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EU at the UN

The EU's commitment to effective multilateralism, with the UN at its core, is a central element of its external action. As a UN observer with enhanced status, the EU delegation coordinates with its 28 Member States to speak with one voice. The EU also works closely with the UN secretariat and its agencies, funds & programmes, partnering on a range of global issues and challenges.

25 October 2016, New York – European Union Intervention at the United Nations 71st General Assembly: Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Ms. Hilal Elver

Madame Chair,

I have the honor of speaking on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

The EU wishes to welcome the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Ms Hilal Elver, and thank her for the presentation of an insightful report and for today’s presentation. The EU continues to fully support her important mandate and relevant work.

Ours is a time of contradictions, where hunger and deprivation coexist with great abundance.

Despite enormous progress in agricultural production, the number of people whose right to food remains unrealized has hardly been reduced. In a world where enough food is grown and increasingly wasted,  793 million people remain chronically undernourished, 159 million children under 5 years of age suffer from stunted growth, approximately 50 million children under 5 years of age suffer from wasting and over 2 billion people are affected by micronutrient deficiencies.

At the same time, both malnutrition and obesity disproportionately affect the poor and the socially excluded. Obesity is growing in all regions of the world, with more than 1.9 billion overweight adults, of whom over 600 million are obese.

The United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition, together with the implementation of the 2030 Agenda provide tremendous opportunities to mobilize action in order to eradicate hunger, prevent malnutrition, and improve nutrition education and awareness.

Madame Special Rapporteur,

– In your report, you highlight the way in which underlying causes of malnutrition interrelate with other human rights and socioeconomic factors, such as poverty, gender inequality, social exclusion, lack or poor access to water and sanitation, education or health. Could you please elaborate further on concrete policy measures that States could adopt in order to implement a human rights based approach to combating malnutrition at national level? How can State policies in this area target specifically vulnerable groups such as unemployed and low income families, children, rural women, older persons, migrants or refugees?

– Climate change is further exacerbating the threat of malnutrition and challenging coping strategies of vulnerable populations. It is likely to negatively impact global food security, sustainable development and our collective efforts to eradicate poverty. In your opinion how could food and nutrition policies better reflect and adapt to the impacts of climate change with a view to improve the resilience and sustainability of food systems and ensure a more equitable distribution of food resources?

Thank you.

  • Ref: EUUN16-153EN
  • EU source: European Union
  • UN forum: Third Committee - Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee
  • Date: 25/10/2016

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