Food & Water Security Workshop
On June 21, 2017, the Department of International Relations organized its first workshop on Food & Water Security. The workshop was attended by around forty participants and benefited from a diverse group of lecturers from academia and nongovernmental organizations.
Mara Tignino, of the Geneva Water Hub and the University of Geneva, opened the workshop with a paper on the “Challenges of Water Security in the Context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” Fiorella Nastaran Picchioni, of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, spoke about the “Food and Nutrition Security: Emergencies and Failings in the Global Food System.” Marzella Wüstefeld, of the World Health Organization (WHO), spoke about the “World Nutrition Challenges and the International Response.” Tobias Schmitz, of the Global Institute for Water, Environment and Health (GIWEH), introduced the audience to the topic of “Freshwater Resources, Water Rights and the Right to Water.” Valerie Friesen, of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), talked about “Tackling Malnutrition: Strategies to Respond to Changing Food Systems and Reach the Most Vulnerable.” James Ray, of Medair’s WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Program), concluded the workshop talking about the “Intersection of Water Scarcity and Humanitarian Aid.”
The participants had the opportunity to ask the experts questions and hear a general and specific survey of the current situation concerning food and water security in the world. Many aspects of this security are still relative to good governance, sustainable policies and – among the main causes of insecurity – the unequal distribution of wealth around the world. As stated in his concluding remarks by one of the panel chairs, Dr. Michel Veuthey, “in the 2010s it is nonsense that millions of children and women do not have access to clean water, or cannot have sufficient food (…). All stakeholders, and especially the governments, must find effective solutions to these problems.”