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Hunger-Free Latin America and the Caribbean Initiative

History

The Hunger-Free Latin America and the Caribbean Initiative was launched during the Latin American Summit on Chronic Hunger (Guatemala, September 2005). The idea was presented and discussed and its main promoters were Graziano da Silva (special advisor to the then President of Brazil) and Andrés Botrán (Secretary of Food Security of Guatemala and president of the organizing committee).

After the launch, the Initiative started to get the backing of the countries of the region, integration organizations and different instances. Following are the main landmarks:

Declaration by the Presidents from Central America and Brazil (September 13, 2005). During the Summit with the presidents from the Central American Integration System (SICA), set up by Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, and the head of state from Brazil (Lula da Silva), the general lines of the Initiative were presented, which got the support of the presidents in the final declaration.

Presentation by the Vice-president of Guatemala during UN Summit (UN New York, September 16, 2005). During the Extraordinary Summit of Presidents that took place on the occasion of the General Assembly of the United Nations, the Vice-president of Guatemala, Eduardo Stein, included the HFLAC Initiative in his official speech, highlighting the support that Guatemala and its President, Oscar Berger Perdomo, gave to it.

Presentation by the President of Brazil during World Food Day, WFD (FAO Rome, October 17, 2005). In his speech at FAO Rome, on the occasion of WFD and the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of FAO, President Lula Da Silva mentioned the drive of his Government to this initiative.

Presentation of the Initiative to the General Director of FAO and the General Secretary of the Spanish International Cooperation Agency, AECI (Noviembre 2005).

Inclusion in the report from the Special Speaker on the Right to Food (January 18, 2006). The final report by Special Speaker, Jean Ziegler, about the food security situation and the right to food in Guatemala, was presented to the UN Commission on Human Rights and sent to the General Assembly (E/CN.4/2006/44/add.1, January 18, 2006).

In the final session of the Conference of Ministers from Latin America and the Caribbean (29th Regional Conference of FAO for Latin America and the Caribbean, April 24-28, Caracas), it was established that the Initiative would be a priority work topic for FAO in the region. The countries from the Caribbean asked for the Initiative to also be included in their region and, therefore, the name to be changed accordingly.

Support from GRULAC (Group of countries from Latin America and the Caribbean represented in the United Nations – Rome) to the Initiative and presentation of the Informative Note about HFLACI 2025 during the 32nd Committee on World Food Security (CFS). This was included as permanent topic on the CFS agenda.

Final Declaration from the heads of state and government during the XVI Latin American Summit (Uruguay, November 4-5, 2006. In point 5 of the final declaration the countries expressed their commitment to the Initiative and they urged the Ibero-American General Secretariat, SEGIB, to boost its development.

Support from the president of Brazil, Lula Da Silva for the Hunger-Free Latin America and the Caribbean Initiative during his official visit to La Paz, Bolivia, December 17, 2007. A work plan declaration was made together with president Evo Morales.

Backing for the HFLAC Initiative during the XXXIV Meeting of the Common Market Council of MERCOSUR, carried out in Montevideo, 17-18 December, 2007, with the presence of the presidents from Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner; from Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva; from Paraguay, Nicanor Duarte Frutos; from Uruguay, Tabaré Vázquez Rosas; and from Venezuela, Hugo Chávez Frías.

During the 30th Regional FAO Conference, on April 16, 2008 in Brasilia, Jacques Diouf called upon the nations to reaffirm their support to this Initiative. Brazil, through their president Lula da Silva, was the first to reaffirm their support, followed by Cuba, Argentina, the Dominican Republic and Uruguay. Venezuela requested their food and nutrition security programs to be included in the work of the Initiative. Also the observer of Spain reaffirmed their commitment and support.

Ratification of the Initiative and the role of the heads of state and government of the republics of Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, Honduras, Venezuela, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Haiti, Panama, Guatemala, Mexico, Belize and the Dominican Republic, during the emergency meeting of May 7, 2008, in Managua, during the "Presidential Summit for Food Sovereignty and Security: Food for Life".

Heads of state of Latin America and Europe offered their support to the Hunger-Free Latin America and the Caribbean Initiative and endorsed their commitment to eradicate malnutrition during the V Latin America and the Caribbean – European Union Summit, that took place in Lima, Peru, May 16, 2008.

The Declaration of Salvador de Bahía, Brazil, signed during the Summit of Latin America and the Caribbean on Integration and Development (CALC), carried out on December 16 and 17, 2008 in Costa de Sauípe, Bahía. During the summit the heads of state and government decided to support the efforts of the Hunger-Free Latin America and the Caribbean Initiative (HFLACI) in order to achieve eradicating this disaster from our region.

At the end of the Summit of the Unit made up of the XXI Summit of the Group of Rio and the II Summit of Latin America and the Caribbean on Integration and Development (CALC), carried out on February 23, 2010 in Cancun, Mexico, the leaders established an explicit commitment to "…strengthen the integration processes in the food area and we will combine our efforts in support of the Hunger-Free Latin America and the Caribbean 2025 Initiative".

The 31st Regional FAO Conference, carried out in Panama City from April 26 to 30, 2010, reaffirmed its support to the Hunger-Free Latin American and the Caribbean 2025 Initiative, highlighting its role in the international mobilization of resources for food and nutrition security.

The 36th Plenary Session of the Committee on World Food Security, carried out in October 2010 reaffirmed its support to the Hunger-Free Latin America and the Caribbean Initiative, highlighting its potential role in the international mobilization of resources for food and nutrition security in the region, as well as its relevant role as communication channel to get the participation of the most vulnerable countries and with the biggest food insecurity problems, especially the small island countries of the Caribbean.

The representatives of the countries that are part of the MERCOSUR Parliament, who got together in Montevideo, Uruguay, on October 28, 2010, approved the Declaration 19/2010 in which they express their "firm and resolute support to the Hunger-Free Latin America and the Caribbean Initiative”, and they promise to give a boost to “the Public Policies and laws needed for the Right to Food to become a Human Right of all the citizens of our Regional Union".

In the final declaration of the I Meeting of Latin American and Caribbean Ministers on Social Development and Eradication Hunger and Poverty, carried out in March 2011, within the framework of the Summit of Latin America and the Caribbean on Integration and Development (CALC), the countries agreed to give a boost in the region to a food policy based on the Latin American and Caribbean unifying processes in development, such as the Hunger-Free Latin America and the Caribbean Initiative.

Within the framework of the 37th Meeting of the Committee on World Food Security, CFS, carried out in October, 2011, Olivier De Schutter, Special Speaker of the United Nations on the Right to Food, emphasized the work of the Parliamentary Front against Hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean, a group that was set up with the help of the Hunger-Free Latin America and the Caribbean Initiative Support Project. 

Los comienzos de la Iniciativa en palabras de Graziano da Silva