Haroutione Selimian, Marie Nassr, Kasturi Sen
The exclusion of conflict zones and countries under sanctions from the agenda of the United Nations Summit on Food Systems (UNFSS) held in September is a major oversight since in the Middle East region alone and North Africa (MENA), more than 200 million civilians are affected by conflict. , hunger and food insecurity, while globally the numbers are several times higher, with Syria leading the world in refugee displacement.
A politicized program of regime change over the past decade has neglected the right to food of Syrian civilians, especially those in areas controlled by the Syrian government. (70% of land) and well documented significant impact of sanctions in this region, for the physical and mental health of people.
Unilateral Coercive Measures (UMCs) are blunt instruments repeatedly condemned by the United Nations Human Rights Council as being outside international law and artificial tools of hunger and deprivation, increasingly recognized as a failed “regime behavior change” strategy. Their humanitarian impacts are neglected or denied amid widespread appeasement among countries of origin, as reflected in the UNFSS agenda.
Any UNFSS monitoring must consider conflict zones and MCUs applied to Syria and other countries, as a major obstacle to food security with their dispersal effects on the whole economy where the food, medicines and health systems as a whole are affected and should be reassessed to support the right to life, to food and for the perspective that targeted countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).