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GENERAL ASSEMBLY BACKGROUND GUIDE

PREPARED BY: Mr. BRICENO Cesar Chair, General Assembly Plenary Meeting Rome Model UN 2013; AND Mr. INFANTE Francisco Director, General Assembly Plenary Meeting Rome Model UN 2013

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Contents
GENERAL ASSEMBLY ........................................................................................................................................................... 1 BACKGROUND GUIDE ......................................................................................................................................................... 1 Presentation of chairperson and director of general assembly-rOMEmun ....................................................................... 4 Chair - CESAR EDUARDO BRICENO ATENCIO .................................................................................................................. 4 Director - FRANCESCO INFANTE ..................................................................................................................................... 4 Agenda Topic A ................................................................................................................................................................... 8 Target 1.a + 1.b - Poverty issue (ref. 2.a - Schooling) ..................................................................................................... 8 Introduction ................................................................................................................................................................ 8 Reevaluating the World Crisis Possible Solutions ........................................................................................................... 9 Follow-up to the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed .......................................................... 9 World Poverty Statistics........................................................................................................................................... 14 Most Affected Areas ................................................................................................................................................. 15 Poverty Measures .................................................................................................................................................... 17 Understating poverty ................................................................................................................................................ 17 Definitions................................................................................................................................................................. 19 Current Situation ...................................................................................................................................................... 20 Background and Conceivable Policies....................................................................................................................... 21 AGENDA TOPIC B: ........................................................................................................................................................ 24 MDG TARGET 1.C HALVING HUNGER .............................................................................................................. 24 Introduction .............................................................................................................................................................. 24 Topic History ............................................................................................................................................................. 26 Meager beginnings ................................................................................................................................................... 27 A Stronger Focus ....................................................................................................................................................... 28 The New Millennium ................................................................................................................................................ 29 Latest Developments................................................................................................................................................ 30 Discussion of the Problem ........................................................................................................................................ 30 Particular Issues and Statistics ................................................................................................................................ 33

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Obstacles .................................................................................................................................................................. 35 The Future................................................................................................................................................................. 36 Potential Economic and Social Improvements ......................................................................................................... 37 Potential Political and Diplomatic Improvements .................................................................................................... 39 Bibliography & Further Reading ....................................................................................................................................... 41

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PRESENTATION OF CHAIRPERSON AND DIRECTOR OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY-ROMEMUN

CHAIR - CESAR EDUARDO BRICENO ATENCIO- CHAIR_GA@ROMEMUN.ORG

Csar Eduardo Briceno Atencio has worked since very young age with a large number of Nongovernmental organizations, and he is deeply committed with the United Nation development programs for youth, specifically in his country of origin, Venezuela, where he has participated in several different Models of United Nations, obtaining remarkable results in each edition. Cesar Briceno has been pursuing a humanitarian career, having studied Human Rights defense and instruction, and political sciences. He is continuously looking to broad his horizons as to the international cooperation and development field refers, ethical volunteering could sum up what he considers of himself.

DIRECTOR - FRANCESCO INFANTE- DIRECTOR_GA@ROMEMUN.ORG

Hello, I'm Francisco Infante and I will be directing the General Assembly in RomeMUN 2013. I am a fourth year student at John Cabot University in Rome, where I study Political Science. Ive participated in Model United Nations conferences since I was 17 years old, enjoying the experience since secondary school. Having lived in several different countries, and now residing in Italy, I have come to appreciate different cultures, which in turns stimulated an interest in politics and history. I believe that MUN is a great exercise through which to approach both current and past problems, and through which to explore and develop potential solutions to these issues. The theme of RomeMUN 2013, Making 2015 possible is of crucial importance to the world, and will

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directly impact our immediate future. I therefore hope to see all of you in March and work together to have a great and enjoyable General Assembly.

VERY IMPORTANT: PLEASE REMIND THAT EACH COUNTRY HAS TO PRESENT A COPY OF THE POSITION PAPER ABOUT THE TWO AGENDA TOPICS OF THIS COMMITTEE BY MARCH 1ST , EMAILING IT AS ATTACHMENT IN WORD FORMAT TO position_paper@romemun.org ALL THE INDICATIONS ABOUT HOW TO PREPARE A POSITION PAPER IS NOT IN THIS GUIDE BUT IN THE DELEGATE GUIDE (AVAILABLE ON ROMEMUN FORUM)

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COUNTRIES REPRESENTED IN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ROMEMUN 2013 EDITION Afghanistan Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Brazil Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Central African Republic Chad Chile China Colombia Comoros Congo (Republic of the) Costa Rica Cte dIvoire Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic

Honduras HOLY SEE Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao Peoples Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Mauritania Mauritius Mexico Micronesia (Federated States of) Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Morocco Mozambique Myanmar

Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa SOUTH SUDAN Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Swaziland Switzerland Sweden Syria Tajikistan Thailand The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Timor Leste Togo Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United of Republic of Tanzania United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela Viet Nam

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Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Democratic Republic of the Congo Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Fiji Finland France Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Greece Grenada Guatemala Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Poland Portugal Qatar Republic of Korea Republic of Moldova Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe

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AGENDA TOPIC A
TARGET 1.A + 1.B - POVERTY ISSUE (REF. 2.A - SCHOOLING)

Halve the proportion of people whose income is less than 1$ per day Full employment for all

Poverty

is the worst form of violence.

-Mahatma Gandhi.

INTRODUCTION

Before even intending to approach this vast subject, it is necessary to redefine the real concepts that have been globally accepted, therefore legitimated, of poverty. It is imperative to analyze its direct consequences all over the world, which may be as multiple as the causes of this terrible condition that constraint many of the worlds policy makers including the nongovernmental actors- from reaching an equilibrated development in many of the affected areas, such as the labor market accessibility and the permanent reduction of financial opportunities. It is thus time to consider some of the new responses, regarding the world economic crisis consequences, to help the most undeveloped areas face these critical consequences. Some of these efforts will focus on the induction of communities for an assisted self-improving process, sustainable alternatives for increasing occupation levels and local projects of micro-scale economy markets.

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Examining thoroughly the recent data on the detailed school desertion index1 as well as the decreasingly pattern of access to higher instruction programs2, it is noticeable all the effects of poverty on the education system, which translates into a very disorientated future, meaning informal employment, hence completing a dangerous vicious circle that is no longer endogenic to the worldwide reality.

REEVALUATING THE WORLD CRISIS POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS


Investment in early childhood has immense benefits; nobody doubts that a bettereducated workforce is more likely to enjoy higher earnings. But education by itself is a necessary insufficient antipoverty tool. It is necessary to provide an economic context wherein they can realize the economic returns from their improved human capital. Over the past few decades, the set of institutions and norms that historically maintained the link between skills and incomes have been diminished, particularly for non-college-educated workers. Restoring their strength and status is essential if we want the poor to reap the benefits they deserve from educational advancement.

FOLLOW-UP TO THE FOURTH UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON THE LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES

The General Assembly has sustained a rich debate regarding this subject over the past 10 years, according to the importance that represents every item of the United Nations Millennium Campaign, started in 2002. Keeping track of the reports, resolutions and potential solutions presented during all previous summits of the committee, including its ordinary and extraordinary
1 2

http://www.unesco.org/new/en/education/worldwide/education-regions/ It makes reference to university degrees, professional preparation or technic programs, among others.

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meetings to follow the project progress3. It seems vital then taking into consideration all related decisions addressing this subject, emphasizing on those that refer specially to the countries in which the poverty levels are very critical and affect larger areas of the population. In this sense, it is imperative to observe some of the historical UN background, which gave place to the implementation of the Millennium Goals plan: At its fifty-second session, in 1997, the General Assembly decided to convene the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries in 2001 (resolution 52/187). At its resumed fifty-fifth session, in July 2001, the General Assembly endorsed the Brussels Declaration and the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010, adopted by the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, held in Brussels from 14 to 20 May 2001 (resolution 55/279).4 At its fifty-sixth session, the General Assembly decided to establish the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (resolution 56/227). The General Assembly considered the question at its fifty-seventh to sixty-fifth sessions (resolutions 57/276, 58/228, 59/244, 60/228, 61/211, 62/203, 63/227, 64/213 and 65/171).

3 4

As established on the Millennium Development Goals guidelines. http://www.un.org/documents/ga/docs/55/a55100.pdf

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At its sixty-first session, the General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the high level meeting on the midterm comprehensive global review of the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010 (resolution 61/1). At its sixty-fifth session, the General Assembly endorsed the Istanbul Declaration and the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2011-2020 adopted by the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, held in Istanbul, Turkey, from 9 to 13 May 2011 (resolution 65/280). At its sixty-sixth session, the General Assembly invited all organizations of the United Nations system and other multilateral organizations, including the Bretton Woods institutions and international and regional financial institutions, to contribute to the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action and to integrate it into their programs of work, requested the Secretary-General to take the steps necessary to undertake a joint gap and capacity analysis on a priority basis by 2013 with the aim of establishing a technology bank and science, technology and innovation supporting mechanism dedicated to least developed countries, and requested the President of the Assembly to establish an ad hoc working group to further study and strengthen the smooth transition process for the countries graduating from the least developed country category and to submit a report to the Assembly at its sixty-seventh session with specific recommendations.5 The

http://www.un.org/wcm/webdav/site/ldc/shared/A_66_134.pdf

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Assembly underlined that the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States should be provided with the necessary support to fulfill its mandate for the timely and effective implementation of the Istanbul Program of Action, and requested the Secretary-General to submit to the Assembly, at its sixty-seventh session, a progress report on the implementation of the Program of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2011-2020 (resolution 66/213)6. At the same session, the General Assembly decided to adopt the terms of reference of the ad hoc working group to further study and strengthen the smooth transition process for countries graduating from the least developed country category (decision 66/553).

REPORTS OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL 7:

(i)

Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed countries for the Decade 2011-2020 (resolution 66/213);

(ii)

Ensuring the effective implementation of the functions of the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States and strengthening its capabilities and its effectiveness, as well as the effectiveness of the United Nations system support provided to least developed countries.

6 7

http://www.un.org/en/ga/second/67/ospbil53.pdf http://www.un.org/en/ga

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IMPORTANT FACTS 8

More than 80 percent of the worlds population lives in countries where income differentials are widening. (i) The poorest 40 percent of the worlds population accounts for 5 percent of global income. The richest 20 percent accounts for three-quarters of world income. (ii) According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.
(iii)

Around 27-28 percent of all children in developing countries are estimated to be underweight or stunted. The two regions that account for the bulk of the deficit are South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.(Which holds a tight relation to the target 1.b Hunger)

(iv)

If current trends continue, the Millennium Development Goals target of halving the proportion of underweight children will be missed by 30 million children, largely because of slow progress in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa

(v)

Based on enrollment data, about 72 million children of primary school age in the developing world were not in school in 2005; 57 per cent of them were girls. And these are regarded as optimistic numbers.

(vi)
8

Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.

http://www.thp.org/learn_more/issues/know_your_world_facts_about_hunger_and_poverty

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(vii) Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didnt happen. (viii) Infectious diseases continue to blight the lives of the poor across the world. An estimated 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, with 3 million deaths in 2004. Every year there are 350500 million cases of malaria, with 1 million fatalities: Africa accounts for 90 percent of malarial deaths and African children account for over 80 percent of malaria victims worldwide. According to the Human Development Report on global issues there are some statistics to review, reflected on the following charts:

WORLD POVERTY STATISTICS 9


Total Percentage of World Population that lives on less than $2.50 a day 50%

Total number of people that live on less than $2.50 a day

3 Billion

Total Percentage of People that live on less than $10 a day

80%

Total percent of World Populations that live where income differentials are widening

80%

Total Percentage of World Income the richest 20% account for

75%

Total Number of children that die each day due to Poverty

22,000

Total Number of People in Developing Countries with Inadequate Access to Water

1.1 billion

Total Number of School Days lost to Water Related Illness

443 million school days

Global Issues, The Human Development Report, 2012

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Child World Poverty Statistics

Number of children in the world

2.2 billion

Number of Children that live in Poverty

1 billion

Total Number of Children that live without adequate shelter

640 million (1 in 3)

Total Number of Children without access to safe water

400 million (1 in 5)

Total Number of Children with no access to Health Services

270 million (1 in 7)

Total Number of Children who die annually from lack of access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation

1.4 million

Poverty to Wealthy Ratio Statistics

Year

Ratio of People at Poverty to Wealthy Level

1820

3 to 1

1913

11 to 1

1950

35 to 1

1973

44 to 1

1992

72 to 1

MOST AFFECTED AREAS

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The following map displays a categorization of almost every country of the world (based on official published data) by percentage of population living in poverty. When making reference to "Poverty", it is intended to define a socio-economic condition in which an individual families are included as a whole-, lacks of any tangible or intangible value (understanding it cannot be reduced exclusively to money) to provide for all the basic necessities required to live successfully. These needs not only include nourishment, and access to potable water as it was considered for a vast period of the 20th century- but also granting education, healthcare, and housing facilities. This is a map that displays all countries by the percentage of the population living under the national poverty line the poverty line deemed appropriate for a country by its authorities. National estimates are based on population-weighted subgroup estimates from household surveys. Definitions of the poverty line may vary considerably among nations. For example, rich nations generally employ more generous standards of poverty than poor nations. All countries considered by the percentage of their population with an income of less than 1.25, and less than 2, US dollars per day. The sourced data refers to the most recent year available during the period 2000-2010.10

10

IFAD Rural Poverty Report 2011

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POVERTY MEASURES

Poverty can be either absolute or relative, hence, this classification will go according to different categories, ranks, groups, etc. since is also based on the countrys currency as well as the influence of demographic data. Before taking an insight view of this unacceptable reality, it is imperative tha all that ambassadors know and dig consciously into each countrys current situation and background. The limitations as to provide a more extended data regarding each country member of the General Assembly are considerably great, as the guide would not be generally applicable, thus impractical. generally

UNDERSTATING POVERTY

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A recent World Bank report states that over one third of the worlds population 3.2 billion people live on less than $1.30 a day11. Truthfully, as the world population continues to grow, the distance between life minimum amount and the actual income go even further from each other, following an inversely proportional pattern. This must to be also considered, as the poor areas are to become poorer and low class families are to reach these previously defined poverty levels. Similarly, consequences of world economic crisis have reached some related areas that keep contributing to accentuate the recent events, such as the generalized increment on the unemployment rate as well as the reduction of the offer in the labor market. These findings were also used by observers on the left when questioning the longestablished view that most world inhabitants had attained an affluent standard of living in the three decades following the end of the Second World War. During this peaceful stability period, many countries were benefited to achieve some development indicator as the interdependence on global scale kept strengthening, nevertheless, some other countries were left behind on this so called economical spring, which has partially promoted the opportunities inequalities seen at the present time. According to John Schwarz, a political scientist at the University of Arizona:

The official poverty line today is essentially what it takes in today's dollars; adjusted for inflation, to purchase the same poverty-line level of living that was appropriate to a half century ago, in 1955, for that year furnished the basic data for the formula for the very first poverty measure. Updated thereafter only for inflation, the poverty line lost all connection

11

http://www.worldbank.org/

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over time with current consumption patterns of the average family. Quite a few families then didn't have their own private telephone, or a car, or even a mixer in their kitchen... The official poverty line has thus been allowed to fall substantially below a socially decent minimum, even though its intention was to measure such a minimum.

DEFINITIONS

Poverty, as a definition has had a broad approach over the past years, this has granted a considerable debate on how to best define the term. In this sense, many concepts have been exposed to best clarify this condition, it can always be found among them the privation of an income security, economic stability and the probability of lacking personal constant means to meet all basic needs. Poverty may therefore also be defined as the economic state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions to satisfy the needs (according to the Encyclopedia Britannica ). Poverty is associated with the undermining of a range of key human attributes, including health. The poor are exposed to greater personal and environmental health risks, are less well nourished, have less information and are less able to access health care; they thus have a higher risk of illness and disability. Conversely, illness can reduce household savings, lower learning ability, reduce productivity, and lead to a diminished quality of life, thereby perpetuating or even increasing poverty. Poverty is often defined in absolute terms of low income. But in reality, the consequences of poverty exist on a relative scale. The poorest of the poor, around the world, have the worst health. Within countries, the evidence shows that in general the lower an individuals

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socioeconomic position the worse their health. There is a social gradient in health that runs from top to bottom of the socioeconomic spectrum. This is a global phenomenon, seen in low, middle and high income countries. The issue of understating poverty is especially pressing in the countries where the gap has continuously grown over the past years, intensified by the world economic crisis.

CURRENT SITUATION

To understand Poverty, as it has been redefined over the past decade, there are several aspects that need to be taken into account. The main consequences of World economic crisis and World financial crisis, which have become specifically more notable as there is an ongoing deterioration of the labour market, jeopardizing complete areas of the productive sector, being interpreted as a massive decline in employment, related to a narrowing process of small and medium enterprises, as the international corporations continue to extend. Yet there is still no direct responsible, meaning an institutional or juridical person that can be held accountable for the repercussions of the Crisis on the late world poverty levels. It is important to understand the main answers and strategies that need to be taken to face this growing list of consequences, such as the education field or the research programs, which need to be equally reinforced by international subsides or specifically aimed governmental actions that may grant access to the labour market, as well as professional trainings to better handle what is seems to be a long term global depression. Considering the effects of the crisis on the global poverty, Michel Chossudovsky states:

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The sugar-coated bullets of the free market are killing our children. The act to kill is instrumented in a detached fashion through computer program trading on the New York and Chicago mercantile exchanges, where the global prices of rice, wheat and corn are decided upon. People in different countries are being impoverished simultaneously as a result of a global market mechanism. A small number of financial institutions and global corporations have the ability to determine the prices of basic food staples quoted on the commodity exchanges, thereby directly affecting the standard of living of millions of people around the world. () The provision of food, fuel and water is a precondition for the survival of the human species. They constitute the economic and environmental foundations for development of civilized society. In recent years, both prior and leading up to the 2008-2009 financial meltdown, the prices of grain staples, including rice, corn and wheat, gasoline and water, has increased dramatically at the global level with devastating economic and social consequences. 12

BACKGROUND AND CONCEIVABLE POLICIES

Before advancing to any further analysis of the current economic -and financial- crisis, there remain some effects on Developing Countries and Emerging Markets that need to be consider as policy responses to the crisis According to Dirk Willem te Velde, the head of the International Economic Development Group, there are three pieces of information that provide fascinating insights into current policy issues related to the global financial crisis.

The Global Crisis: Food, Water and Fuel. Three Fundamental Necessities of Life in Jeopardy from http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-global-crisis-food-water-and-fuel-three-fundamental-necessities-of-life-injeopardy/9191

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The first is a quote of Joseph Stiglitzs, Whither Socialism, published in 199413, warning of the problems facing American financial institutions: Inadequate capital requirements, which resulted in insufficiently capitalized institutions having an incentive to take excessive risk Inadequate incentives for banks not to engage in risk taking Inadequate monitoring by regulators Were we prepared for the 2008 global financial crisis? No. Was the crisis avoidable if the rules had been right? Most likely, yes. The second is the crude observation in October 2008 that developed countries responded to the global financial crisis safeguarding their own banking systems to the tune of $2-4 trillion, as if only national tax payers mattered with no respect for international linkages (and no common EU position on banking or fiscal issues). Will the future hold improved global and regional economic co-operation? The final piece of news reminds us of how slow some developing countries are to react to the greatest global recession since the 1930, thinking that they might be unaffected. President Kgalema Motlanthe of South Africa moved to mitigate the effects of the financial crisis when the government decided to set up a special task team to look at how best to cope with the knock-on effects of job losses. How will each developing country cope with and respond to the crisis? This note addresses these policy issues and suggests that:

13

Joseph Stiglitz, Whither Socialism?, 1994, MIT Press

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While some evidence is beginning to become available, individual developing countries need urgent access to updated research on country-specific economic, social and political consequences of the financial crisis. Each developing country needs to set up a crisis task force to consider the best possible policy responses. Global financial rules need to allow for new rules to reduce pro-cyclicality in international capital flows, to increase transparency, and to ensure a greater voice for developing countries. Developed countries should not amplify the financial mess they pass on to developing countries, and improve their disbursements on aid and development finance as the case for aid is stronger now than previously14. It is recommended that all ambassadors examine the section background of the development institute, all links can be found on the further reading section.

Effects of the Global Financial Crisis on Developing Countries and Emerging Markets - Policy responses to the crisis from http://www.odi.org.uk/publications/2613-effects-global-financial-crisis-developing-countries-emergingmarkets-policy-responses-crisis

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AGENDA TOPIC B:
MDG TARGET 1.C HALVING HUNGER
Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger

INTRODUCTION

The Millennium Summit of the United Nations, held in the year 2000, set forth the Millennium Development Goals, a series of targets which deal with pressing issues for international development. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger is Goal number one, recognizing that even in this highly-globalized and interconnected world, many still lie in the deepest chasms of poverty and inopportunity. Within Goal 1, Target 1.C sets forth the challenge to Halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger. This is then expounded upon, noting the Prevalence of underweight children under five years of age and the proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption as indicators for monitoring progress. MDG 1.C is particularly relevant due to the spike global food prices since 2009. Although food prices had been falling steadily since the mid 1970s, a general upward trend was started in 2002, and it does not look like it will stop soon. The global financial crisis had made a bad situation worse, severely affecting the access to food in many regions of the world. Progress to end hunger has, in some regions, reached seemingly insurmountable obstacles. One in four children in the developing world are still underweight, a clear mark against one of the indicators set forward by the Millennium Summit. The situation is especially precipitous for

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those children in rural areas, who are statistically much more likely to be underweight than those living in urban conglomerations. The severe inequality in income and access to food makes the situation particularly harsh in some nations and regions, where there is a much higher percentage of underweight children amongst the poor. Another fact that must be kept in mind is the fact that there are growing numbers of people who are not fully provided for, either through their own means or through the protections denied to them, for whatever reason, by a state. In 2011, there were over 11 million Refugees of concern to the UNHCR, there were also over 27 million Internally Displaced Persons. Furthermore, it must be noted that worldwide there are over 12 million stateless individuals. Recorded figures are often short of the real amounts, so it must be noted that these numbers are likely to be higher. These people are specially vulnerable to malnutrition, as they are typically not in a situation in which to easily access food. Latin America and Asia have been able to lower the number of people in a poor situation regarding hunger. However, although global levels have gone down, it must be noted that SubSaharan Africa, greatly hit by the food and financial crises, has not been successful in regards to MDG Goal 1.C. Latin America and the Caribbean also suffer from the greatest disparity between urban and rural communities. Although general trends are positive, it is still a very sensible issue for all developing regions and the importance of meeting such a basic need such as nutrition cannot be emphasized enough. The General Assembly has, through the years, made a multitude of resolutions regarding hunger and malnutrition. A historical outline of the salient points will follow later in the document. Relevant resolutions adopted since 2010 include:

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64/192: Noting the situation of Commodities in the world market and the impact upon the

world food security situation. Recognizing the current economic situation and the negative trends concerning the commodity market.

65/178: On the importance of agricultural development and food security, reiterating

previous UN efforts and the importance of climate change for agricultural development, amongst other matters.

66/188: Expressing the deep concern for the worsening situation regarding price volatility

in regards to food products. It also stresses the importance of the international financial system in supporting more inclusive and sustainable economic growth in order to facilitate development.

66/215: Declaring the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-

2017), noting the importance of food security in relation to impoverished people and their needs.

66/158: Reaffirming and recalling the UN commitment to the Right to Food, as well as

highlighting relevant data and statistics on the issue of Hunger.

66/221: Declaring 2013 to be the International Year of Quinoa, recognizing the importance

of Quinoa as a natural food with a high nutritional value and its role in reaching MDG targets.

TOPIC HISTORY

The history of food insecurity and hunger may, upon a cursory examination, seem simple. Hunger is brought about, in an immediate sense, by the mere lack of food. Considering the amount of money and resources at the disposal of states, surely something as basic as the provision of food could be ensured in a simple manner. The reality, however, could not be further from such a statement. The fight against hunger has an extensive history, marked by considerable

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challenge in trying to meet a noble goal. To properly acknowledge the issue, there must be a full understanding of the prolonged efforts towards the eradication of hunger.

MEAGER BEGINNINGS

The United Nations Charter Article 1, point 3, states: To achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; Even at this early stage, the UN indirectly acknowledged the right to food, being both a matter of economic and humanitarian character. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, formally recognizes the right to food as part of the right to adequate standard of living. The concept could be directly traced to the Four Freedoms speech given by US President Franklin Roosevelt in the 1941 State of the Union, which spoke about fundamental freedoms that everyone, world-wide, should enjoy, including the freedom from want. Sub-clause 1 of Article 25 reads: Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. The foundation of the World Food Programme in 1961 gave birth to what would become the largest UN humanitarian agency with respects to hunger, giving as much food as possible to those in the most severely affected regions. The WFP started operations in 1963, through the adoption of resolutions by the General Assembly 1741 (XVI) and the FAO.

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The next landmark on the path to food security came with the adoption of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights through General Assembly resolution 2200 (XXI) of 16 December 1966. Article 11.1 states the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, while Article 11.2 explicitly recognizes the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger.

A STRONGER FOCUS

The issue with the fight against hunger was that there was no central drive, with policy greatly dispersed, largely leaving each country to deal with issues alone,through bilateral aid, or through charitable institutions and organizations. A major break with this pattern came in 1974. with General Assembly resolution 3180, set during the Twenty-Eighth session, which called for a World Food Conference, to be held in Rome at the FAO. The World Food Conference subsequently adopted the Universal Declaration on the Eradication of Hunger and Malnutrition, clearly noting the pressing problems related to the access to food, and laying out general guidelines to combat Hunger at a global level. A key point of the Conference was the foundation of IFAD in 1977, a specialized agency dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing nations. 1987 then saw the establishment of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, through ECOSOC Resolution 1985/17. This body greatly helped to the overseeing of the 1966 Covenant, as well as helping to demarcate legal issues in relation with its mandate. Although not a UN document, the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, commonly known as the Protocol of San Salvador, establishes, amongst others, the right to food for the 14 nations that have ratified it since 1988.

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A significant event on the issues of Food Security and the Right to Food was the Rome Declaration on World Food Security. The 1996 World Food Summit, hosted at the FAO, reaffirms the right of everyone to have access to safe and nutritious food, consistent with the right to adequate food and the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger. The Rome Declaration pledges to implement the World Food Summit Plan of Action, which includes seven relevant commitments and then subsequent objectives and actions.

THE NEW MILLENNIUM


In the year 2000, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights established the position of Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, who is expect to give reports to the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council. The current appointee, since 2008, is Olivier De Schutter. The creation of a Special Rapporteur for the issue of food in particular was of strong importance in raising, within the international framework, the visibility of the problem. The General Assembly adopted the Millennium Declaration on the 8th of September 2000 through resolution 55/2. The Millennium Development Goals were adopted from the Declaration, which committed nations to a global partnership and brought world-wide focus to the issue of hunger, which was included prominently in the first goal. The MDGs sought to bring about a new form of international development, one based around a heavy emphasis on human development coupled with results-based management. By establishing clear goals and adopting processes of objective measurement, policy can be reworked to be more effective compared with the more dispersed and inconsistent attempts of the past.

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In 2004 the FAO adopted the Right to Food Guidelines. A product of the 2002 World Food Summit, the Guidelines set forth a framework for member States to adopt a more affective approach at bringing about the right to food.

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS
General Assembly Resolution 63/117, of 10 December 2008 adopted the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. This is an event of great importance because it establishes formal legal mechanisms for complaints regarding the original Covenant. Effectively, it enables those who feel that those who have had their rights, as enshrined in the document, able to appeal on an international level if their nation is party to the Optional Protocol. As of 2012, only 8 nations are party to the Optional Protocol, when 10 are required to activate it, however, 40 other nations are non-state party signatories. A very recent development is the Food Assistance Convention, which was sealed on 25th April 2012. It has the aim of establishing an international legal framework on food aid that addresses nutritious food as a whole (rather than other previous treaties that dealt with very particular items). Although criticized by the fact that it was elaborated by the countries giving food aid, and as such without the direct input of those who would be most likely to receive aid, it would still generate solid mechanisms for cooperation in information and commitments. It is still to become effective.

DISCUSSION OF THE PROBLEM DEFINITIONS

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Hunger is in and of itself a vague term that means nothing more than experiencing a physical sensation for wanting food. As a colloquial word it is satisfactory, but as term worthy of application within the UN framework it is inadequate. When dealing with the topic of hunger one can refer to issues and sub-issues in a more objective manner. The selected terms defined below, essential for a precise discussion of the problem at hand, are taken from the FAO's 2012 publication of The State of Food Insecurity in the World.

Food insecurity: A situation that exists when people lack secure access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development and an active and healthy life. It may be caused by the unavailability of food, insufficient purchasing power, inappropriate distribution, or inadequate use of food at the household level. Food insecurity, poor conditions of health and sanitation, and inappropriate care and feeding practices are the major causes of poor nutritional status. Food insecurity may be chronic, seasonal or transitory.

Food security: A situation that exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

Malnutrition: An abnormal physiological condition caused by deficiencies, excesses or imbalances in energy, protein and/or other nutrients. Nutrition security. A situation that exists when secure access to an appropriately nutritious diet is coupled with a sanitary environment,adequate health services and care, in order to ensure a healthy and active life for all household members. Nutrition security differs from food security in that it also

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considers the aspects of adequate caring practices, health and hygiene in addition to dietary adequacy.

Undernourishment: Food intake that is insufficient to meet dietary energy requirements continuously. This term is used interchangeably with chronic hunger, or, in this report, hunger.

Undernutrition: The result of undernourishment, poor absorption and/or poor biological use of nutrients consumed. Underweight. Low weight for age in children, and BMI <18.5 in adults, reflecting a current condition resulting from inadequate food intake, past episodes of undernutrition or poor health conditions.

THE ISSUE ITSELF:


What causes food insecurity and malnutrition? A simple reasoning would be that there is just not enough food to go around, and that thus some people are condemned to suffer the pains of starvation and waste away until death. The issue at hand is, however, not the general lack of food but the issue of distribution and access to food. Amartya Sen once wrote that starvation is the characteristic of some people not having enough food to eat. It is not the characteristic of there being not enough food to eat. The man who would eventually win the 1998 Nobel Prize for Economics was analyzing the Bengal famine of 1943. He realized that food production in 1943 had not declined in comparison to the previous years, and that the issue was not one of brute output, but rather of demand and distribution. Increased state spending due to the war had created an artificial demand for food in other

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regions, rising the price of food and, through inflation, decreasing the purchasing power of the poor in Bengal. The food was produced, it was just not where it needed to be. For most people in a situation of food insecurity in the world today, the context is similar. There are some people in extreme situations, usually as a product of sudden climatic change (such as natural disasters) or outright conflict, who simply have no access to food due to the fact that there is no food at all. However, for the vast majority, it is a question of supply, and not of production. Food security must not be confused with food self-sufficiency. Many countries in the Latin America and Caribbean region, for example, could not meet domestic food demand with domestic food production, yet as a region, this is one that has made admirable progress towards Target 1.C. East and South-East Asia have the highest amount of months of self-provisioning capacity in terms of cereal, yet as a whole those regions have the largest amount of net undernourished peoples. It is no surprise that the regions that are most harshly affected by the problem of undernourishment are those that are poorly integrated to the rest of the world. Sub-Saharan Africa, the more remote rural areas of Latin America and Asia, are regions that have clear deficiencies in infrastructure and transport. They are also characterized by inconsistent application of laws, discrepant government policy and large barriers to markets.

PARTICULAR ISSUES AND STATISTICS


Recent FAO estimates note that 850 million people 15.5 per cent of the global population are currently in a state of undernourishment. Although the number of total hungry people has remained essentially the same since 1990, the percentage of people in that condition has dropped

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from 19.8 in 1990-1992 to 15.5 in the most recent estimates. The number of undernourished people in the region worst affected, Asia, has dropped from 579 million in 2003 to 557 million in 2008. However, the number in Sub-Saharan Africa rose from 211 million to 231 million over the same period of time. A hopeful indicator is the fact that over the past two decades, according to the FAO, the world average intake of calories per person per day increased from 2610 kcal/person/day to slighly less than 2800 kcal/person/day. Due to the fact that developed countries already had high levels of food consumption, the change mainly occurred in developing countries. However, there are still many negative obstacles to overcome on the road to food security. Almost one in five children, on a global level, are either moderately or severely underweight, enough to be a genuine health concern for the child. Southern Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, SouthEastern Asia and Northern Africa have not yet met their targets for underweight children according to the WHO. However, all of them have reduced the percentage of children suffering from this condition. Another serious issue is the breach between urban and rural undernutrition. In developing countries as a whole (excluding China), 17 per cent of urban children are underweight, while in rural areas that figure rises to a staggering 32 per cent. The largest gap is in Latin America and the Caribbean, where under 3 per cent of urban children are underweight, but over 8 per cent of rural children suffer from the same condition. Across all regions poverty is clearly a major factory in securing access to food for children. Children in the poorest segments of society are three times as likely to be underweight with

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respect to children from the wealthiest 20 per cent of households in the developing world. In Southern Asia, more than half of children in the poorest fifth of households are underweight. The needs of those in harsh situations, where the availability of food as a whole, rather than the access to it, is a problem, must also be addressed. In 2010 there were over 43.7 forcibly displaced people, 15.4 million refugees, 27.5 million internally displaced persons as a result of conflicts, and nearly 850 000 asylum-seekers. The vast majority of these people are being hosted by countries in dire economic situations, and therefore are in extremely precarious situations.

OBSTACLES
Ultimately the issue must be solved by members states. UN participation is low, except in case of those individuals in extreme situations (refugees, the internally displaced, victims of natural disasters/conflicts). No country would ever adopt the position of being against the eradication of hunger, but there are issues when countries feel that their ability to set their own policy might be constrained. The competence of the state over food policy, and the role of agriculture in the economy varies greatly from country to country to such an extent that to expound on that topic here would be far too elaborate for the purposes of the study guide. Furthermore, nations also differ as to how to commit their food assistance projects, and on their preference for food assistance approaches within the framework of international or regional organizations versus bilateral or multilateral arrangements on a per-case basis. The Global Food Price Monitor, published by the Global Information and Early Warning System of the FAO, notes that food prices are remaining stable or rising as of November 2012. The poor situation of the world economy in recent years has wrecked havoc on food prices, which have risen constantly since the financial crisis and are expected to continue climbing. Staple

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foodstuffs experience severe change in prices, which is unstable even when the price drops as production forecasts and future investments are greatly affected. Food prices may vary by as much as 100% from year to year in the most vulnerable areas, creating great uncertainty and hitting hardly against those with limited incomes. An important aspect of international food politics is the stance that developed states have towards their agricultural sectors. Most developed states have sweeping subsidies in this area of the economy, and are highly protective of their own domestic base of supply. High barriers to trade make it difficult for developing countries to create robust agricultural sectors that would be able to acquire foreign capital through export, and then re-invest at home and help to meet local demand. Very strong farmer's lobbies ensure that policies such as the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy remain in effect, effectively pricing out poor farmers from the developing world from being able to export their produce to lucrative markets. Climate change is a topic of serious contention within the frame of the eradication of hunger. Poor rural societies are those with the highest vulnerability to climate change, and some may have their local economies devastated by short or long-term climate change. Countries in precarious climate situations must pay attention to their specific issues and embrace new techniques in adaptation in order to secure feasible long-term development.

THE FUTURE

In the State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012 Report (SOFI 2012), the FAO, WFP and IFAD re-examined the previous numbers and proportions of undernourished were under-reported especially previous to the 1990s. Therefore, progress has actually been more robust than

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previously thought. However, most of the progress was achieved before 2007-2008. Increasing food prices and the global financial crisis have slowed the achievement of Target 1.C considerably. Although Economic turmoil and price volatility has greatly stalled the possibility of achieving a reduction in undernourished people according to the MDG goals, one must not loose hope. There are clear routes that countries may be able to take in order to improve the possibility of reaching Target 1.C on time. Some of the obstacles have already been discussed, and they must be taken into strong consideration when examining the list of possible improvements to the world-wide effort against undernourishment. Improvements have been broken down into two categories, Economic and Social, and Political and Diplomatic. The items may overlap within the two categories, but they are essentially differentiated by the fact that states can undertake the potential improvements of the first category in a unilateral manner, whilst the second necessitates international cooperation. Regardless, cooperation is encouraged at any level.

POTENTIAL ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL IMPROVEMENTS

When economies are looked from a local perspective rather than a national or

regional one, very few places in the world are actually food self-sufficient. Food is exchanged for other goods and services in the market, and it is no small wonder that those nations that have the most developed markets are the ones that are the most food secure. Ensuring that the basic conditions for a stable market exist will provide the foundations for a sustainable policy on agricultural development and contribute greatly to ending the problem of hunger. Improved infrastructure is key to the distribution of food. The areas that suffer the

harshest from undernutrition are often those that have very poorly developed transport

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networks. Securing safe access to areas by the creation of a more robust infrastructure network would facilitate commerce and, if need be, the delivery of food aid. Increased trade networks are also very important in cushioning the blows from local food production shortfalls, allowing easy importation and thus being able to sustain a fairly consistent price level. Agricultural growth involving smallholders and women. Smallholders are, in many

economies, the majority producers of foodstuffs. Likewise, in many economic systems it is the women who care for the day-to-day activity of farming whilst the men seek employment through other means in urban areas. Growth strategies for agriculture must address these issues and seek to specifically target smallholders and women, who have been lacking attention in the past despite their crucial role. The direct participation of the poor in the growth process is instrumental to a

sustainable path to development. Growth must not be measured only along country-wide trends and averages, as these can disguise the fact that poor members of society may be sidelined whilst other parts of the economy progress. The poor must be reached by growth, with specific caution taken to analyze their role within their local economies and achieve market integration. A nutrition-sensitive focus must be taken whilst carrying out agricultural-

economic growth. While any increase in food production or distribution is positive, countries must strive to also expand the availability of nutritional variety in order to allow the poor to diversify their diets. Popular awareness of nutrition must go hand-in-hand with

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increased distribution of nutritional supplements to those in situations of particular micronutrient shortages. Social protection is key in order to further the process of eliminating

undernourishment. At it's most basic it provides a safety net for those who are most vulnerable and may have not gained from economic growth. Depending on the depth and structure of the social protection policies at hand, they may greatly improve the chances for an individual to achieve economic prosperity and correct their personal nutrition situation.

POTENTIAL POLITICAL AND DIPLOMATIC IMPROVEMENTS

The very spirit of international cooperation is instrumental to the achievement of Target

1.C. Under the methodology of result-based development countries and international organizations, as well as the civil and private sectors, can work together to work towards realizable goals along an observable path. Countries need to develop specific goals, in the vein of the MDGs, as much as possible when dealing with these matters, as it is the only way of having a quantifiable approach to progress. The re-examination of into the FAO methodology for data gathering in the SOFI 2012

report provided significant improvement in the efforts to fight hunger. If further improvement could be achieved in this area, then more accurate indicators could be formed in the fight against world hunger. Particular attention must be given to the effects of the recent economic turmoil and the volatility of commodity prices. Developing countries need help specifically on this issue, as they are often unable to conduct proper exercises in gather data.

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A wider adherence to the Optional Protocol to the ICESCR would give more legal

sustenance to those disadvantaged which are not being covered by their state in respect to the ICESCR. Formal international inquiry mechanisms would highlight failures in respect to the multiple rights covered by the Covenant, including the right to food as covered under the right to an adequate standard of living.

The entrance into force of the Food Assistance Convention would allow for a much more

efficient international effort in terms of food aid by signatory states. Once it enters into action on the 1st of January 2013, it will give more clear definitions to those that provide, receive, and otherwise participate in the food assistance process. It shall also establish distinct commitments and provide annual reports for a coordinated effort at information sharing within the context of food assistance. The more nations that adhere to the convention, the more effective that it becomes.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY & FURTHER READING


Amartya Sen. Autobiography. Stockholm: Nobel Foundation, 1998. http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/1998/sen-autobio.html Food and Agriculture Organization. Comittee on World Food Security 2012, Final Report. Rome: FAO, 2012.

http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/bodies/CFS_sessions/39th_Session/39emerg/MF027_ CFS_39_FINAL_REPORT_compiled_E.pdf FAO. FAOSTAT, the FAO's statistic division's depository of data. http://faostat.fao.org/ FAO. Global Food Price Monitor Rome: FAO. http://www.fao.org/giews/english/gfpm/index.htm FAO. FAO Statistical Yearbook 2012. Rome: FAO, 2012. http://www.fao.org/docrep/015/i2490e/i2490e00.htm FAO. Recent trends in world food commodity prices: costs and benefits. In The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2011. Rome: FAO, 2010. http://www.fao.org/docrep/014/i2330e/i2330e03.pdf FAO. Rome Declaration on World Food Security. Rome: FAO, 1996. http://www.fao.org/docrep/003/w3613e/w3613e00.htm FAO. State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012. Rome: FAO, IFAD, WFP, 2012. http://www.fao.org/publications/sofi/en/

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FAO. Linkages between MDG 1 and the other MDGs http://www.fao.org/docrep/008/a0056e/A0056E03.htm Hunger Project, the. http://www.thp.org/ IFAD. 2011 Rural Poverty Report. Rome: IFAD, 2010. www.ifad.org/rpr2011/report/e/rpr2011.pdf International Food Policy Research Institute. http://www.ifpri.org/ MDGs in Brief http://www.right-to-education.org/sites/r2e.gn.apc.org/files/MDG1_brief.pdf Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. http://www.srfood.org/ One World guide Global Poverty Guide http://uk.oneworld.net/guides/poverty Organization of American States. American Convention on Human Rights. San Jose, Costa Rica: OAS, 1969. Wikisource, last modified 5 September 2011. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/American_Convention_on_Human_Rights UN Development Programme. Millennium Development Goals monitor. UNDP, 2007. http://www.mdgmonitor.org/goal1.cfm United Nations. Food Assitance Convention. London: UN , 2012. http://treaties.un.org/doc/source/signature/2012/CTC_XIX-48.pdf http://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/MTDSG/Volume%20II/Chapter%20XIX/XIX48.en.pdf United Nations. GA Resolution 2200 (XXI), International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. New York: UN, 1966. http://www.un-documents.net/icescr.htm

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http://www.un-documents.net/a21r2200.htm United Nations. GA Resolution A/RES/63/117, Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. New York: UN, 2008. http://daccess-ddsny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N08/477/81/PDF/N0847781.pdf?OpenElement United Nations. GA Resolution 3180 (XXVIII), Universal Declaration on the Eradication of Hunger and Malnutrition. New York: UN, 1974. http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/malnutrition.htm United Nations. Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty & Hunger. http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/poverty.shtml United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition. http://www.unscn.org/en/home/ United Nations. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 1948. http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml#a25 UNFPA http://www.unfpa.org.br/lacodm/arquivos/mdg1.pdf UNDG http://www.undg.org/docs/11421/MDG1_1954-UNDG-MDG1-LR.pdf UNICEF http://www.unicef.org/mdg/poverty.html World Bank. World Poverty analysis. http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/poverty World Bank World Development indicators http://data.worldbank.org/news/worlddevelopment-indicators-2012-now-available

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World Food Programme. 2012 Hunger Map. http://www.wfp.org/hunger/map World Health Organization. Water-related diseases: Malnutrition. Geneva: WHO, 2001. http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/diseases/malnutrition/en/

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