Right to food: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Michael Fakhri (A/HRC/46/33)

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Human Rights Council
Forty-sixth session
22 February–19 March 2021
Agenda item 3
Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil,
political, economic, social and cultural rights,
including the right to development


In the present report, submitted to the Human Rights Council pursuant to Council resolution 43/11, the newly appointed Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Michael Fakhri, provides an outline of the direction that he intends to take during his tenure, including his vision of the areas of concern and priority issues that will inform his future thematic reports.

I. Introduction

  1. In his first report to the Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Michael Fakhri, provides his vision of the thematic concerns and priority issues for the duration of his mandate. The Special Rapporteur assumed his functions on 1 May 2020 and submitted his first report, addressing the right to food in the context of international trade law and policy (A/75/219), to the General Assembly in July 2020. In that report, the Special Rapporteur blended human rights and trade policy perspectives to provide an institutional map and new principles that can guide Member States, United Nations entities and civil society to ensure that the world’s trade regime is geared towards fulfilling the right to food. The Special Rapporteur shared his findings at the High-Level Special Event on Global Governance of Food Security and Nutrition, organized by the Committee on World Food Security from 13 to 15 October 2020. The Special Rapporteur also presented his recommendations to the World Trade Organization (WTO) at a high-level symposium on 2 December 2020 and will continue to follow trade as a thematic area throughout his mandate.

  2. Based on scores of formal and informal consultations with States, United Nations agencies, civil society organizations, private sector representatives, academics and other stakeholders, as well as information and reports received, the Special Rapporteur has decided to focus on four thematic areas: the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and the hunger crisis; food systems and global governance; seeds and farmers’ rights; and the right to food in armed conflict and protracted crises.

  3. While the present report describes the Special Rapporteur’s vision for the mandate, due to the acute nature of the pandemic, he has included some recommendations on how to fulfil people’s right to food despite COVID-19.