Right to Food is recognized as a fundamental human rights by International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966 for which Nepal is state party. As per the international commitment, Nepal has ensured the right to food as a fundamental right in the Constitution of Nepal and accordingly initiated the process for making right to food act aiming right to food as enforceable right. At the same time Nepal also committed for ‘Zero Hunger’, SDG 2030 through endorsing Zero Hunger Challenge National Plan of Action (2015-2025), Agriculture Development Strategy (2015-2035), Food & Security Plan of Action 2013 etc. in line with ‘Voluntary Guidelines for the Right to Adequate Food (The RtF Guideline) and Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT)’, which creates obligation to Nepal government towards progressive realization of the right to food and nutrition of its citizens. Holding government accountable to its obligations as well as implement the commitments however has been a consistent challenge at all levels of government and in governance in many sectors in particular with regards to the Right to Adequate Food and Nutrition.
The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) will undergo a process of monitoring the Voluntary Guidelines for the Right to Adequate Food, to be presented during the 45th session in October 2018. With the unique role of the CFS as “the foremost inclusive international and intergovernmental platform, for a broad range of committed actors to work together in a coordinated manner and in support of country-led processes towards the elimination of hunger and the realization of the right to adequate food”, the CFS related monitoring events at national and regional levels are a unique opportunity. They create a national or regional space where various existing actors involved in monitoring related to food security and nutrition converge and dialogue, creating synergies for more accountability and better implementation of the Right to Food Guideline.
Thus, in order to contribute to the ‘Civil Society Report’ with regard to monitoring the of Right to Food Guidelines in Nepal, as an input to present in the Global Thematic Event of 45th Session of Committee on World Food Security (CFS) to monitor national implementation of RtF Guidelines, a national level interaction workshop on monitoring and assessment of the implementation of the RtF Guideline was organized in Kathmandu on 4 June 2018 jointly by FIAN Nepal and National Network for Right to Food. The workshop was chaired by Ms. Yogita Rai, Vice-Chairperson of FIAN Nepal and the Chief Guest was Dr. Sarba Raj Khadka, President of FIAN International. Biju Kumar Shrestha from National Planning Commission and Basudev Kafle, Under Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture, Land Management and Cooperation were the key speakers who shared the government initiatives to implement the RtF Guideline. Sabine Pabst, Asia Coordinator of FIAN International, was guest speakers who shared international perspectives of the implementation of the RtF Guideline. Both of the key speakers had highlighted that Nepal has been trying to domesticate RtF Guideline in the laws and policies during formulation and/or amendment process. However, the participants had strongly raised that the implementation and monitoring part is lacking from government side.
45 key stakeholders working at wider sector from governmental and Civil Society represented in the interaction workshop and had provided their key observations. The workshop had created a forum for CSOs and government representatives to share & discuss on current processes towards the implementation of the RtF Guideline in the domestic laws, policies, legislatives in favor of RtF vulnerable communities. Through the workshop, the key stakeholders were informed on the commitment of Nepal Government on right to food & nutrition including laws & policies requirements by which a CSO version assessment report on implementation and progress of RtF Guideline in Nepal will be prepared and submitted in 49th Session of CFS meeting. It is highly expected that due to similar kinds of information sessions will support the gradual development of implementation and monitoring of the guideline right to food in Nepal.
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