65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly - Second Committee
Agenda Item 26 Agriculture Development and Food Security
Statement by Lila Ratsifandrihamanana, Director of the FAO Liaison Office with the United Nations
28 October 2010
I wish to express our appreciation for the report of the Secretary-General on Agriculture Development and Food Security under consideration and to which FAO provided a substantive contribution.
As you may be aware, the report on the State of Food Insecurity (SOFI) released by FAO and WFP last September indicates 925 million hungry and malnourished people in 2010. This marks an improvement compared to last year’s spike in world hunger of 1 billion persons, however it is still far from the target set at the WFS of 1996. Of these 925 million people, over 166 million in 22 countries suffer chronic hunger as a result of protracted crisis and require targeted assistance with focus not only on emergency aid but on long-term measures to improve agricultural production and productivity.
As stipulated in the SG report under consideration, while the reformed Committee on Food Security remains as an intergovernmental Committee in FAO, it will constitute the foremost inclusive international platform in support of country-led processes towards ensuring food security for all. I am please to inform that the 36th session of the CFS took place in Rome two weeks ago addressed the issue of Food Insecurity in Protracted crises, Land Tenure and International Investment in Agriculture, and Managing vulnerability and risk to promote better Food Security and Nutrition.
On the latter, food commodities markets will remain more volatile in years ahead and measures to ensure greater market stability should be taken, including improved regulation of markets, greater market transparency, appropriate level of emergency stocks, and fluid and efficient international trade in food products. The CFS has requested its high-level panel of experts to analyze trends and make further recommendations in order to manage the risks linked to excessive price volatility in agriculture and to lessen vulnerability through social and productive safety nets, particularly in LDCs.
The issue will also be addressed at the Pre-Conference meeting on Agriculture and food Security as part of the preparation of the IV UN Conference on LDCs. The Pre-Conference meeting is organized by FAO with the Office of the High Representative for Least Developed Countries and Small Island States (OHRLLs), and other partners such as IFAD, the WFP and UN-Women. It will take place on 16 December in New York and we look forward to your active participation.
We are all encouraged by the outcome of the HLPM on MDGs of last September, which clearly reaffirms the international commitment to eliminating hunger and to securing access to food for all, supports the Five Rome Principles for Sustainable Global Food Security and the strengthening of international coordination and governance for food security, through the Global Partnership for Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition. As called for by the outcome of the HLPM on MDGs, there is a need to promote public and private investment, land-use planning, efficient water management, adequate rural infrastructure, improving access of small-scale farmers including women, to markets and land, and supportive economic policies and institutions at the national and international level.
Indeed, the Summit acknowledged that underinvestment in agriculture is the core reason for underdevelopment of the sector, and that Official Development Assistance alone is not sufficient to produce the food needed for a world population expected to exceed 9 billion in 2050. We are encouraged by the international community commitments and initiatives mentioned in the SG Report, such as the L’Aquila Food Security initiative, the European Union Food Security facility, and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme established in April 2010 by the World Bank. During the last Summit on MDGs, the World Bank also announced a contribution of $8 billion annually over 3 years in support to the Food Security programmes.
Finally, I kindly invite you to join us next Thursday on 4 November in the observance of the World Food Day here at the UN. This event will be held at the ECOSOC Chamber at 1:15 PM. Keeping up with the One Hunger Billion Campaign, let’s remain United Against Hunger.
Thank you very much.