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175th Session of the FAO Council

Statement by International Development Law Organization (IDLO), delivered by IDLO Director of External Relations and Partnerships

Rome, 12 June 2024


It is a pleasure to address the 175th Session of FAO Council on behalf of the International Development Law Organization.

For the past 40 years, our mission at IDLO has focused on advancing the rule of law as an enabler of peace and sustainable development and IDLO has done so in over 90 countries across the globe.

In the Global food security challenges and its drivers, the FAO identified violent conflicts, climate change, and economic setbacks, along with rising poverty and inequalities, as the main drivers of food insecurity. These challenges have intensified in recent years and are mutually reinforcing.

The acute food security crisis continues to push us off track from meeting the SDG 2 targets. It poses threats to human rights, development, and peace, endangering the world’s ability to produce and distribute adequate food for all.

Through IDLO’s integrated research, programming, and policy advocacy, we have witnessed the transformative power of the rule of law in advancing food systems transformation that is fair, equitable, and inclusive, and can contribute to climate justice and conflict prevention.

Based on IDLO’s experience, the key rule of law solutions lie in (i) strong legal frameworks; (ii) empowerment; and (iii) governance over natural resources.

Let me elaborate further on these solutions.

First, we must work with governments to create sound and non-discriminatory legal and regulatory frameworks and build the capacity of institutions to implement them. This involves enhancing transparency and accountability and enabling inclusive decision-making to transform food systems while aligning our goals with human rights and sustainable development agendas.

Second, we must empower the most food-insecure people. Women and girls, youth, indigenous peoples, smallholder farmers, and migrants should be able to engage with duty bearers and justice systems to claim their rights, including the right to food.

Lastly, we must improve and safeguard equitable access to land, water, and other natural resources. Inclusive and participatory governance arrangements should protect diverse forms of tenure, including traditional and customary, which, combined with local dispute resolution, can significantly reduce climate-related threats to food security, prevent conflicts over resources and foster sustainable development.

At IDLO, we are committed to working with you towards our shared objective of a sustainable and food secure world.