Updated September 7, 2010 with the following links: with the websites Right to Food and Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights ADH, with Training on ESC Rights, with Global cereal supply and demand update. Also with en.wikipedia /last modified on 6 September 2010.
Updated April 22, 2008: linked with Biofuels under attack as world food prices soar, with Conspiration Mondialisation, with the op-icescr – situation on April 2006, with op-icescr – again in Geneva, with HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL CONCLUDES INTERACTIVE DEBATE … , with Suffering Hunger, with The UNHRC concludes … , with IDP’s food concern in Chechnya and Azerbaijan, and with Menschenrechte auch in der Wirtschaft.
Jean Ziegler – Switzerland
Jean Ziegler (born April 19, 1934) is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food and a senior professor of sociology at the University of Geneva and the Sorbonne, Paris. He was a Member of Parliament for the Social Democrats in the Swiss federal parliament from 1981 to 1999, now he is one of the biggest protagonists of the alter-globalization movement.
He gained international acclaim for his efforts on behalf of Jewish holocaust survivors seeking compensation from bank accounts alleged linked to Nazi German in Swiss Banks. This work is documented in his book The Swiss, the Gold and the Dead: How Swiss Bankers Helped Finance the Nazi War Machine, published in 1998.
In 2000, he was appointed by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. In this role, he has visited many countries on behalf of the Commission on Human Rights, including Niger, Ethiopia, India, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Brazil, Guatemala, and the Palestinian territories to report on the situation of hunger and malnutrition in these countries. Jean Ziegler is the author of various books on globalization and on what he calls the crimes committed in the name of global finance and capitalism, condemning in particular the alleged role of Switzerland in these. He writes in French and German … (full long text).
In the mandate given by the Commission on Human Rights, the Special Rapporteur is also requested, to seek, receive and respond to information on all aspects of the realization of the right to food, including the urgent necessity of eradicating hunger.
In accordance with this mandate, the Special Rapporteur has set up an official system for receiving and responding to allegations with respect to violations of the right to food. Once he receives allegations of violations in different countries, he writes to the relevant Governments to ask them to verify the allegations and to take action where necessary to ensure redress and accountability. He reminds them of their obligations under international law and the right to food and asks them to respond to him to document action taken.
The beginning: At its fifty-sixth session, the Commission on Human Rights adopted resolution 2000/10 of 17 April 2000, in which it decided, in order to respond fully to the necessity for an integrated and coordinated approach in the promotion and protection of the right to food, to appoint, for a period of three years, a special rapporteur on the right to food. It defined the Special Rapporteur’s mandate as follows:
“(a) To seek, receive and respond to information on all aspects of the realization of the right to food, including the urgent necessity of eradicating hunger;
(b) To establish cooperation with Governments, intergovernmental organizations, in particular the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and non-governmental organizations, on the promotion and effective implementation of the right to food, and to make appropriate recommendations on the realization thereof, taking into consideration the work already done in this field throughout the United Nations system;
(c) To identify emerging issues related to the right to food worldwide.”
The Commission further requested the Special Rapporteur to pay attention to the issue of drinking water, taking into account the interdependence of that issue and the right to food; encouraged the Special Rapporteur to mainstream a gender perspective in the activities relating to his mandate; and requested him to submit a his report to the General Assembly as well as to the Commission on Human Rights.
In the discharge of his mandate the Special Rapporteur:
-Presents annual reports to the Commission and the General Assembly on the activities and studies undertaken under his mandate (See Annual reports);
-Undertakes Country Visits (See Country visits);
-Transmits communications to States with regard to alleged violations of the right to food (See Individual complaints).
Special Rapporteur : Mr. Jean Ziegler ( Switzerland ), since 2000.
A short biography: Jean Ziegler is (2003) a professor of social science and economics in the universities of Geneva and the Sorbonne. He has studied in Switzerland, France and the United States, receiving his PhD from the University of Bern in 1967. He has long been interested in the issues of poverty and hunger around the world, throughout which he has travelled extensively, especially focusing on the poor South.
Ziegler was a prominent member of the federal Swiss parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee until June 1991, when his outspoken criticism of the Swiss banking system, and its role in ‘whitewashing’ money stolen from Holocaust victims, caused him to lose his parliamentary immunity. He became the subject of lawsuits brought against him by seven Swiss banks and financial institutions. In September 2000, he was chosen by the United Nations Human Rights Committee as a rapporteur for the committee on ‘The Right to Nutrition,’ and presented several detailed reports on the problem of hunger in Third World countries.
Issues in focus: In his first report (E/CN.4/2001/53) the Special Rapporteur identified seven major economic obstacles that hinder or prevent the realization of the right to food:
(a) Problems linked to developments in world trade, particularly the agricultural policies of developed countries, as sanctioned by the World Trade Organization (WTO), which perpetuate malnutrition and hunger in the South;
(b) External-debt servicing and its impact on food security, including the structural adjustment programmes of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which consistently aggravate undernourishment and malnutrition in debtor countries;
(c) Developments in biotechnology, including genetically modified plants, ownership of international patents by agribusinesses from the North and worldwide protection of those patents, hampering access to food and the availability of food;
(d) Wars and their destructive impact on food security;
(f) Access to land and credit;
(g) Discrimination against women and its impact on the realization of the right to food.
These and other themes have been subsequently explored in his successive reports.
Wikipedia in english;
about the Geneva Conventions violation;
an Interview by Sawsan Hussein;
addendum Palestine Territories;
Jean Ziegler in other languages:
Wikipedia in german;
CV in french/en francais;
Die neuen Herrscher der Welt;
Interview in french/en francais UNI Genève;
articles from the arab and foreign press.