Food Diplomacy in food crisis times

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferenceUnpublished abstract


Food is the process necessary for life in every living being. Food is more than fuel for a biological process for human beings and becomes a multifactorial and complex social process. In this sense, its complexity is manifested in the cultural and religious aspects that surround it. Considering its necessity in social relations, food in human history has been used as a form of payment, as tradable goods, as common goods, and as political weapons. In this respect, the early recognition of the right to food in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the later affirmation of the fundamental right to be free from hunger in Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights changed the way food is understood. This process of formulations marks several historical milestones in the evolution of the human right to food that has undoubtedly ratified its need for regulation for the protection of human dignity as a fundamental principle of existence. Notwithstanding the evolution of this right, in neoliberal globalisation, food commodification has played an essential role in exacerbating food crises and negatively influencing the food security of the world's population. Furthermore, under international law, food has become a mere commodity at the service of large agricultural monopolies and as a mechanism for exerting political pressure. Consequently, food diplomacy is based on the use of states' food resources to influence geopolitical, economic, and international relations with other states. The fact remains that food diplomacy must be based on the fundamental principles underpinning international law. In this respect, food diplomacy cannot become an instrument of coercion to achieve political and economic goals, but an international tool to contribute to peoples' food and nutritional security. With the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the global food crisis that has been brewing since 2020 has become acutely problematic. In this regard, the current world economic order continues to promote free trade rules that do not benefit the least developed and developing states. It is imperative to harmonise the principles of food diplomacy with the principles of food sovereignty and respect for local food markets and producers in a manner respecting the sovereignty equality of states and the human rights of their population. In addition to the role of food diplomacy in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal number 2, zero hunger, through sustainable and resilient food systems. The main research objective is to assess the role of food diplomacy in a globalised world facing a food crisis and how paradigms can be changed under the principles of equality, human dignity, and mutual respect between states. It considers a characterisation of food as a multifactorial and complex social process that is decisive in social, community and international relations. The research methods used are legal-theoretical, legal-analytical and document analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusUnpublished - 23 Nov 2022
EventDiplomacia de Sustentabilidade: Poderá a ciência com ética salvar o mundo? A Importância da ciência com consciência para os ODS e a diplomacia científica e tecnológica - University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
Duration: 21 Nov 202224 Nov 2022


ConferenceDiplomacia de Sustentabilidade
Internet address


  • food diplomacy
  • right to food
  • international economic order
  • food commodification
  • food sovereignty
  • food security


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