A major boost to preparations for the FAO Summit on food security
Brazilian President Lula confirms his presence
18 April 2008, Brasilia/Rome - At the opening of the 30th FAO Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced that he has accepted an invitation from FAO Director-General Dr. Jacques Diouf to take part in the "Summit on food security", scheduled for 3 to 5 June 2008 at the FAO headquarters in Rome.
The support of the Brazilian President for this FAO initiative comes at a key moment, when soaring food prices are fueling political and social unrest in various parts of the world and hunger riots are erupting in some countries.
President Lula said that he would be travelling to Rome to discuss an issue that he considers to be of the utmost urgency. He added that he believes food security should be permanently enshrined in the policies of all countries and that the wealthy nations should make concessions in favour of the world’s poorest countries.
Speaking on the subject of the June summit, the Brazilian President noted that FAO has a major role to play in identifying the challenges and opportunities facing many countries.
“This debate must take place in a rational manner, without being clouded by emotions or left or right-wing ideologies. We need scientific foundations so that people can discuss solutions to the crisis to offer to the world in the years ahead”, President Lula said.
A golden opportunity
Dr. Jacques Diouf also spoke, flanked by the Brazilian Minister for External Affairs Mr. Celso Amorim, the Minister of Agriculture Mr. Reinhold Stephanes, Minister of Agrarian Development Mr. Guilherme Cassel and Mr. Mohammed Saeid Noori-Naeini, Independant Chairman of the FAO Council, as well as other key figures from the host country and senior FAO officials.
Participants at the FAO Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean welcomed Dr. Diouf’s invitation to all countries of the Region to be represented at Heads of State and Government level at the June Summit in Rome.
“This will be a golden opportunity to adopt policies, strategies and programmes that will enable us to face the major challenges currently confronting us which, aside from the price surges, include the question of agricultural production, especially in poor countries”, Dr. Diouf said.
Head, FAO information Office Madrid
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