Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page

III. Discussion items

World food summit and report of the technical committee

World food summit and report of the technical committee

19. The following documents indicated on the agenda were considered by the Conference:

- ARC/TC/REP/1: Report of the Technical Committee

- ARC/TC/REP/2: Contribution of the 19th FAO Regional Conference for Africa to the Draft World Food Summit Documents

- ARC/96/3: World Food Summit: Policy Statement and Plan of Action

- ARC/96/4: World Food Summit: Food Security Situation and Issues in the Africa Region

- ARC/96/4.Sup.1: Food for All Campaign

Additional documents presented were:

- Draft OAU Common African Position on Food Security and Agricultural Development

- Report of the FAO/NGO Regional Consultation for Africa on the World Food Summit

20. The Conference examined the main document ARC/TC/REP/2 and its appendices which reported on the deliberations of the Technical Committee which had preceded the Conference. The Conference expressed satisfaction with the work done by the Committee in examining the related background documents and thereby providing the necessary additional inputs for enriching the contribution of the Conference to the draft World Food Summit documents. However, the Conference identified areas in the document which needed strengthening in order to improve its contents and focus for presentation as a true reflection of the concerns of the African region. In particular the Conference:

a. requested and obtained clarifications on procedural difficulties regarding preparation and presentation of a Common African Position by the Conference as an input to the World Food Summit;

b. recognized that indebtedness and the negative effects of Structural Adjustment Programmes, which were seriously affecting development efforts of African countries to improve food security (notwithstanding the fact that Africa had been left out of the benefits of the Marshall Plan and Green Revolution), were of primary concern to the countries and must be brought to the forefront of the document;

c. acknowledged that migration and the related problems of refugees, were important factors that contributed to food insecurity (for example, mass migration within and between borders of countries resulting from search for food), and were thus of fundamental concern to the countries. Consequently, they needed to be very strongly emphasized in the document;

d. recognized the harmful effects of trypanosomiasis and its contribution to food insecurity but was advised that the issue be considered within the ambit of animal disease prevention and control in general, since this would highlight more the basic concerns which embraced other livestock and crop diseases and pests;

e. stressed the valuable contribution of irrigation improvement and expansion, aquaculture and sustainable fisheries and forestry development and management to food security and agreed that these be included in the document;

f. stressed the need to give priority to measures aiming at associating food security with improved nutrition at household level, especially for women and children;

g. admitted that deterioration in terms of trade was a major cause of impoverishment in countries and should be given prominence in the document as well as the development and management of internal markets and trade;

h. considered that environmental issues, such as soil fertility, erosion, deforestation, etc., were of great concern to the countries in their efforts to overcome food insecurity and should be highlighted in the document;

i. agreed that human rights and democracy needed to be emphasized because of their importance for food security in the countries of the region and should be inserted appropriately in the report; and

j. recommended that the document be revised to include the above points, and made specific proposals on areas where some of them should be inserted.

21. On the basis of its extensive discussion, the Conference amended the report of the Technical Committee and adopted it for transmission to the Committee on World Food Security. This document is contained in Appendix D.

Previous Page Top of Page Next Page