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55th session of the Human Rights Council | Interactive Dialogue On High Commissioner Report

Statement by International Development Law Organization (IDLO)

Interactive Dialogue On High Commissioner Report On
“necessary Measures For Minimizing The Adverse Impact Of Climate Change On The Full Realization Of The Right To Food”
Geneva, 14 March 2024

Thank you, Mr. President.

The International Development Law Organization thanks the High Commissioner for his report.

Climate justice and the sustainable use of natural resources is one of IDLO’s strategic objectives, with strengthening food security and advancing the right to food being vital components of this work.

As the Secretary-General has acknowledged, climate change is a growing obstacle to the full and effective realization of the right to food. It increases competition over natural resources and heightens the risk of food insecurity.

Climate change and food security are intrinsically linked, often with compounding consequences. The good news is that human rights and rule of law-based solutions that enhance equitable, just and transparent food systems, such as strengthening the governance of land, water and other natural resources, can often reap benefits across the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

We offer three recommendations to strengthen prospects for climate action and the full realization of the right to food through the rule of law.

First, investing in people-centred laws and institutions can promote transformative climate action and strengthen food systems governance to realise a wide spectrum of goals under the Sustainable Development Agenda. Effective non-discriminatory laws, and justice systems, in accordance with human rights standards, can strengthen environmental rights protection, support regulatory frameworks for access to land and food, and increase institutional capacity to build resilience to the effects of the climate crisis.

Second, we must empower the most food insecure people to use human rights law and pathways to justice to realise their rights, notably the right to food and to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. Women and girls in particular face different and disproportionate challenges in realising their right to food due to gender-based forms of exclusion, marginalisation, and discrimination. Promoting gender equality and effectively ensuring the full enjoyment of human rights by women and girls, in line with CEDAW and other international human rights instruments, can strengthen their engagement in climate and environmental governance and ensure that related policies contribute to the progressive realization of their right to food.

And third, we echo the High Commissioner’s call for States to undertake reform measures to promote more equal land and resource rights, access, and ownership. Through our programming, research and policy advocacy, IDLO has worked to ensure greater recognition of diverse forms of land tenure, including customary rights to land and other resources, as an enabler of food security as well as climate adaptation and mitigation.