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Farewell to the outgoing UN Special Rapporteur on Food – Hilal Elver

11 May 2020

GRC has been privileged to have had the opportunity to work with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Hilal Elver, and her team over the last 2 years. During her 6-year mandate as Special Rapporteur, Hilal has witnessed a stark increase in hunger and malnutrition worldwide, mainly driven by conflicts and extreme weather events. She has issued reports on climate change, conflict situations, natural disasters and emergency assistance, in relation to the right to food.


During her tenure, Hilal presented member countries of the Human Rights Council in Geneva and the 3rd Committee of the General Assembly in New York, with country reports and 12 thematic reports based on her observations in her role as SR and during 11 official country visits.


During her last few months in office, Hilal observed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on food security, which has highlighted the fragility of our increasingly globalised food systems, raising a number of new challenges in terms of food access and food insecurity. Hilal has observed how COVID-19 gravely exacerbates pre-existing inequalities, and those vulnerable populations, already weakened by conflicts, climate change, economic shocks and sanctions that have destabilised food systems. For more on this issue please see GRC’s articles on COVID-19 here, here, and here. Hilal Elver, in a press release issued on 31 March 2020, urged States to continue to respect, protect, and fulfil the right to food amidst this public health crisis.


See GRC’s interview with the outgoing UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Hilal Elver, discussing her role as SR for Food, the re-emergence of famines, and the challenges of accountability for the crime of starvation, here.


GRC would like to take the occasion to express our hope to continue work on the right to food with the incoming new UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Mr. Michael Fakhri.


GRC have been engaged on the issue of starvation since 2017 in conjunction with The Netherlands’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Welt Hunger Hilfe, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, and a range of civil society organisations, principally in Yemen, South Sudan and Syria. GRC, in partnership with the World Peace Foundation, are proud recipients of grant funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands for the project ‘Accountability for Mass Starvation: Testing The Limits of the Law’.


For more on GRC’s work on conflict and hunger see

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