Angola Expo Milano 2015

The Angolan Pavilion hosts session on the Right to Food

2 years ago

The Commissioner-General of Angola in Expo Milano 2015 and President of the Food Bank of Angola, Albina Assis Africano, hosted and opened an international forum on the right to food at the Angolan Pavilion.

Created in November 2012, the Food Bank of Angola was a strong motivation for the Angolan representative to join the cause not only but also moved by IDLO (International Organization of Law Development).

Albina Assis Africa expressed the interest of Angolans to contribute in this simple way to carry out a encounter, where benefits for the common interest of all mankind will accrue. With no mandate to speak on behalf of the Angolan government the president of the Food Bank of Angola estimated that the Angolan executive and parliamentarians would also express their commitment to the noble objectives proposed.


The right to food and the RESEARCH of IDLO (International Development Law Organization of) was a panel composed of: MAURIZIO MARTINA, Italian Minister of agricultural, forestry and environmental, HILAL ELVER, Special Rapporteur on the right to food of the Council for the UN Human Rights and LIVIA Pommodoro, Judge and President of the Milan Center for Law and Food Policy.

The Research of IDLO (International Organization Development Law) on the right to food, made with the support of the Irish Government, shows how “the most basic fundamental rights” in recent years have gone from conference rooms of international summits to the courts. Their work is divided into 3 parts:

  • An overview of the right to food in international law, including deriving regulations and obligations for States regarding the right to food regionally and nationally. From the Constitutions of South Africa, Mexico, Brazil and Belarus that claim universal protection of the right to food and the Colombian with references to children, there are many and diverse legal basis on which to found the affirmation and defense of the right to Food. The defense, in some countries, is in the hands of individual citizens as well as trade unions or other organizations, while in other countries it is only the citizen or alleged victims who have the assumed possibility of appealing in court;
  • a search of the main key factors that the legal world must face in promoting litigation processes on the right to food;
  • a list of cases, where the right to food was recognized in different countries, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay, Nigeria and Nepal (which a few days ago constitutionalized the right to food), offer many examples. The first and most important one is the complaint lodged in 2001 by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties against the Indian government.

The researchers therefor address the issue of “legalization” of the right to food, including the possibility of using law courts to judge if the right to food is violated or not. The constitutions of some countries – as mentioned above – in fact provide the justiciability of economic, social and cultural rights, for particular mechanisms of appeal when such rights are denied.

Yet, this does not happen everywhere: in many countries, the judiciary believes, on the one hand, either, that these rights are too “vague” and therefore difficult to sanction; or, it tends to avoid – in order to these rights – an intrusion into a sphere traditionally delegated to the legislature and, more generically to political representation.

The research shows that we are finally moving towards a change: the problem is no more the justiciability but the setting on how these rights should be established.

Open Issues:

The legal basis on which to base a complaint; the type of complaint; who can submit it – directly and / or on behalf of whom; what are the effects of the judgment; what kind of sanctions apply and how can they be effectively applied. But also, the consideration that recourse to justice and to their classrooms is only a means among others available because states have their responsibilities and commitments regarding the right to food.

Side statements:

Hilal Elver – UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food:

“The right to food is a real human right that nations should accept. The silence of Western nations must be fought; Also not all countries have an inclusive constitution for the right to food.

This is a change for all of us. It is also a matter of correct interpretation: the right to food is the right to life and human dignity. We have to turn the business idea of ​​feeding into a more ethical matter. For such, the contribution of civil society is essential.”

Maurizio Martina – Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food of Italy

“This event is a piece during the last few months. Last week, the presentation of the Letter of Milan in New York (at the UN) was a contribution to the Millennium Development Goals, a great achievement and a great commitment to the challenges to sustainable and inclusive food security.

We are facing a complex scenario: 800 million people are chronically hungry and the world population will grow to 9 billion by 2050.

One should preserve natural resources from a regulatory point of view. Sustainability should be a benchmark for private companies. The urgency is to control food waste, which is 1/3 of the food production with a value of 750 billion dollars.

There need to be careful and effective public policies. Italy may be a model, for example, with the recovery and care of the needy. The Charter of Milan is a commitment for governments and citizens.

The Milan Center for Food Policy and Law is a central project and a starting point to fight hunger and malnutrition and to establish the right to food as a universal right.