The hungry cannot wait

Linked with Claire Mahon – Australia & Switzerland, and with Jean Ziegler – Switzerland.

Published on Otago Daily Times, by Shane Gilchrist, 27 Jun 2009.

On April 6, a week after the United Nations General Assembly had gathered the world’s leading economists, trade and labour specialists in New York to discuss the global financial crisis, the same body reconvened to digest another important issue: food.

The meeting was held in the shadow of the G20 summit in London, an event which a few days earlier had brought together the leaders of the world’s most developed nations to address economic issues. 

The United Nations Thematic Dialogue on the Global Food Crisis and the Right to Food may not have garnered the same headlines, but there was no denying the strength of the plea by Miguel d’ Escoto, president of the General Assembly: “The hungry cannot wait till tomorrow” …

… Within her role in the Geneva project, Ms Mahon works as a legal adviser to Jean Ziegler, the former UN special rapporteur on the right to food and now a member of the UN Human Rights Council’s Advisory Committee, where he focuses on the right to food and other social and cultural issues.

“Mr Ziegler was invited to the Foreign Policy School because of the work he had been doing and the fact the global food crisis is something he, myself and the rest of our team have been working on.

When he was invited to do this, he turned to me – I normally do a lot of speaking engagements on his behalf because he’s a very busy man and can’t be everywhere at once – and, given I’m a New Zealander, I could bring an interesting perspective” …

… Matter of policy:

The three-day University of Otago Foreign Policy School, started yesterday and concludes tomorrow, at Salmond College, Dunedin.

Leading speakers include:
- Robert Watson, chief scientific adviser in the United Kingdom Department of Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs; former chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

- Prof Tim Lang, of the Centre for Food Policy, City University London, who is well known for popularising the concept of food miles.

- Prof Jules Pretty, of the University of Essex, a leading authority on the sustainability of agricultural production and the environmental impact of agricultural intensification.

- Claire Mahon, joint co-ordinator of the Project on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human rights. (full long 5 pages text).

Links:

Alter-globalization on wikipedia;

Category on wikipedia: Anti-globalization;

Category on wikipedia: Direct democracy.

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