Human Rights and World Trade: Hunger in International Society

By Ana Gonzalez-Pelaez | Go to book overview

3

Basic rights in international society

The right to food

This chapter expands on the previous one by studying the practical implications of basic rights in international society, specifically through the problem of hunger and, therefore, the right to food. This investigation uses international society as the framework of analysis and is structured around the international trade-poverty-hunger triad established in Chapter 1. The assessment of these three interrelated areas contributes to the final conclusions on the viability of Vincent's basic rights project in international society. This chapter, therefore, describes what international society has done, or has committed itself to do, regarding international trade, poverty and hunger. Analysis of the practical side of what international society is doing to deal with hunger will be provided in Chapter 4.

The first section examines the commitments embraced by states at the World Food Summit in 1996 and its evolution. The second focuses on summits dealing with the international dimension of poverty and the commitments signed by states. The third looks at international trade and, in particular, the agricultural policies established in the Doha Declaration.

The chapter concludes by analysing how legally binding these agreements are in international society and offers a critical assessment of the level of commitment implicit in them.


The World Food Summit and plan of action

The World Food Summit was held in 1996 in Rome, with the participation of heads of state and high-level representatives from 185 countries and the European Union at the invitation of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. It was a response to the continued existence of widespread undernutrition and a re-evaluation of the two previous international meetings on food issues held in 1974 and 1992. The first, the World Food Conference, was crucial to establishing the priority of the right to food in the international context. This event took place in the political context of the New International Economic Order (examined in Chapter 2). Governments attending the conference had proclaimed that 'every man, woman and child has the inalienable right to be free from

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Human Rights and World Trade: Hunger in International Society
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Tables ix
  • Series Editor's Preface x
  • Acknowledgements xiii
  • Abbreviations xv
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - The Problem of Hunger 6
  • 2 - Basic Human Rights 32
  • 3 - Basic Rights in International Society 53
  • 4 - International Trade and the Options for Eradicating Hunger 78
  • 5 - Can International Society Eliminate Hunger? 115
  • 6 - Conclusion 134
  • Notes 143
  • Bibliography 145
  • Index 168
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