international food security treaty    International Food Security Treaty

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The Treaty

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Recognizing the commitments and obligations already contained in international law concerning human rights, humanitarian assistance, food aid and trade, state parties agree to enhance international human rights concerning food through the following provisions:

I. SUBSTANTIVE PROVISIONS

A. Fundamental Principles

1. Food is a unique human resource. Everyone has the fundamental right to be free from hunger.

2. Access to food with dignity is a basic condition for the physical, psychological and spiritual well-being and survival of the human species.

3. Free market structures are not sufficient to assure global food security; basic guarantees of individual access to food are needed. International cooperation and assistance may be necessary in order to implement such access in Low Income Food Deficit countries.

4. International initiatives which enhance global food security will significantly contribute to international peace and security and the reduction of civil unrest and strife.

5. Food may never be used as a weapon to gain political or military advantage either within a state or as an instrument of foreign policy.

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B. State Obligations

6. States have an obligation to respect, protect, and fulfill the right to access to food and safe water for minimum nutritional requirements of all people, without discrimination, within their borders who are unable to gain such access on their own.

7. States shall recognize the special nutritional needs of infants, preschool children, and pregnant and nursing mothers.

8. States agree to continue bilateral and multilateral emergency food aid, to insure effective delivery systems are in place for such aid when it is required, and to establish a world food reserve and resource center and to contribute to such institutions to the best of their ability.

9. Each state shall establish and enforce law prohibiting activities denying or intending to deny access to basic minimum nutritional requirements to any person within its borders.

10. In the event of a conflict between international obligations pertaining to any matter and obligations contained in this Treaty, states agree that the latter shall prevail.

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II. IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT PROVISIONS

11. Every state shall undertake to legislate measures to bring the obligations contained in this Treaty into effect as soon as possible and in any event no later than three years after the coming into force of this agreement. National legislation to insure access to food shall provide individuals access to state structures, such as administrative tribunals and courts, to enforce the rights contained in the legislation.

12. Within three years of the coming into force of this Treaty and every three years after the initial filing, every state shall file a report with the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of the United Nations, indicating the steps it has taken, is taking, and will take in the next three-year period to give effect to the provisions of this agreement.

13. Individuals who have exhausted all available national remedies to enforce rights to food security may communicate with the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of the United Nations, outlining the nature of the right infringed and the action of a state in resolving the matter.

14. Non-governmental organizations may communicate with the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of the United Nations, outlining any state party's consistent failure to protect the rights recognized by this Treaty.

15. Each year the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of the United Nations shall issue a report in three parts to the United Nations General Assembly. Part I shall contain summaries of each state report filed under Article 12; Part II shall contain summaries of individuals' communications filed under Article 13; and Part III shall contain summaries of non-governmental communications filed under Article 14.

16. Each state party shall observe and participate in United Nations food security actions to enforce laws referred to in Article 9 in nations whose governments are unable to enforce such law on their own, or who are found unwilling to do so through investigations sanctioned by the United Nations.

17. This Treaty shall come into force upon the deposit of the twentieth ratification of a state party.

18. No reservations, modifications or interpretations of this Treaty are permitted.

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