universal Ratification (10-20 years)
In order for the human right to be free from hunger to be fully protected, all remaining countries must be persuaded to sign and support the Treaty.

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