Organisation Internationale de Droit du Développement

43rd session of the FAO Conference

Statement by International Development Law Organization (IDLO), delivered by IDLO Director of Programmes, Franco Sanchez-Hidalgo

43rd session of the FAO Conference
Review of the State of Food and Agriculture

Rome, 5 July 2023


Dear Director- General Qu Dongyu, on behalf of. Ms. Jan Beagle, Director General of the International Development Law Organization, who regrets that she is not in Rome today, warmest congratulations on your re-election.

All of us at IDLO look forward to continuing our fruitful cooperation with FAO to advance rule of law solutions for food security, gender equality, governance of land and natural resources, and climate justice.

At this challenging moment marked by intersecting crises that disproportionally affect the most vulnerable across the globe, the significance of mutual collaboration and solidarity cannot be overstated. Embracing cross-cutting, whole-of-system, and whole-of-society approaches is vital.

IDLO’s mandate is to promote the rule of law to advance peace and sustainable development. By applying a rule-of-law and justice lens to development challenges, we strive to enhance food security, promote non-discriminatory access to food, embed a gender perspective into food policies, and strengthen the legal basis for the right to food.

The correlation between the rule of law and food security is evident on a global scale. Countries facing crises, where the rule of law has broken down, tend to have high levels of food insecurity. This is particularly true for conflict-affected and displaced populations.

Recent events have underlined the interconnectedness of all seventeen Sustainable Development Goals, making it clear that collaborative and multistakeholder approaches are required.

Violent conflict, the economic shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the effect of climate change contribute to increasing inequalities and are key drivers of intensifying levels of food insecurity and water scarcity.

Rule of law principles can support efforts to improve food systems and water governance, ensuring equal access to natural resources.

By implementing bottom-up and top-down approaches, we should work on strengthening sound legal frameworks, building capacities of institutions, and empowering communities.

IDLO’s partnership with FAO on legal and regulatory measures for promoting food security for marginalized and vulnerable groups affected by health restrictions during COVID-19 is an example of how we can combine our expertise to address the complex challenges of today.

In this context, we look forward to maintaining close collaboration with FAO, and all our members and partners, as we work towards the sustainable transformation of food systems, based on the principles of justice, human rights, and the rule of law.