Hilal Elver Lecture

9 July 2019


Wheat filed

Right to Food: A reflection of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Right to Food

A public lecture by Professor Hilal Elver, Global Distinguished Fellow, Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy, UCLA Law School; UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food and 2019 UWA Institute of Advanced Studies Visiting Fellow.

71 years ago, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) established the foundation for the right to food by declaring that

“everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family.”

Article 11 of the International Covenant of the Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), ratified in 165 countries and going into force in 1966, then established binding obligations on States to respect, protect and fulfil the right to adequate food for all. In this talk, the UN Special Rapporteur on Right to Food, Hilal Elver, will emphasize the importance of a human rights based approach to food security, the elimination of hunger and malnutrition, and reflect on the current status of the right to food worldwide. She will then discuss political, environmental and economic challenges that block successful implementation of the right to food in this time of economic globalization and climate change. She will also reflect on her unique experiences during her tenure, and suggest policy options for a sustainable and equitable future for healthy people, as well as a healthy planet.

Since 2014, Professor Hilal Elver has served as the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, who is responsible for carrying out the right to food mandate as prescribed by the United Nations Human Rights Council. Professor Elver is moreover an international law professor and a Global Distinguished Fellow at the UCLA Law School Resnick Food Law and Policy Center; and a research professor at the UC Santa Barbara, where she has been Distinguished Visiting Professor since 2002. Previously she was the UNEP Chair on Environmental Diplomacy at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies in Malta; and taught at the University of Ankara, Faculty of Law. Professor Elver has also served to the Turkish government as the founding legal adviser of the Ministry of Environment, and to the General Director of the Women Status at office of the Prime Minister. Until very recently she was also a member of the Turkish team at the Climate Change negotiations. Her publications focus on environmental law, climate change, food security, human rights and women’s rights. Recent books include: (co-edited with Paul Wapner) Reimagining Climate Change (Routledge, 2016); The Headscarf Controversy: Secularism and Freedom of Religion (Oxford University Press, 2012) and Peaceful Uses of International Rivers; The Euphrates and Tigris Transboundary River Basins (Transnational Publishers, 2002).