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From 5 to 11 December 1992 the International Conference on Nutrition (ICN) was held at FAO Headquarters in Rome. Delegates from 159 countries and the European Economic Community and representatives of 144 non governmental organizations 11 intergovernmental organizations and 16 United Nations organizations participated in the far reaching and detailed discussions In unanimously adopting the World Declaration on Nutrition and the Plan of Action for Nutrition the delegates pledged their countries commitment to build upon their current agricultural and nutrition activities and to reduce global hunger and malnutrition.

His Holiness Pope John Paul II gave the inaugural address noting that access to food is an inalienable right and it is our task to ensure that sufficient food is available to everyone He observed that resources and technology must be shared and education and health guaranteed and he called for international solidarity.

Mr. Edouard Saouma Director General of FAO welcomed the delegates and stressed that many nutrition problems are linked to poverty. His address is presented in this issue Dr. Hiroshi Nakajima Director General of WHO noted that nutrition has claimed its rightful place in development policy in part as a result of the ICN process.

The delegates discussed obstacles to progress in reducing malnutrition voicing concerns about current trade practices debt burdens and structural adjustment They expressed alarm about current food emergencies and sought ways to ensure that food aid reaches those in need of relief The ongoing problems of food supplies in Africa received special attention from the ICN participants Delegates called for international cooperation and assistance from multilateral and bilateral agencies industry and non governmental organizations in their efforts to improve nutrition.

By informing our readers about the ICN we hope to stimulate discussion of ways to achieve the objectives of improving food supplies and nutritional well-being for all peoples.

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