PR 96/42 - PLAN OF ACTION FOR WORLD FOOD SUMMIT


PR 96/42

"IMPORTANT PROGRESS" REPORTED IN DRAFTING OF PROPOSED POLICY STATEMENT AND PLAN OF ACTION FOR WORLD FOOD SUMMIT

Rome, October 11 -- A committee of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has reported "important progress" toward completion of a Rome Declaration and Plan of Action to be adopted by next month's World Food Summit, FAO said today.

"Significant results have been achieved," Ambassador Pedro A. Medrano Rojas of Chile, chairman of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) told the FAO Council.

"The atmosphere was positive, constructive, and I think we can say we have made important progress. We clarified our positions and are now in a much better position to move forward swiftly toward the solution of pending problems."

The Council agreed unanimously to a proposal by the committee, designated as the preparatory body for the Summit, to meet again at FAO headquarters October 28-30 to complete work on the documents.

FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf said the fact that the CFS managed to reduce the number of brackets around texts still in question from almost 800 to 176 in only nine working days is an indication of ¦good will, and with such good will prevailing we should be able to reach consensus agreement within the time available."

Dr. Diouf urged countries and regional groups to carry out active consultations in order to clear away remaining obstacles before they resume work.

The Summit will be held November 13-17 at FAO headquarters.

The text of the Rome Declaration and Plan of Action have been prepared by the committee, drawing on recommendations by FAO member nations at their regular regional conferences earlier this year, regional consultations of non-governmental organizations (NGO) and input from other UN agencies, the private sector and research and academic institutions.

Representatives of more than 200 NGOs from throughout the world attended a consultation at FAO on September 19-21 to review and offer final comments on the draft documents to be considered at the CFS meeting, which opened September 23.

The Summit will not seek pledges of new funding or create new bureaucracy, but by adopting the Rome Declaration and Plan of Action, world leaders will reaffirm their commitment to the goal of universal food security and agree to specific action involving international, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, the private sector, research and academic institutions, women's and youth groups and all other sectors of civil society.