Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Michael Fakhri
Statement as Delivered by Kelly Billingsley
Human Rights Council – 49th Session
March 14, 2022
Thank you, Mr. Special Rapporteur for this report.
As a party to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, we strongly support the Treaty’s objectives and are working to promote farmers’ rights, as set out in Article 9.
Seeds are a living resource and their exchange and use are crucial for conserving and sustainably using crop genetic diversity.
We recognize that plant breeding and use of new plant varieties that withstand adverse environmental conditions can help ensure food security and tackle the global crisis of climate change and biodiversity loss. New technologies help us adapt to and mitigate climate impacts and transform food systems to use less land, less water, and fewer inputs. We must stand together for science and science-based decisions that affect such technologies.
We reject the harsh line that is drawn between so-called “farmers” and “commodity” seed systems, and between farmers and breeders. We caution against portraying farmers as a monolith and promoting “one-size-fits-all” approaches to promoting farmers’ rights.
Mr. Special Rapporteur, how will Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine further exacerbate rising global food insecurity and affect fragile populations in particular?