Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


United Nations Human Rights Council 16TH Session
Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food

Intervention by Australia
8 March 2010

Australia welcomes the report of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.

Australia is strongly committed to practical and effective action to improve global food security at local, national, regional and global level.

Australia advocates and implements a comprehensive approach in our efforts to improve global food security.

Australia provides emergency food aid assistance including through committing A$180 million over four years to the UN World Food Program. Australia has also provided increased development assistance for agriculture and rural development. Australia’s Official Development Assistance for rural development is forecast to total approximately A$1.8 billion over 2009-2015);

Australia is also committed to increasing investment in agricultural Research and Development, and providing increased support for the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, to improve agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability. Australia also provides support for appropriate economic and trade policies at the global, regional and national levels, together with good governance.

We concur with the recommendations in the Special Rapporteur’s report regarding the importance of good national agricultural policies, and the need to increase agricultural investment, focus on sustainable development, and improve access to markets.

We would like to further underline the central role of good economic and trade policies, and open and efficient food markets to ensuring food security. Taking a comprehensive approach is vital to reducing poverty and improving incomes, which is the key way to boost food purchasing power and improve food security. We would have welcomed an increased emphasis on this crucial aspect in the Special Rapporteur’s report.

Australia believes that on-going efforts to reform the global agriculture and food system are essential for building long term food security. Major distortions in global agriculture and food markets disadvantage developing countries, and reforms are necessary to help improve developing countries’ agricultural productivity, output, access to markets and incomes.

In this regard, a successful conclusion to the Doha Round of trade negotiations in 2011 is a vital step towards a better global agricultural and food system which will strengthen food security for all.