First Draft Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investment
The negotiations of the Responsible Agricultural Investments Principles in the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) provide the background for this year's "Policies against Hunger" conference. These principles are to be adopted by the CFS general assembly in October 2014. A draft drawn up following worldwide consultations has been available since 1 April 2014. This draft will be negotiated in the CFS working group in late May 2014.
Global Forum for Food and Agriculture 2013: Responsible Investments in the Agri-Food Sector - A Key Factor for Food Security and Rural Development
The Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) is an international conference on pivotal future challenges in the global agri-food sector. It is organised by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and has been held every year since 2009 at the International Green Week in Berlin. The forum gives representatives from politics, business, science and civil society an opportunity to share ideas and enhance political understanding on a selected topic of current agricultural policy within the context of food security.
At the GFFA 2013, these discussions were organised under the heading “Responsible Investment in Food and Agriculture – A key factor for food security and rural development”. At the Berlin Agriculture Ministers' Summit, some 80 ministers of agriculture from all around the world spoke out in favour of there being more agricultural investment and that these investments should take into account the entire value-added chain, promote sustainable economic development and include particularly disadvantaged and marginalized groups. It was put on the record that the necessary regulatory and economic framework is vital for the promotion of investments.
Hence this year's "Policies against Hunger" conference may also be considered a follow-up to the discussions initiated at GFFA 2013.
Final Communiqué 2013
Global Forum for Food and Agriculture - GFFA
Ruggie Framework "Protect, Respect and Remedy"
An important reference document for the rai principles is the so called Ruggie Framwork "Respect and Remedy: a Framework for Business and Human Rights and Guiding Principles“. It was presented to the Human Rights Council by John Ruggie, Special Representative on business and human rights, and adopted by the United Nations in 2011. The Ruggie Framework addresses governments and businesses and formulates three core principles to prevent human rights violations in connection with all types of business undertakings. These core principles comprise:
- the State’s duty to provide protection against human rights abuses committed by third parties including business;
- the corporate responsibility to respect human rights;
- the need for more effective access to remedies for those affected.
Due to its broad-based international acceptance, the Ruggie Framework document provides important groundwork for drafting the rai principles.
Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests
By the same token as the rai principles, the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the context of the national food security adopted by the Committee on World Food Security in May 2012 are influenced by the spirit of the human right to food and the goal of food security at global level.
The guidelines are intended to provide the states worldwide with guidance for shaping their legislation and administration with regard to the tenure of land, forests and fisheries. Additionally, they are also designed to assist non-state actors such as the private sector and civil society in dealing with issues such as how to structure investments or monitor government actions, for example.
One important element of the VGGT is the chapter on responsible investment in conjunction with the transfer of the tenure of land, forests and fisheries, including the responsibilities of non-state actors such as investors. The contents of this chapter will be reflected in the rai principles with regard to land issues.