Exchanging Experiences, Expanding Opportunities

Food as a commodity, human right or common good? Implications for hunger eradication

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 18:30 to 22:00

The way we approach hunger eradication depends on how we see food, which has multidimensional meanings for human societies. Three competing paradigms currently influence the global food system:


> food and nutrition security, which considers hunger a human need that must be satisfied;

> the right to food, a fully-fledged human right that states have the obligation to protect, respect and fulfill;

> food sovereignty which sees food as a commons, not as a mere commodity, and goes well beyond human needs or human rights, incorporating the cultural dimension too.


The food sovereignty paradigm is making remarkable progress in the fight against hunger in Latin America, boosted by major achievements in legal frameworks concerning the right to food. However, neither approach seems to be favoured by major parts of the developmental mainstream, as is apparent in the ongoing debates on the post-2105 agenda.


Organizer :
  • UN, UNRISD Seminar Series