UN Chief Urges Massive Investment in Human Right to Food

by Ella

In an address to the UN-backed body meeting in Rome, Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted the pressing issue of global food security, emphasizing the need for a substantial investment in the human right to food. Guterres described the meeting as occurring “at a moment of crisis for global food security” and presented alarming statistics, underscoring the severity of the problem.

Guterres stated, “Last year, 735 million people went hungry. More than 3 billion cannot afford a healthy diet,” while noting that the world is regressing in its pursuit of the goal of achieving zero hunger by 2030. He stressed that hunger and malnutrition are not mere issues but human rights violations “on an epic scale,” painting a stark picture of the devastating consequences of this ongoing crisis.


The Secretary-General went on to say that when nutritious food becomes inaccessible due to factors like cost or geography, when individuals waste away due to hunger, or when parents are forced to watch their children suffer and even perish due to a lack of food, it constitutes nothing less than “a human tragedy – a moral catastrophe – and a global outrage.”


Guterres asserted that the world possesses the necessary resources to address this crisis, stating, “There is more than enough food to go around. And more than enough resources to ensure that every person on the planet has enough to eat.” He emphasized the role of governments in ensuring access to nutritious food, pointing out that although they bear the responsibility to provide it, many governments lack the necessary resources to do so.


António Guterres called for effective international solidarity to reshape food systems for all individuals. He stressed that this requires substantial investment, innovation, science, and technology to build “sustainable food systems in harmony with nature and addressing the climate crisis.”


Guterres praised the work of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), which includes staff from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP), highlighting its significance in finding solutions. He commended the committee’s critical work, ranging from reimagining agrifood systems to enhancing the collection and use of data, as well as ensuring that the needs of women and girls are at the core of their efforts.

The Secretary-General made an impassioned plea to prioritize the fundamental human right to food, urging the world to provide the necessary investment and urgent action it deserves.

Established in 1974, the Committee on World Food Security was reformed in 2009 to become an inclusive international and intergovernmental platform tasked with ensuring food security and nutrition for all.



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