NICOSIA, 31 May 2002 -- The 23rd
session of the FAO Regional Conference for Europe ended today in
Nicosia with a powerful appeal to the European Heads of State
and Government to attend the forthcoming World Food Summit:
five years later that will be held in Rome on
10-13 June 2002.
The delegates reaffirmed
their determination to achieve the objectives set by the 1996
World Food Summit to halve the number of the world's
undernourished people by 2015.
ministerial round table on food security and quality unanimously
adopted a set of measures to put into place effective and
transparent arrangements throughout the food chain within the
framework of a national risk management strategy based on the
sensitisation and broader participation of all the stakeholders.
Taken as a whole, these measures constitute a pan-European
Action Plan to address an issue of particular sensitivity to
The round table emphasised the
importance of heightened cooperation between the European
countries to improve surveillance, strengthen the coordination
of food safety monitoring systems, step up the exchange of
information and take prompt action when dangers arise. The
Conference requested FAO to cooperate with the WHO and other
international institutions to contribute to enhancing the
capacities of the countries in the region.
One issue on which that the Conference focused in
particular was combating land degradation and desertification.
The delegations examined the underlying causes which are present
in numerous European countries, particularly in the sub-regions
of Mediterranean Europe and Central Europe. They impact on water
resource management and land productivity, which makes them
marginal in agricultural and food production.
The Conference also took note of the messages brought
by 30 NGOs and national coordinations from different parts of
the European continent, emphasising that the forthcoming World
Food Summit: five years later will provide an
opportunity to further strengthen cooperation between civil
society and FAO.
During the Nicosia
Conference France reiterated its offer to host the 24th FAO
Regional Conference for Europe in 2004.