FAO Liaison Office in New York
reviewed & published
64th Session of the United Nations General Assembly - Second Committee
Second Committee meeting on agenda item Agriculture Development and Food Security

The Director of the FAO Liaison Office addressed the UNGA Second Committee at its 19th meeting on agenda item Agriculture Development and Food Security. The relevant GA documents are: Letter dated 6 March 2009 from the Permanent Representative of Sudan to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General (A/64/65) and Agriculture Development and Food Security: Report of the Secretary-General (A/64/221).

These documents can be dowloaded from the Official Document System of the United Nations. Information on the work of the Second Committee is available at www.un.org/ga/second/

Statement during the meeting of the Second Committee on agenda item Agriculture Development and Food SecurityBy Ms. Lila Hanitra Ratsifandrihamanana, Director of the FAO Liaison Office with the United Nations
22 October 2009

At the outset I wish to express FAO’s appreciation for the opportunity to participate in this meeting which is taking place at a critical time when the world has been going through severe financial and economic turbulence for more than a year. This has compounded the food crisis that has shaken the global economy since 2007 and has highlighted the vulnerability of the world food system.

As part of the United Nations system response to the food crisis and as called for the General Assembly resolution 63/235, the report on agriculture development and food security looks not only at the status of the current world food situation, but also at trends and challenges in the long run. As indicated in the report, the UN system has already proposed a comprehensive framework for action which suggests short-term as well as long-term structural measures to deal with the crisis and place it in the context of a comprehensive and coordinated response at all levels.

In this regard, enhancing agricultural productivity, making a sustainable green revolution a reality, promoting cooperation for mobilizing new and additional resources, and investing in rural infrastructure, research and development, and in the technical and social capacities of government agencies as well as local communities are identified as top priorities which require immediate an concerted action by the international community.

We are reminded of the need for urgent and decisive action by the Committee for World Food Security (CFS) that just met in Rome on 14, 15 and 17 of October, which considered that world food production ought to be increased by 50 percent in 2030 and by 70 percent in 2050, if it is to feed the world population expected to grow to 9.1 billion in 40 years.

Also, meeting in Rome on 12-13 October 2009, the High Level Experts’ Forum on How to Feed the World in 2050, indicated that net investments of $83 billion a year must be made in agriculture in developing countries if there is to be enough food to feed 9.1 billion people in 2050. In this regard, we welcome the support and commitments made by the G8 in L’Aquila and look forward to their implementation.

Aware of the different needs and challenges faced by countries in the various regions of the world regarding food security, FAO will continue to work in close collaboration with Governments, UN partner agencies, civil society organizations and the private sector on programs such as the “Jagdeo Initiative” in the Caribbean, Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program (CAADP) in Africa and the ASEAN Integrated Food Security (AIFS) Framework and the Strategic Plan of Action on Food Security in the ASEAN region.

Mr. Chairperson,

The events of the last two years have shown that food security is also indispensable for world peace and security. Sharp increases in food prices were followed by riots and social unrest in 22 countries in the different continents with a number of people killed and injured. Presently, there are 31 countries in the world in grave food crisis requiring emergency assistance.

It is within this context that the FAO proposed the organization of a World Summit of Heads of State and Government on Food Security to address the key challenges concerning world food security and agriculture as well as initiatives at improving the food security governance. 

The outcome of this Summit will complement and strengthen the ongoing reform of the Organization, enhancing the Global Partnership for Agriculture and Food Security and achieving greater coherence and coordination of the Committee on World Food Security, which is committed to a wide-ranging reform. 

As a result, the new Committee on Food Security would include a wider range of organizations working with food security and nutrition from UN agencies like the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Food Program (WFP) and the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis. The Committee would also include civil society organizations, agricultural research institutions, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, regional development banks and the World Trade Organization. It would be also open to representatives of private sector associations and philanthropic foundations.

While I have touched upon the pressing issues concerning the world food security situation in this intervention, I wish to assure you of FAO’s full support as you deliberate the many issues regarding agricultural development before this Committee.

I thank you.

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