Michael Fakhri was appointed as the UN’s 4th Rapporteur on the Right to Food in May 2020. In this conversation he talks candidly about his initial plans and the impact of COVID-19 on them. His first report, due in September 2020, deals with the importance of trade policy, the need to change the way trade in food is managed and the institutions responsible. He reflects on the impact COVID-19 has had on our understanding of key workers, schools’ role in caring for children, and his future plans. The first of these is to focus on the planned UN Food Systems Summit in 2021 to promote an inclusive, rights based approach.
As we end our conversation he draws an analogy with the BBC TV series character Dr Who, who is periodically reborn in a new body – like the UN rapporteurs – each building on their predecessors work but in their own way as each defines how they fulfil their role. For Michael, one need is to be a fearless organiser connecting those different constituencies that need to work together – from health, environment, civil society, government and business – to ensure the right to food for all now and into the future.
You can find the annual thematic reports of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food here.