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Report submitted by the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter (A/HRC/19/59)

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Summary

In the present report, submitted to the Human Rights Council in accordance with Council resolution 13/4, the Special Rapporteur on the right to food addresses the links between health and malnutrition. In the report, he shows why undernutrition, micronutrient deficiency and overnutrition are different dimensions of malnutrition that must be addressed together through a life-course approach. Existing food systems have failed to address hunger, and at the same time encourage diets that are a source of overweight and obesity that cause even more deaths worldwide than does underweight. A transition towards sustainable diets will succeed only by supporting diverse farming systems that ensure that adequate diets are accessible to all, that simultaneously support the livelihoods of poor farmers and that are ecologically sustainable. Women, the principal caregivers of young children, must be enabled to make informed and autonomous decisions about food and feeding so that young children can enjoy the right to a level of nutrition that supports adequate growth, health and development. The adoption of a human rights framework can serve to ensure that short-term answers do not preclude the chances of identifying long-term solutions.