COMMITTEE ON WORLD FOOD SECURITY
Rome, 20-23 September 2004
EXTRACTS RELATED TO THE FOLLOW-UP TO THE
Follow-up to the World Food Summit and the World Food Summit: five years later. Regional Dimension
28. The Conference was briefed by the Assistant Director-General of FAO and Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean on the progress made in food security at regional and subregional level. He stressed the interdependence that existed between poverty and inequality and the fight against food insecurity. While it was necessary to achieve greater efficiency and competitiveness, there was a concurrent need to adjust the current process that was widening economic and social inequality in the Region.
29. The Conference recognized that current food security trends revealed both the inadequacy of policies implemented so far and the need to define new lines of action, and recommended that FAO support the definition and configuration of new strategic orientations.
30. The Conference recognized that there was strong agricultural diversity in the Region, with the coexistence of a modern competitive sector integrated into the markets and a sector made up of very small-scale producers that did not have the wherewithal to compete on markets and whose development required targeted policies that reflected a strategy of gradual development based on farm and off-farm activity.
31. The Conference noted that rural development and food security were long-term processes that went beyond the terms of office of governments and required the establishment of government policies that could be given long-term continuity.
32. The Conference recognized that a successful food security strategy called for the concerted action of the State, the private sector, civil society and international cooperation in a coherent, harmonious and highly participatory framework.
33. The Conference endorsed the concerns expressed by COAG regarding the recommendations in the Report of the Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation on "Diet, nutrition and the prevention of chronic diseases" (No. 916) which could have negative repercussions on the Region's agricultural sector.
34. The Conference urged the governments of the countries of the Region to provide their political support to the process of negotiation of the Set of Voluntary Guidelines to achieve the gradual realization of the Right to Adequate Food. The Conference also recognized the crucial role of international cooperation in the realization of this right.
The Conference recommended:
35. That FAO continue its work of analysis of emerging trends and issues, and called for a greater involvement of countries in the preparation of corresponding studies.
36. That FAO review the figures on undernutrition that had been presented1, paying particular attention to the methodology and sources of information used to calculate the indicators included in the related documents.
Initiative to review and update national strategies and policies for agriculture, rural development and food security
37. The Conference was informed on the updating of rural development and food security policies. In addition to improving the substance, the main thrust of the updating exercise focused on the characteristics and modalities of implementation, given that these were multisectoral policies with a territorial dimension and involving participatory management.
38. The Conference acknowledged that current development policies called for the shared responsibility of government and private players, and that coordination was therefore a vital component of implementation.
39. The Conference emphasized the importance of the territorial approach to development in the definition of rural development and food security strategies. This approach needed to consider farm and off-farm activities alike, as well as the characteristics of the different groups of players, highlighting the role of women in both production and the better allocation of resources and the improvement of living conditions and food security of rural populations.
40. The Conference recognized that rural development and food security policies needed to reflect both the requirements of competitiveness and transformation of production, and the priorities of combating poverty. These were multisectoral policies that called for the participation of different ministries, decentralized government bodies and private players, in a highly complex framework that required processes of coordination.
The Conference recommended:
41. That FAO reinforce and broaden the scope of large-scale training mechanisms to all players in the priorities of rural development and food security, citing the example of the FAO-FODEPAL project and requested that FAO secure additional funds for this purpose.
42. That FAO carry out studies on the process of rural outmigration, mainly to developed countries, in order to identify investment programmes based on remittances, through the development of projects that targeted rural households, in order to create new sources of employment that thus reduce the rural exodus.
1 Follow-up to the World Food Summit and World Food Summit: five years later. Regional Dimensions (Document LARC/04/4)