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FAO welcomes Latin American and Caribbean countries commitment in the fight against hunger

Let us turn this common challenge into a priority, Director-General says

FAO welcomes Latin American and Caribbean countries commitment in the fight against hunger

30 January 2014, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - FAO Director- General José Graziano da Silva welcomed today the strong commitment by the leaders of Latin American and Caribbean states to continue efforts to eradicate hunger and poverty in the region.

"Once again, Latin American and Caribbean leaders have expressed their willingness to continue irrevocable progress in eradicating hunger and poverty while maintaining their commitment to their nation’s sustainable development," Graziano da Silva said about the final declaration of the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) held on 28 and 29 January in Havana (Cuba).

In the document, the regional leaders reaffirm that to attain poverty and hunger eradication, it is necessary to promote economic policies that enhance productivity and development in their nations, working to strengthen the global economic order for the benefit of countries and promote solidarity and cooperation.

"We will continue working on plans, policies and programs to progressively reduce the income inequalities that are at the very core of hunger, poverty and social exclusion," states the Declaration adopted by leaders in Havana, which is in line with FAO recommendations for strengthening social protection mechanisms to promote regional food security.

In line with CELAC’s first declaration, the role of the Hunger-Free Latin America and the Caribbean Initiative is reaffirmed in this statement as the countries’ commitment to eradicate hunger in the region by 2025. This support goes back to the Latin America and the Caribbean on Integration and Development Summit held in Salvador de Bahia (Brazil ) in 2008, reflecting the continuous commitment of members to the Initiative.

Graziano da Silva praised the "high priority" given by the Declaration to strengthening food security and nutrition, education, land tenure, development of agriculture, including family and small holder farming as well as productive development as decisive factors for hunger, poverty and social exclusion eradication.

In particular, FAO Director-General supports the reference made to smallholder producers as key actors to achieve food security. In that sense, Graziano da Silva praised the recognition that the CELAC grants to "the role that indigenous peoples and local communities play in economic, social and environmental development" as well as the importance of sustainable traditional agricultural practices associated with biodiversity and the use of natural resources.

"As part of the celebration of the International Year of Family Farming in 2014, we welcome the support to the important role of family farmers around the world, especially in the Latin American and Caribbean region, in the fight for the eradication of hunger and poverty, food security and nutrition, " Graziano da Silva said in reference to the explicit support shown in the Declaration.

"FAO shares the commitment of countries to work together to face the common challenge of hunger in the region by strengthening national and regional mechanisms to eradicate it," he said, adding that that FAO would continue to support countries in their efforts.

CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) is a regional group consisting of 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, representing about 600 million people.