At the ACC meeting, held in Rome from 6 to 7 April 2000, the UN Secretary-General announced the establishment of an Inter-Agency Task Force on the UN Response to Long-Term Food Security, Agricultural Development and Related Aspects in the Horn of Africa. The Task Force was to consist of senior representatives of ten ACC member agencies1 and be chaired by the Director-General of FAO.
In its Final Report, summarized in this document, the Task Force outlines the broad scope of the UN's response to the challenge of eliminating food insecurity in the form of a Strategy and Framework for Action. It also sets out ways of moving from the Framework into action. Every effort has been made to ensure that the strategy builds upon, and is in line with, governments' own strategies for food security although, in the time available, this could not be pursued with the degree of consultation that will ultimately be needed. Full ownership of the strategy, and commitment by the governments of the region to its implementation, will be sealed after this report has been submitted and Heads of State have committed themselves to eliminating famine and food insecurity.
The recommendations made by the Task Force contain nothing new in terms of the diagnosis of the underlying causes of the problem, or concerning the steps that must be taken to achieve food security in the region. The strategy for action is presented in the hope of being able to exploit both the promise of peace in the region and the renewed commitment to food security by governments. It is hoped that this exercise, which has brought together UN agencies, governments and NGOs in a truly collaborative effort, will evoke a similar spirit of cooperation when our common vision is turned into actions that will, once and for all, eliminate famine in the Horn of Africa and eventually relieve the plight of the region's food-insecure.
1ECA, FAO, IFAD, UNDP, UNEP, UNICEF, WFP, WHO, WMO and the World Bank.