A declaration emphasizing the need for greater convergence in the struggles for justice and rights of communities, particularly for land, water, forests, natural resources, livelihood and identity, was the outcome of a meeting of the Global Network for the Right to Food and Nutrition (GNRtFN), a three-day gathering in Nepal, 20-22 July, involving civil society organizations and social movements.

Dr Manoj Kurian, coordinator of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance and its Food for Life Campaign, attended, and EAA was re-elected as a member of the coordination committee for the network.

The EAA, an ecumenical initiative of the WCC, is a global network of churches and related organizations committed to campaigning together on common concerns for justice and human dignity. Current campaign issues are HIV and AIDS, food security and sustainable agriculture.

At a time when human rights, in particular those of the most marginalized, are being undermined by corporate interests, patriarchy, gender-based violence, and conflicts, meeting participants discussed the way forward to the full realization of adequate food and nutrition.

Inspired by the meeting’s host country, Nepal, which, though still recovering from the devastating earthquakes, recently began consultations toward a draft constitution that enshrines food sovereignty, the worldwide network concluded its third meeting with a public declaration.

Commenting on the outcomes of the meeting, Kurian said, “The need to prioritize a human rights approach is clear in the face of the impact of the current global model of development on communities.”

The network, officially launched in June 2013, was the result of a broad consultative process responding to the aggravation of the chronic world food crisis, including the persistence of gross violations of the right to food and the prevailing impunity of perpetrators.

The network is focused on joint struggle toward the full realization of the human right to adequate food and nutrition in the context of the indivisibility of human rights and people's sovereignty, which can be traced back to the preparation of the Civil Society Parallel Forum ahead of the World Food Summit in 1996.

With the declaration, network members and supporters pledge to mobilize themselves collectively to strengthen human rights accountability and human rights-based frameworks, from local to global. In addition, the declaration lists a series of commitments, including the support and protection of human rights defenders and advocacy for the end of all forms of discrimination, violence again women as well as corporate capture, the manipulation of governments and public institutions, in all its forms and across sectors.

Read full text of the GNRtFN declaration

More information: Global Network for the Right to Food and Nutrition

Website of the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance