A complex issue going beyond agricultural production
“Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufﬁcient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs for an active and healthy life." Thus defined by the World Food Summit held from 13 to 17 November 1996, food security covers four dimensions:
• Availability of food products, thanks to sufficient agricultural production;
• Accessibility to food, with adequate livelihoods;
• Food quality, nutritious and safe;
• Stability of supply, to prevent food crises.
Food insecurity is not only an agricultural production problem, but also concerns food access and poverty alleviation. Food security is a global issue which cannot be ensured without the close cooperation of all stakeholders.
Food security and the right to food
The right to food is enshrined in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, which stipulates that “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, [...]”
It is different from the controversial concept of “food sovereignty”, which refers to States’ possibility of defining their agricultural policy, giving priority to local agricultural production and seeking fairer international agricultural trade. The right to food, detailed in FAO voluntary guidelines to support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security of 23 November 2004, is one of the tools helping to ensure food security. France supports the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food politically and ﬁnancially.
Updated in December 2010