On November 19th and 20th, the Arab Network for Food Sovereignty and the Arab Group for the Protection of Nature met with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Michael Fakhri.
The meeting on the 19th, discussed food security and food sovereignty in Lebanon. Fakhri spoke on ways he might be able to intervene in the situation in his capacity as special rapporteur. Razan Zuayter represented ANFS, and Mariam and Hassan al-Jaajaa represented APN, while including Professor Rami Zurayk, Director of the Food Security Program in the Agriculture and Food Sciences department at the American University of Beirut.
The second meeting, which was attended by around 50 experts and representatives from a wide range of agricultural organizations, discussed the priorities of the UN special rapporteur for the next three years. These priorities included the international management of food systems, farmers' rights and access to seeds, and addressing the challenges to food security posed by conflict and war.
Zuayter and Mariam al-Jaajaa spoke on the relevant experiences of ANFS and APN in these field and outlined challenges they have witnessed to the implementation of the CFS Framework for Action on Food Security in Protracted Crises. They also spoke on the lack of accountability for violators of international human rights laws and conventions that deal with the "right to food" in conflict areas. Zuayter and al-Jaajaa pointed to the reality that more powerful countries are able to bypass the application of these laws and turn a blind eye to areas exposed to occupation, siege or conflict.