Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Colloquium 2015

Colloquium Right To Food, Peace And Democracy

The Universal Exposition that will take place in Milan, Italy, in 2015, is focused on the theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”. This could be a significant chance to raise the level of international awareness on some issues of crucial importance: global food security, sustainable use of resources, land rights and access to food, promotion of human dignity and hunger reduction.

For this reason, from 17th to 19th September 2015, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, in cooperation with the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU) and the Congregation for Catholic Education, will host an international Colloquium in Milan on the theme “Right to Food, Peace and Democracy. Research and Education in an ethical perspective”.

The Right to food is akin to a fundamental human right, the right to life. Three main elements of the right to food are: availability, adequacy and accessibility of food. All human beings have a right to food that is available in sufficient quantity, nutritionally and culturally adequate, physically and economically accessible or have the means for its procurement.
There is a perception that democracy and peace are inextricably linked; that democracy leads to and causes peace; and that peace cannot be achieved in the absence of democracy. In the wake of devastation and war it is recognized that if human rights are not protected, peace is a hollow promise.
Therefore, a society where all citizens see their rights and freedoms recognized and respected will be a society of peace. Given this framework the right to adequate food is a legal reference instrument and provides legal standards for all measures and policies undertaken by each state to secure access to adequate food for everybody. It requires that the framework operates properly and that states implement their obligations under the right to adequate food and other human rights. The Rome Declaration of the World Food Summit in 1996 called for the number of the hungry to be halved by 2015.
Despite the incorporation of this agenda in the first Millennium Development Goal and the overall orientation of multilateral aid policies to achieve it, today more than 800 million people still  suffer from hunger, and many more from under nutrition and undernourishment. Many of these persons live in conflict areas, refugee camps, and internally displaced people camps, where even the basic human, social and political rights are often violated.
The right to food is about ensuring that all people have the capacity to feed themselves in dignity, hence we need to refocus on how to achieve the right to food, peace and democracy.
This approach has become a focus of interest not only for social movements, farmers’ organizations, pastoralists, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society organizations, and the Colloquium intends to learn and discuss about this urgent matter.
On the other side, we can’t think the right to food outside the frame of the right to information. Democratization of food is actually not only a matter of accessibility, but also of dissemination of information and increasing possibility of choice.
Being informed on the origin and quality of the food we consume, means safeguarding the right to food for every citizen in the world. And here, we face the big topic of the access to information, today challenged by economic, social and cultural inequalities, not to mention the economic reasons of the information market.
We could deduct the need of planning new ways for organizing a more equal distribution of information’s resources (hardware, web platforms, news agencies, technological literacy) in order to enforce global policies for the right to food.

To downlaod the programme click here for the leaflet click here