US embassy cable - 02ROME2071

WORLD FOOD SUMMIT FIVE YEARS LATER: CODE OF CONDUCT ON RIGHT TO FOOD UNCLASSIFIED

Identifier: 02ROME2071
Wikileaks: View 02ROME2071 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Rome
Created: 2002-04-29 14:46:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: AORC EAGR AORC EAGR FAO FAO
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ROME 002071 
 
SIPDIS 
 
USDA FOR FAS/LYNNE REICH AND DICK HUGHES 
STATE FOR IO/EDA ROSE BERSTEIN 
USAID FOR RALPH CUMMINGS 
 
FROM FODAG 
 
E.O. 12958:  N/A 
TAGS: AORC, EAGR, AORC, EAGR, FAO, FAO 
SUBJECT: WORLD FOOD SUMMIT FIVE YEARS LATER: CODE OF 
CONDUCT ON RIGHT TO FOOD 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
 
PAGE 02        ROME  02071  01 OF 02  291555Z 
 
REF: (01) ROME 4929 
 
1. SUMMARY:   A COALITION OF COUNTRIES (DEVELOPED AND 
DEVELOPING)IS PROMOTING WORLD FOOD SUMMIT FIVE YEARS 
LATER ENDORSEMENT OF A VOLUNTARY CODE OF CONDUCT ON THE 
RIGHT TO FOOD AS A "DELIVERABLE" OF THE UPCOMING SUMMIT- 
LEVEL MEETING.  THE UNITED STATES OBJECTED TO A CODE OF 
CONDUCT AT THE 1996 WORLD FOOD SUMMIT AND CONTINUES TO 
OPPOSE ONE ON THE GROUNDS THAT A CODE WILL DO LITTLE TO 
PROMOTE FREEDOM FROM HUNGER, AND IS LIKELY TO STIPULATE 
POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC CONDUCT (NO SANCTIONS/EMBARGOES, 
NO GMO'S, ANTI-FREE TRADE) WHICH IS AGAINST U.S. PRIVATE 
AND PUBLIC INTERESTS.  HOWEVER, IF THE CODE'S ENDORSEMENT 
CANNOT BE PREVENTED, A LATIN AMERICAN PROPOSAL -- TO HAVE 
AN INTERGOVERNMENTAL WORKING GROUP UNDER FAO AUSPICES 
DRAFT THE CODE -- MAY BE PREFERABLE TO A NORWEGIAN 
PROPOSAL TO HAVE THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 
DRAFT THE CODE OF CONDUCT.  WASHINGTON VIEWS REQUESTED. 
END SUMMARY. 
 
BACKGROUND 
---------- 
2.  A CODE OF CONDUCT ON THE RIGHT TO FOOD IS "UNFINISHED 
BUSINESS" FROM THE 1996 WORLD FOOD SUMMIT.  THE U.S. 
SUCCEEDED IN KEEPING OUT A SPECIFIC REFERENCE TO A CODE 
AT THE SUMMIT, BUT A LIVELY DEBATE ON THE CODE CONTINUED. 
A CIVIL-SOCIETY DRAFTED CODE OF CONDUCT HAS BEEN 
CIRCULATED, AND IS FREQUENTLY REFERRED TO IN RIGHT TO 
FOOD LITERATURE (AND MIGHT BE DRAWN ON FOR ANY FUTURE 
NEGOTIATED TEXT).  COMMENT 12 ON RIGHT TO FOOD BY THE UN 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        ROME  02071  01 OF 02  291555Z 
COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS (2000) 
STATED THAT "THE PRIVATE SECTOR - NATIONAL AND 
TRANSNATIONAL - SHOULD PURSUE ITS ACTIVITIES WITHIN THE 
FRAMEWORK OF A CODE OF CONDUCT TO RESPECT THE RIGHT TO 
ADEQUATE FOOD, AGREED UPON JOINTLY WITH THE GOVERNMENT 
AND CIVIL SOCIETY." 
 
WHY IS THE U.S. AGAINST THE RIGHT TO FOOD AND A CODE OF 
CONDUCT? 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
3.  DRAFTING A CODE OF CONDUCT - IN ADDITION TO BEING A 
VERY POOR USE OF FAO'S SCARCE RESOURCES -- WILL NOT HELP 
COUNTRIES IMPROVE FOOD SECURITY ON THE GROUND: IF THE 
EXISTING CIVIL SOCIETY CODE IS ANY GUIDE, IT WILL BECOME 
A POLITICAL DIATRIBE AGAINST TRADE LIBERALIZATION, 
AGAINST MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS, AGAINST 
SANCTIONS/EMBARGOES AND AGAINST GMO'S.  OF EVEN MORE 
CONCERN, IT SEEKS TO SHIFT RESPONSIBILITY FOR HUNGER FROM 
NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS, AND ONTO THE PRIVATE SECTOR AND 
"THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY." 
 
4.  FURTHERMORE, IT IMPLIES ACCEPTANCE OF A LEGALLY 
BINDING RIGHT TO FOOD WHICH IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE U.S. 
POSITION AS STATED AT THE WORLD FOOD SUMMIT.  THE U.S. 
POSITION ON RIGHT TO FOOD IS THAT IT IS A GOAL OR 
ASPIRATION TO BE REALIZED PROGRESSIVELY WHICH DOES NOT 
GIVE RISE TO ANY INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS TO REDRESS 
VIOLATIONS OR COMPENSATE VICTIMS, NOR DOES IT DIMINISH 
THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS TOWARD THEIR 
CITIZENS. 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 04        ROME  02071  01 OF 02  291555Z 
CURRENT STATE OF PLAY 
---------------------- 
5.  ALTHOUGH THE FAO HAS BEEN ABLE TO GENERATE LITTLE 
ENTHUSIASM FOR ITS PROPOSALS TO SPEED UP WORK ON THE 
STILL-UNFINISHED DECLARATION FOR THE JUNE 10-13 WORLD 
FOOD SUMMIT FIVE YEARS LATER (WFS5YL), INTENSE ACTIVITY 
IS TAKING PLACE IN AND OUTSIDE OF ITALY ON THE "RIGHT TO 
FOOD" SEGMENT OF THE DRAFT DECLARATION.  THE GOVERNMENTS 
OF ITALY AND NORWAY HAVE SPONSORED (AND GERMANY WILL 
SPONSOR MAY 22-23) SEMINARS ON THE RIGHT TO FOOD WITH A 
VIEW TO GATHERING SUPPORT FOR A CODE OF CONDUCT ON THE 
RIGHT TO FOOD AS A "DELIVERABLE" FOR THE UPCOMING WFS5YL. 
(THE UNITED STATES WAS INVITED TO THE ITALIAN AND GERMAN 
SEMINARS, BUT WAS NOT INVITED TO THE NORWEGIAN EVENT.) 
 
6.  POLITICAL "BUY-IN" HAS BEEN AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL IN 
ITALY, WHERE THE ITALIAN MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE STATED 
HIS SUPPORT FOR A CODE AT A SEMINAR ORGANIZED BY THE 
ITALIAN MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND THE JACQUES MARITAIN 
INSTITUTE (REFTEL).  (COMMENT: MISOFF LEARNED FROM THE 
MINISTER'S INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS ADVISER THAT THE 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
                           UNCLASSIFIED     PTQ5339 
 
PAGE 01        ROME  02071  02 OF 02  291555Z 
ACTION IO-00 
 
INFO  LOG-00   AID-00   AMAD-00  CIAE-00  COME-00  CTME-00  DODE-00 
      ITCE-00  WHA-00   EB-00    EXME-00  EUR-00   UTED-00  TEDE-00 
      INR-00   ITC-01   NSAE-00  OES-01   OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01 
      SS-00    STR-00   TEST-00  TRSE-00  SAS-00     /006W 
                  ------------------95AD4C  291555Z /38 
R 291446Z APR 02 
FM AMEMBASSY ROME 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 3479 
INFO USDA FAS WASHDC 2113 
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
USMISSION GENEVA 
AMEMBASSY OSLO 
AMEMBASSY BERLIN 
AMEMBASSY CARACAS 
 
UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02 ROME 002071 
 
SIPDIS 
 
USDA FOR FAS/LYNNE REICH AND DICK HUGHES 
STATE FOR IO/EDA ROSE BERSTEIN 
USAID FOR RALPH CUMMINGS 
 
FROM FODAG 
 
E.O. 12958:  N/A 
TAGS:  AORC, FAO, EAGR, 
SUBJECT: WORLD FOOD SUMMIT FIVE YEARS LATER: CODE OF 
CONDUCT ON RIGHT TO FOOD 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        ROME  02071  02 OF 02  291555Z 
 
MINISTER IS COMMITTED TO A CODE OF CONDUCT, AND FOR 
POLITICAL REASONS CANNOT BACK AWAY FROM THAT COMMITMENT. 
END COMMENT).  SIMILARLY, THE GERMAN SEMINAR IS TO BE 
OPENED BY THE GERMAN MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER 
PROTECTION, RENATE KUNAST. 
 
NORWEGIAN PROPOSAL 
------------------ 
7.  A NORWEGIAN NON-PAPER CIRCULATED AMONG EUROPEAN 
COUNTRY MISSIONS IN ROME PROPOSES RE-OPENING THE ROME 
DECLARATION AND PROGRAM OF ACTION TO INVITE THE HIGH 
COMMISSIONER ON HUMAN RIGHTS TO DEVELOP A VOLUNTARY CODE 
OF CONDUCT ON THE RIGHT TO ADEQUATE FOOD, "WITH A VIEW TO 
POLICY AND PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT, MEANS AND METHODS OF 
IMPLEMENTATION, NATIONAL LEGISLATION AND MONITORING, AS 
WELL AS MAKING NATIONAL REPORTING BY STATES PARTIES TO 
THE INTERNATIONAL TREATY BODY (THE COVENANT ON ECONOMIC, 
SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS) MAXIMALLY RELEVANT." 
 
LATIN AMERICAN PROPOSAL 
----------------------- 
8.  A LATIN AMERICAN GROUP (GRULAC) PROPOSAL TAKES 
ANOTHER TACK (VENEZUELA IS THE LEADING COUNTRY AMONG THE 
LATINS ON THIS ISSUE):  FODAG RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING FROM 
GRULAC 4/26/02: 
 
BEING TEXT: 
WE UNDERLINE OUR CONVICTION THAT A VOLUNTARY CODE OF 
CONDUCT ON THE RIGHT TO FOOD WILL HELP STRENGTHEN THE 
POLICIES DIRECTED AT ACHIEVING FOOD SECURITY FOR ALL, AND 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        ROME  02071  02 OF 02  291555Z 
THEREFORE DECIDE TO ESTABLISH AN INTERGOVERNMENTAL 
WORKING GROUP FOR THE ELABORATION OF THE VOLUNTARY CODE 
OF CONDUCT WITH A TWO-YEAR PERIOD, IN COORDINATION WITH 
THE RELEVANT UN ORGANISMS THROUGH THE FAO SECRETARIAT. 
THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL WORKING GROUP SHALL INFORM THE 
COMMITTEE ON FOOD SECURITY OF ITS RESULTS. 
END TEXT. 
 
PROPOSED ACTION 
--------------- 
9. ASSUMING THERE IS OVERWHELMING PRESSURE FOR THE WFS5YL 
TO APPROVE A CODE OF CONDUCT, FODAG SEES THE FOLLOWING 
ADVANTAGES OF THE GRULAC PROPOSAL: 
 
--  THE DRAFTING IS IN THE HANDS OF AN INTERGOVERNMENTAL 
BODY(RATHER THAN THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS) 
WHERE THE U.S. CAN PARTICIPATE ACTIVELY; 
 
--  FAO HAS PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE WITH CODES OF CONDUCT 
(PESTICIDES, FISHERIES).  NEGOTIATION OF THESE CODES OF 
CONDUCT HAS INCLUDED PARTICIPATION BY INDUSTRY AND OTHER 
STAKEHOLDERS. 
 
10.  THE U.S. WOULD NEED TO WORK FOR THE FOLLOWING: 
 
-- CONSENSUS DECISION MAKING; 
 
-- INDUSTRY AND OTHER STAKEHOLDER PARTICIPATION; 
 
-- THE BODY STARTS FROM SCRATCH (NOT USING THE CIVIL 
SOCIETY DRAFTED CODE AS A BASIS.)  AS AN ALTERNATIVE, THE 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 04        ROME  02071  02 OF 02  291555Z 
GROUP COULD REQUEST THE CFS TO SURVEY "VOLUNTARY NATIONAL 
GUIDELINES" THAT COUNTRIES HAVE ADOPTED, ALONG WITH AN 
ASSESSMENT OF THESE GUIDELINES (IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND 
WHAT WORKS AND WHAT DOESN'T); 
 
-- IT MUST BE FUNDED FROM VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS (NO 
ALLOCATION IN THE 2002-2003 BUDGET); 
 
-- IT MUST FOCUS ON FAO'S AREAS OF COMPETENCE. 
 
11.  WASHINGTON GUIDANCE ON THESE POINTS REQUESTED FOR 
DISCUSSING THE ISSUE WITH OTHER PERMANENT MISSIONS IN 
ROME IN THE RUN-UP TO THE SUMMIT. HEILEMAN 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
> 
 2002ROME02071 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED 


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