Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Asian non-governmental and civil society organizations meet

Nepal, 09 May 2002 -- Kathmandu – Representatives of non-governmental and civil society organizations (NGOs/CSOs) dealing with food security and poverty in Asia, will gather here on 11 and 12 May to discuss ways of reducing widespread chronic hunger in the region. The consultation will also assess regional progress in meeting the commitments made at the 1996 World Food Summit.

Organized in conjunction with the 26th FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific from 13 to 17 May, the gathering is part of global NGOs/CSOs preparation for the June 2002 World Food Summit: five years later (WFS: fyl) to be held at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy. Representatives of 120 NGOs/CSO organizations from 14 countries are to attend.

The Kathmandu consultation follows an earlier NGO/CSO-meeting in Bangkok, Thailand last August 2001, which voiced concerns about the impact of emerging world trade rules on food security and poverty. The participants outlined a range of policy reforms and priority action for governments, inter-governmental organizations, FAO and among NGOs/CSOs in Asia as well.

According to latest FAO estimates, nearly 500 million people in Asia and the Pacific do not get the minimum amount of food needed for a healthy and active life. With two-thirds of the world’s undernourished people, the region also has the highest proportion of income-poor people, underlining FAO’s belief that hunger is as much the cause as consequence of poverty.

The NGOs/CSOs consultation will take up the following themes:

• Right to food
• Empowerment through access to resources
• Sustainable paths to food security
• Food sovereignty

Its outcome will be presented to the plenary session of the FAO regional conference. The results will serve as vital input for the regional preparation on the WFS: fyl. The WFS assessment is convened by FAO to mobilise political will and resources to accelerate progress toward the 1996 World Food Summit goal of reducing hunger by half by the year 2015.

The organizers of the consultation are the regional members of the WFS: fyl International NGO/CSO Planning Committee – the Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ANGOC), the Institute for Motivating Self Employment (IMSE) and Pesticides Action Network-Asia and the Pacific (PAN-AP) – and the NGO Federation of Nepal (NFN).

RAP 02/11