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04ROME1236 2004-03-29 12:27:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Rome
Cable title:  

RIGHT TO FOOD: REPORT OF INTERSESSIONAL

Tags:   AORC PHUM EAGR EAID EFIN KUNR FAO 
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					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 ROME 001236 

SIPDIS


SENSITIVE

FROM THE U.S. MISSION TO THE UN AGENCIES IN ROME

STATE FOR IO/EDA, L/HRR, DRL/MLA, E, EB/TPP/ATP
USAID FOR CUMMINGS
USDA/FAS FOR REICH AND HUGHES

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AORC PHUM EAGR EAID EFIN KUNR FAO
SUBJECT: RIGHT TO FOOD: REPORT OF INTERSESSIONAL
MEETING, INTERGOVERNMENTAL WORKING GROUP ON VOLUNTARY
GUIDELINES, 2-5 FEB 2004

REFS: (A) 03 ROME 5747, (B) 03 ROME 4443,

(C) 03 ROME 1380

THIS CABLE CONTAINS SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED SECTIONS
THAT ARE INTENDED STRICTLY FOR INTERNAL USG USE.



1. (SBU) SUMMARY. A FORMAL INTERSESSIONAL MEETING
(OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP [OEWG]) OF THE
INTERGOVERNMENTAL WORKING GROUP (IGWG) FOR THE
ELABORATION OF VOLUNTARY GUIDELINES TO SUPPORT THE
PROGRESSIVE REALIZATION OF THE RIGHT TO ADEQUATE FOOD IN
THE CONTEXT OF NATIONAL FOOD SECURITY MET IN ROME
FEBRUARY 2-5. AS FORESHADOWED FROM GOVERNMENT
INTERVENTIONS IN THE OCTOBER IGWG SESSION (SEE REF A),
GIVEN THE FIRST OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE FORMAL TEXTUAL
PROPOSALS TO WHAT HAD BEEN FROM THE U.S. PERSPECTIVE A
GENERALLY ACCEPTABLE OPENING TEXT, DELEGATIONS IN THE
FEBRUARY ROUND MADE MORE THAN FOUR HUNDRED, OFTEN
SUBSTANTIVELY PROBLEMATIC, PROPOSALS. DESPITE CALLS FROM
THE IGWG CHAIRMAN FOR DELEGATIONS TO WORK AS CLOSELY AS
POSSIBLE FROM THE OPENING TEXT, HE WAS UNABLE TO IMPOSE
DISCIPLINE ON EITHER REGIONAL GROUP OR NATIONAL
DELEGATIONS. SO GREAT AND VARIED WERE THESE PROPOSALS
THAT THE ENTIRE OEWG SESSION DEVOLVED INTO A PROCESS OF
COLLECTING PROPOSALS, WITHOUT AN OPPORTUNITY FOR
SUBSTANTIVE NEGOTIATION.



2. (SBU) THE HIGHLY BRACKETED TEXT THAT EMERGED FROM
THE SESSION IS NOW 100 PAGES IN LENGTH. MANY OF THE
PROPOSALS ARE SUBSTANTIVELY OBJECTIONABLE TO THE USG.
AMONG THE PROBLEMATICAL ISSUES ARE: : THE
MISCHARACTERIZATION OF THE SUBSTANTIVE SCOPE OF AN
INTERNATIONAL RIGHT TO "THE PROGRESSIVE REALIZATION OF
THE RIGHT TO ADEQUATE FOOD;" OVERLY PRESCRIPTIVE GUIDANCE
ON DOMESTIC POLICIES STATES SHOULD ADOPT TO PROTECT
ACCESS TO FOOD; AN ATTEMPT TO ADOPT PROVISIONS THAT WOULD
APPLY TO ARMED CONFLICT AND FOREIGN OCCUPATION; AND
TENDENTIOUS PROPOSALS FROM DEVELOPING COUNTRIES AND NGOS
ON ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, DEVELOPMENT
ASSISTANCE, REALIGNING INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL
INSTITUTION LENDING CRITERIA, DEBT RELIEF, ACCESS TO
RESOURCES, TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER, DOMESTIC LAND REFORM, AND
RESPONSIBILITIES OF INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS.



3. (SBU) RECOGNIZING THAT THE TEXT THAT EMERGED WAS SO
COMPLEX AND CONFUSING AS TO MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE
LOGISTICALLY TO NEGOTIATE FROM IT (I.E., SOME GUIDELINES
HAVE OVER HALF A DOZEN DIFFERENT FORMULATIONS OF THE SAME
PARAGRAPH), RATHER THAN SCHEDULING AN INTERSESSIONAL
NEGOTIATING ROUND, THE IGWG CALLED UPON ITS BUREAU TO
MEET IN A NON-NEGOTIATING CAPACITY TO STREAMLINE THE
TEXTUAL PROPOSALS PRIOR TO THE JULY 5-9 IGWG SESSION.
THIS BUREAU MEETING WILL TAKE PLACE IN ROME FROM APRIL 26
TO MAY 1.



4. (SBU) A TOUGH ROAD AHEAD. BASED ON ITS OBSERVATIONS
OVER THE LAST TWO IGWG SESSIONS, THE U.S. DELEGATION IS
NOT OPTIMISTIC THAT THE THIRD AND FINAL SCHEDULED IGWG
SESSION IN JULY WILL BE ABLE TO CONCLUDE THIS NEGOTIATION
OR TO NEGOTIATE A TEXT THAT WILL BE ACCEPTABLE TO THE
UNITED STATES. THAT SAID, GIVEN THE MANDATE FROM THE
WORLD FOOD SUMMIT FIVE YEARS LATER TO CONCLUDE SUCH AN
INSTRUMENT BY SEPTEMBER 2004 AND THE COMMITMENT BY NEARLY
ALL OTHER DELEGATIONS TO COMPLETE THE PROCESS, THERE IS
NO PROSPECT THAT THESE NEGOTIATIONS WILL FAIL TO PRODUCE
A FINAL PRODUCT. IT ALSO SEEMS CLEAR THAT THE ABSENCE OF
A STRONG U.S. PRESENCE IN THE NEGOTIATION WOULD LEAD TO A
FAR WORSE FINAL SUBSTANTIVE OUTCOME. THE JULY IGWG
SESSION, MOREOVER, WILL BE CHALLENGING, AS THE STRUCTURE
OF THE MEETING WILL REQUIRE NO FEWER THAN THREE SEASONED
NEGOTIATORS TO REPRESENT THE UNITED STATES IN,
RESPECTIVELY, A PLENARY AND TWO SEPARATE ROUND-THE-CLOCK
WORKING GROUPS. END SUMMARY.

CONTEXT


--------------------------





5. (U) THE BACKGROUND OF THESE NEGOTIATIONS IS PROVIDED
IN REF A. ALTHOUGH IT WAS THE THIRD MEETING OF THE
IGWG, THE FEBRUARY SESSION WAS THE FIRST FORMAL
OPPORTUNITY FOR DELEGATIONS TO MAKE TEXTUAL PROPOSALS TO
THE CHAIRMAN'S OCTOBER 2003 OPENING TEXT. THE
NEGOTIATIONS HAVE BEEN AT LEAST NOMINALLY ORGANIZED

N

ROME 00001236 002 OF 004

, AFRICA, THE NEAR
EAST, AND THE SOUTH-WEST PACIFIC). EACH REGION MAY
APPOINT A REPRESENTATIVE TO THE IGWG BUREAU. NORTH
AMERICA (WHICH CONSISTS OF CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES)
IS CURRENTLY REPRESENTED IN THE BUREAU BY THE UNITED
STATES. THE SW PACIFIC GROUP, CONSISTING ON AUSTRALIA,
NEW ZEALAND AND 12 SMALL ISLAND STATES, WITHDREW FROM THE
IGWG PROCESS PRIOR TO THE FEBRUARY OEWG, CITING A LACK OF
RESOURCES TO DEDICATE TO THIS NEGOTIATION.



6. (SBU) REGIONAL GROUP DYNAMICS. IN THE BUREAU
MEETINGS PRIOR TO THE FEBRUARY ROUND, CHAIRMAN NOORI
EMPHASIZED THAT THE ONLY WAY TO NEGOTIATE THIS TEXT WAS
FOR THE REGIONAL GROUP REPRESENTATIVES TO ENSURE THAT
THEIR REGIONS WORKED CLOSELY FROM THE CHAIRMAN'S OCTOBER
2003 TEXT AND WOULD REFRAIN FROM PROPOSING A LARGE NUMBER
OF CHANGES TO THAT TEXT. IN THE MONTHS PRIOR TO THE
FEBRUARY ROUND, U.S. PARTICIPANTS WORKED BEHIND THE
SCENES WITH THE CANADIAN MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND
INTERNATIONAL TRADE TO COORDINATE THE NORTH AMERICAN
POSITION. THE RESULTS OF THESE EFFORTS WERE ONE OF THE
FEW BRIGHT SPOTS TO EMERGE FROM THE FEBRUARY ROUND, AS
U.S. AND CANADIAN VIEWS WERE UNCOMMONLY SIMILAR AND
CLOSELY COORDINATED.



7. (SBU) EUROPE IN SHAMBLES. UNFORTUNATELY, WHILE THE
NORTH AMERICAN REGION STAYED WITHIN THE CHAIRMAN'S
REQUEST, THE OTHER REGIONAL GROUPS UNRAVELED. EUROPE
WAS UNABLE TO DEVELOP A COMMON POSITION FOR THE FEBRUARY
ROUND. INSTEAD, ONLY THE EUROPEAN UNION AND ACCESSION
STATES SPOKE AS A GROUP, WHILE SWITZERLAND AND NORWAY
MADE A TRULY REMARKABLE AND UNHELPFUL NUMBER OF PROPOSALS
ON VIRTUALLY EVERY PARAGRAPH OF EVERY GUIDELINE. OF THE
450 TEXTUAL CHANGES PROPOSED IN BY DELEGATIONS IN THE
FEBRUARY ROUND, MORE THAN 150 CAME FROM NORWAY AND
SWITZERLAND. THESE PROPOSALS TENDED, MOREOVER, TO BE
AMONG THE MOST EXTREME, INCLUDING PROVISIONS TO REDEFINE
THE NATURE OF THE RIGHT TO FOOD, NEW RULES TO GOVERN THE
LAW OF WAR (SWITZERLAND), A NEW PROVISION ON MONITORING
AND COMPLIANCE (SWITZERLAND), AND AN ENTIRELY NEW AND
UNASKED-FOR ANNEX ON "BEST PRACTICES." IN CONTRAST,
THE EU'S POSITION WAS FAR MORE CONSTRUCTIVE AND
RESTRAINED. THE EU ISSUED A PARTICULARLY HELPFUL
INTERVENTION THAT THE GUIDELINES SHOULD NOT CONTAIN A
SECTION ON THE INTERNATIONAL DIMENSION.



8. (SBU) OTHER REGIONS. ANOTHER FACTOR AT WORK TO
DEFEAT THE CHAIRMAN'S EFFORT TO ADHERE TO THE OCTOBER
TEXT WAS THE REALITY THAT THE G-77 GROUP EMERGED AS THE
REAL NEGOTIATING FULCRUM OF THE REGIONAL GROUPS OTHER
THAN EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA. HERE TOO, HOWEVER,
REGIONAL GROUPS DID NOT SPEAK WITH ONE VOICE. ASIA WAS
PARTICULARLY FRACTURED, AS IT DIVIDED ALONG DEVELOPING-
DEVELOPED COUNTRY LINES (WITH JAPAN AND SOUTH KOREA OFTEN
AT ODDS WITH THE REST OF THE REGION). INEXPLICABLY,
PAKISTAN AND INDIA ALSO SENT DELEGATIONS THAT MADE DOZENS
OF DRAFTING PROPOSALS.



9. (SBU) THE ROLE OF NGOS. IN ADDITION TO THE COHESION
OF THE NORTH AMERICAN DELEGATION, ANOTHER POSITIVE
DEVELOPMENT WAS THE SUCCESSFUL USG EFFORT TO DEFEAT AN
ATTEMPT TO ALLOW NGO OBSERVERS TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SAME
WAY AS REGIONAL GROUPS OR MEMBER STATES. THANKS TO WORK
BEHIND THE SCENES PRIOR TO AND DURING THE BUREAU SESSION
ON THE MORNING BEFORE THE FIRST PLENARY MEETING, A
PROPOSAL TO ALLOW NGO AND OTHER NON-GOVERNMENTAL
OBSERVERS TO PROPOSE TEXTUAL AMENDMENTS WAS DEFEATED. IN
ITS PLACE, NON-GOVERNMENTAL OBSERVERS MADE GENERAL
COMMENTS WITH RESPECT TO EACH GUIDELINE BEFORE THE TEXT
WAS FORMALLY OPENED FOR AMENDMENT. THEREAFTER, REGIONAL
GROUPS AND STATES WERE FREE TO MAKE PROPOSALS. IN
PRACTICE, THIS SEEMED TO GIVE NGOS THE ABILITY TO
PROPERLY HAVE THEIR VIEWS KNOWN AND TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT IN
THE PROCESS, WHILE NOT CREATING YET ANOTHER SOURCE OF
TEXTUAL PROPOSALS.

NEGOTIATIONS OF THE TEXT


--------------------------





10. (SBU) THE FIRST NEGOTIATING SESSION SET THE
UNFORTUNATE PATTERN FOR THE WEEK'S MEETING. IN AN EFFORT
TO GET THE NEGOTIATIONS OFF TO A QUICK START, CHAIRMAN

ROME 00001236 003 OF 004

BE AN UTTERLY
UNCONTROVERSIAL GUIDELINE ON "DEMOCRACY, GOOD GOVERNANCE
AND HUMAN RIGHTS." THE FIRST THREE-LINE PARAGRAPH,
WHICH CONTAINS STANDARD LANGUAGE ON THE IMPORTANCE OF
DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM, OCCUPIED THE ENTIRE THREE-HOUR
MORNING SESSION. NORWAY SPENT ROUGHLY AN HOUR DISCUSSING
ITS PROPOSAL TO REDRAFT AND REORGANIZE THE ENTIRE
GUIDELINES. DESPITE THE CHAIRMAN'S ADMONITIONS TO AVOID
MAKING UNDUE CHANGES TO THE OCTOBER TEXT, PROPOSALS FROM
GRULAC, NORWAY, THE EU, THE NEAR EAST, SWITZERLAND,
AFRICA, AND PAKISTAN CONVERTED THE PREVIOUSLY THREE-LINE
OPENING TEXT INTO ROUGHLY A PAGE OF HIGHLY BRACKETED
LANGUAGE. NORWAY'S PROPOSAL TO CONVERT THE GUIDELINES
ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS INTO NON-RECOMMENDATORY
BACKGROUND WAS PARTICULARLY DIFFICULT TO FATHOM.



11. (SBU) THE PATTERN OF WORK CONTINUED IN THE
AFTERNOON OF THE FIRST DAY, DURING WHICH DELEGATIONS WERE
UNABLE TO COMPLETE WORK ON THE FIRST GUIDELINE. AS THERE
ARE 18 GUIDELINES ALONG WITH EXTENSIVE INTRODUCTORY TEXT,
THE CHAIRMAN REALIZED THAT HE COULD NOT CONTINUE THAT
PATTERN OF WORK. ACCORDINGLY, FOR THE LAST THREE DAYS,
HE SIMPLY ASKED DELEGATIONS TO MAKE THEIR PROPOSALS TO
THE GUIDELINES WITHOUT SEEKING SUBSTANTIVE VIEWS FROM
OTHER DELEGATIONS ON THOSE PROPOSALS.

SUBSTANTIVE TEXTUAL PROBLEM AREAS


--------------------------





12. (SBU) SO EXTENSIVE WERE THE PROPOSALS THAT, EVEN
WITH THIS MODIFICATION, IT WAS NOT POSSIBLE DURING THE
FOUR-DAY SESSION TO HAVE ALL OF THE 450 PROPOSALS ENTERED
INTO THE TEXT FROM THE FLOOR. ON THE FINAL SESSION, THE
CHAIRMAN ASKED DELEGATIONS TO SUBMIT THEIR PROPOSALS ON
THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL SUBJECTS (INTERNATIONAL SECTION
AND INTRODUCTION) IN WRITING AFTER THE SESSION. ALTHOUGH
THE UNITED STATES AS A MEMBER OF THE BUREAU HAS SEEN THE
SECRETARIAT'S EFFORT TO COMPILE THE TEXT, AS OF MARCH 29,

SIPDIS
THE SECRETARIAT HAS NOT CIRCULATED A TEXT REFLECTING THE
ALL OF THE PROPOSALS. BASED ON THE CURRENT INFORMAL
DRAFT, THE ISSUES THAT WILL CONFRONT THE US DELEGATION AT
THE JULY ROUND WILL INCLUDE:

--(1) PROBLEMATIC PROPOSALS ON THE SUBSTANTIVE SCOPE OF
AN INTERNATIONAL RIGHT TO "THE PROGRESSIVE REALIZATION OF
THE RIGHT TO ADEQUATE FOOD";"

--(2) SOME ATTEMPTS TO DIMINISH THE IMPORTANCE OF CIVIL
AND POLITICAL RIGHTS;

--(3) OVERLY PRESCRIPTIVE GUIDANCE ON DOMESTIC POLICIES
STATES SHOULD ADOPT TO PROTECT ACCESS TO FOOD (E.G.,
STATES SHOULD ADOPT A HUMAN RIGHTS OMBUDSMAN WITH A
MANDATE TO REVIEW RIGHT TO FOOD ISSUES AND STATES SHOULD
ENSURE THAT BUDGET CUTS TO NOT REDUCE ACCESS TO FOOD";

--(4) A SWISS AND SOME DEVELOPING COUNTRIES' ATTEMPT TO
ADOPT PROVISIONS THAT WOULD APPLY TO ARMED CONFLICT AND
FOREIGN OCCUPATION;

--(5) A LENGTHY AND OBJECTIONABLE SWISS ANNEX LAYING OUT
AN EXPANSIVE DEFINITION OF THE SCOPE OF THE RIGHT TO
ADEQUATE FOOD AND PURPORTING TO SET FORTH THE
RESPONSIBILITIES OF STATES, INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS,
NGOS AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR;

--(6) PROBLEMATIC PROPOSALS BY NORWAY ON FOOD SAFETY AND
CONSUMER PROTECTION;

--(7) PROPOSALS ON THE PROVISION OF INTERNATIONAL FOOD
AID GENERALLY AND DURING COMPLEX HUMANITARIAN
EMERGENCIES;

--(8) PROPOSALS ON NATURAL RESOURCES, INCLUDING ACCESS TO
WATER, LAND (INCLUDING LAND REFORM), AND GENETIC
RESOURCES;
--
--(9) PROPOSALS FROM DEVELOPING COUNTRIES THAT EXPRESS
THEIR VIEWS ON ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT,
DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE, REALIGNING INTERNATIONAL
FINANCIAL INSTITUTION LENDING CRITERIA, DEBT RELIEF,
ACCESS TO RESOURCES, TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER, DOMESTIC LAND

ROME 00001236 004 OF 004



--------------------------





13. (SBU) AS NOTED ABOVE, THE JULY IGWG WILL PRESENT A
FORMIDABLE CHALLENGE TO THE U.S. DELEGATION. IT WILL BE
INCUMBENT ON THE DEPARTMENT AND OTHER WASHINGTON AGENCIES
TO PREPARE ACCORDINGLY. THE FAO HAS BUDGETED FOR
INTERPRETATION FOR A PLENARY AND TWO FULL-TIME WORKING
GROUPS DURING THE FIVE-DAY SESSION. THIS STRUCTURE WILL
CALL FOR A U.S. DELEGATION CONSISTING OF NO FEWER THAN
THREE EXPERIENCED NEGOTIATORS. AS ONE OF THE WORKING
GROUPS WILL FOCUS ON THE INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC SECTION
OF THE CURRENT DRAFT, THE PRESENCE OF A NEGOTIATOR FROM
EB WILL BE ESSENTIAL.

HALL

NNNN
2004ROME01236 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED