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Press Release 01/76

WORLD FOOD SUMMIT: five years later AGREED FOR 10-13 JUNE 2002 BY FAO COUNCIL


Rome, 31 October 2001 -- The World Food Summit: five years later, postponed earlier this month in the wake of the September 11 attacks in the United States, has been rescheduled for 10-13 June, 2002, in Rome, Italy, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced today. The new dates were agreed by the 49-member countries of the FAO Council, which governs the Organization between biennial sessions of the 180-member Conference.

The summit was originally scheduled to begin next Monday, 5-9 November, as part of the FAO biennnial Conference. However, in light of the international situation FAO sought postponement of the Summit in mid-October. FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf made the announcement on World Food Day, saying: "Unfortunately the present international circumstances and the loss of so many innocent lives and the crisis that followed have led us to seek postponement of such an event."

The decision followed two months of discussion about other possible venues in Italy for the meeting.

The World Food Summit: five years later was called for by the FAO Council last year when it became clear that the original Summit goal of cutting the number of hungry in half by the year 2015 would not be met without renewed effort.

In light of recent global events, particularly the war in Afghanistan and the worsening economic situation, FAO believes the plight of the hungry may grow worse. The Summit is seen an opportunity to seek a major recommitment from Heads of State and Government to press forward with renewed will to reduce the number of hungry people in the world.

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