March 2017

QUNO Food & Sustainability Programme Delivers Oral Statement at Human Rights Council

On March 8, 2017, the Clustered Interactive Dialogue (ID) on Sustainable Environment and on the Right to Food was held at the 34th session of the Human Rights Council. During the event, both the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment, Mr. John Knox, and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Ms. Hilal Elver, presented their findings.

QUNO’s Food & Sustainability Programme has been actively following UN Special Rapporteur Knox’ report on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. In particular, last fall, we have submitted a written contribution to highlight the important role of agricultural biodiversity and small-scale farmers for the enjoyment of human rights.

In an oral statement, delivered by Nora Meier, Programme Assistant for Food & Sustainability at the Interactive Dialogue, we commended Mr. Knox for his report and thanked him for recognizing the explicit connection between agricultural biodiversity and global food and nutrition security and the ability to adapt to climate change and other abiotic and biotic stressors. Furthermore, we highlighted that industrial agriculture is the largest driver of biodiversity loss and causing harm to the health of people and our planet. We ended our oral statement by asking Mr. Knox: “What action should States take separately and jointly to support the role of small-scale farmers in managing agricultural biodiversity in order to mitigate and prevent the negative impact on enjoyment of human rights arising from loss of biodiversity?”

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