UNITED NATIONS, April 6 (Xinhua) -- UN General Assembly President Miguel D'escoto Brockmann called here Monday for "a new politics of food" to fight against the global food crisis which has left some one billion people worldwide near the brink of starvation.
"It is time for a new politics of food, one that starts from the bottom up, not the top down," said d'Escoto, in an address to a General Assembly thematic dialogue on the global food crisis held Monday in the UN headquarters.
The full-day debate grouped economists, agro-ecologists, human rights specialists and other experts to discuss necessary changes in the world's agricultural production from the perspective of the right to food, as the food crisis among the world's poorest continues.
"We need to have an approach to food production that is multi-functional, that has a concern for the poor and their right to food; a concern for the earth and its right to life; a concern for communities and their right to self-governance, what is referred to as food sovereignty," d'Escoto said.
Calling the global food crisis "not independent or separate" from the converging crises including climate change, financial crisis, energy crisis, d'Escoto said these crises are rather "converge, interact, fuel and aggravate each other." According to UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food Olivier de Schutter, one billion people are hungry and every six seconds a child dies of malnutrition.
"The global food crisis is far from being abated. On the contrary, price volatility and climate-related events will inevitably exacerbate the situation in 2009, with the poor hit hardest," de Schutter said.
He called for a redesign of food production and trade to ensure that it serves development, the right to food and the plight of agricultural workers.
The current methods of food production "are no longer sustainable, and people must change from industrial to agro-ecological methods," d'Escoto said, citing a report released by the International Assessment of Agriculture Science and Technologyin Development.
Agreeing with the Special Rapporteur, the president asked an end to "the dominance of industrialized food corporations," calling for people-oriented food systems at the local, regional and international levels.
Monday's General Assembly discussion follows the Madrid High-Level Meeting on Food Security for All, held on January 26 and 27,in which Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the right to food "a basis for analysis, action and accountability" in dealing with the food crisis.