Will we meet the hunger goal?
FAO’s Committee on World Food Security to assess progress since 1996
26 October 2006, Rome – Ten years after the World Food Summit, global representatives from over 120 countries will meet in Rome next week to review just how far the world has come towards meeting the 2015 goal of reducing by half the number of hungry people in the world, then estimated at 800 million.
Ministers from some of the world’s poorest and richest countries attending the 32nd Session of FAO's Committee on World Food Security (CFS), taking place in Rome from 30 October to 4 November 2006, will be considering the extent to which the 1996 World Food Summit goal, which their governments together pledged to support, can and will be met.
Recognizing that relying on governments alone ignores the growing reality that civil society and the private sector also have a key role to play in reducing hunger and poverty, the CFS will kick-off with a two-day Special Forum involving non-government actors as well as government representatives.
“Having civil society and non-governmental organizations with us is indispensable if we are to succeed,” said the FAO Director-General.
On the occasion of World Food Day, observed on 16 October 2006, participants from some 50 non-governmental organizations and the private sector called on FAO to work more closely with civil society to mobilize farmers, workers and young people to fight hunger and poverty on the ground.
The Special Forum which begins on 30 October will consider the theme “A world free from hunger: progress and prospects for achieving the World Food Summit Plan of Action.”
“This CFS session should give added impetus to global efforts to meet the internationally agreed upon Millennium Development Goals, the first of which is to reduce the incidence of hunger and extreme poverty by half by 2015,” according to CFS Secretary Margarita Flores. “For example last April the FAO Regional Conference for Latin America and Caribbean region already endorsed an initiative, not only to reduce hunger but to completely eradicate it in the Region by 2025.”
During the Special Forum, three panels are being organized to discuss related issues: aid and investment, trade and globalization, and agrarian reform and rural development.
Other events taking place during the CFS include a side event on FAO’s Special Programme for Food Security which aims at promoting national ownership and local empowerment to overcome problems of hunger and poverty in the 100+ countries where the programme is operating. Implementation of the Human Right to Food will also be discussed at a special event during the CFS.
The meeting will further consider a progress report on the work of the International Alliance against Hunger (IAAH) that was born out of the World Food Summit-five years later. Representatives from 15 national alliances against hunger that have come into being since the launch of the IAAH in 2002 will be participating in the Special Forum.
FAO will also launch, on 30 October, its annual State of World Food Insecurity (SOFI) report, which reviews global hunger figures, including progress towards reducing levels of food insecurity in hunger hot spots and also considers regions and countries where substantial progress is being made to reduce levels of undernourishment.
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