Press Release 97/26
SUSTAINABILITY AND FOOD SECURITY ARE INSEPARABLE, FAO’s DIRECTOR-GENERAL UNDERLINES
AT THE EARTH SUMMIT + FIVE
NEW YORK 26 June 1997.-- Sustainable Development and Food Security are inseparable,
FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf told at the Nineteenth Special Session of the
UN General Assembly on the overall review and appraisal of the implementation of
Agenda 21 adopted at the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992.
“FAO is convinced that the food requirements of the world’s population can be met
for decades to come, under systems of sustainable development, if appropriate measures
are taken here and now to build national economic environments conducive to investment
in the primary sector and if international solidarity will act to give the least
privileged rural populations control over water resources and access to effective
technologies, modern inputs, credit and markets” , Dr. Diouf said in his statement.
Five years after the Earth Summit of Rio de Janiero, a special session of the General
Assembly, Earth Summit +5, is meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York
from 23-27 June to examine progress made on Agenda 21adopted at Rio. The World Plan
of Action on Sustainable Development contains more than 2,500 recommendations notably
in the fight against poverty, protection of the atmosphere and of the oceans, preservation
of biological diversity, fight against deforestation and the promotion of sustainable
Dr. Diouf underlined that the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is the
task manager for four key chapters of Agenda 21: integrated land-use management
and protection, preservation of the biodiversity and fight against deforestation,
management of mountain areas, and sustainable agricultural and rural development.
He said that FAO plays an equally key role, in collaboration with its partners,
in other areas that are crucial to food security and the environment, notably action
against desertification and the preservation of biological diversity for food and
agriculture, climate changes and sustainable energy.
It was with these major challenges of the 21th Century in mind, Dr. Diouf said,
that FAO restructured itself and formed a Sustainable Development Department thus
ensuring that the future perspective would be integral to the policies and projects
of the sectoral departments of agriculture, forestry, fisheries and economic and
social affairs. The FAO Director-General further said that the Rome Declaration
and Plan of Action adopted by the World Food Summit last November are natural extensions
of the Rio Summit. He said that the Heads of State and Government and high-level
representatives of 186 countries had pledged to eliminate hunger and malnutrition,
mainly by providing a stable political environment based on the respect of all human
rights, by ensuring equality of opportunity for all, particularly women, and by adopting
social and economic policies that will encourage public and private initiative, while
at the same time safeguarding the environment.