Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations works to achieve food security for all – to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. FAO’s three main goals are: the eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition; the elimination of poverty and the driving forward of economic and social progress for all; and, the sustainable management and utilization of natural resources, including land, water, air, climate and genetic resources for the benefit of present and future generations.
Delegate capacity: 30
A. Devising solutions on patent issues in regard to genetic resource sharing
All countries depend on genetic diversity from other countries and regions. International cooperation and open exchange of genetic resources are therefore crucial for food security. The global operational systems of the International Treaty, which include Multilateral System of Access and Benefit-sharing and the Global Information System on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, facilitate the exchange of plant genetic resources and relevant information. Genetic resources for food and agriculture are the raw materials upon which the world relies to improve the productivity and quality of crops, livestock, forestry and fisheries, as well as to maintain healthy populations of wild species. The conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources for food and agriculture is therefore at the core of food security and nutrition. Conserving and using a wide range of diversity – both among species and within species – means securing options to respond to future challenges.
Discussion of genetic resource sharing among nations in order to eradicate poverty would be comparatively easy. However, the main discussion point on this issue arises when it comes to genetic resource sharing of genetically modified resources that might act as protagonists in producing more food in impoverished parts of the world.
The committee is expected to discuss the importance of patents in the act of trying to reduce poverty and genetic resource sharing when it may influence the agricultural worth of the genetic resource after being spread to other countries.
B. Setting a binding code of conduct regarding landgrabbing
Land grabbing is the contentious issue of large-scale land acquisitions: the buying or leasing of large pieces of land by domestic and transnational companies, governments, and individuals. While used broadly throughout history, land grabbing as used in the 21st century primarily refers to large-scale land acquisitions following the 2007-2008 world food price crisis.
By prompting food security fears within the developed world and new found economic opportunities for agricultural investors, the food price crisis caused a dramatic spike in large-scale agricultural investments, primarily foreign, in the Global South for the purpose of industrial food and biofuel production. Although hailed by investors, economists and some developing countries as a new pathway towards agricultural development, investment in land in the 21st century has been criticized as having a negative impact on local communities.
Foreign acquisitions of farmland in Africa and elsewhere have become the focus of concern. Many observers consider them a new form of colonialism that threatens food security of the poor. However, investments could be good news if the objectives of land purchasers are reconciled with the investment needs of developing countries.The viewpoints are expected to vary from country to country. FAO’s consensus on the issue is mainly that this foreign investment can help both parties economically and agriculturally. However, it recognizes the need for a binding code of conduct. the committee is expected to devise a binding code of conduct that can contribute to international peace regarding the issue.