13-17 November 1996 - Rome, Italy


Conclusions of the Sub-regional Seminar on Food Security
for the Countries of Central and Eastern Europe
Nitra, Slovak Republic, 28-29 June 1996

Extract from the Report of the Sub-regional Seminar on Food Security
for the Countries of Central and Eastern Europe
(Nitra, Slovak Republic, 28-29 June 1996)


As part of the preparatory process for the World Food Summit, representatives of the following 10 countries participated in the Sub-regional Seminar on World Food Security for the Countries of Eastern and Central Europe: Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, Russian Federation and Ukraine. The Seminar was organized by the Slovak Government with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Participants expressed their support for the convening of the World Food Summit and for its goals and objectives. Position papers were presented and information provided about the food security situation in the respective countries. General recommendations resulting from the discussion were as follows:

  1. create the necessary conditions for sustainable economic development and food security: political stability and democracy, broad-based participation in development, and sustainable population growth;
  2. develop coherent macro-economic, social and sectoral policies --favourable for both the rural and urban sectors -- with a view to improving access to food and other related resources, and enhancing food production without undermining the ecological balance.

Conclusions were collected from the discussion as follows:

  1. support and develop agricultural production to contribute actively toward world food security, with more effective utilization of the capacities of the countries in the sub-region;
  2. optimize and utilize local potential to achieve national food self-sufficiency, and to contribute to international cooperation;
  3. take account of consumer interests in the course of policy making in the areas of nutrition and food security;
  4. develop and support national and regional networks of research centres and consultative groups, directing their activities toward applied research in the area of food security;
  5. ensure a political and socio-economic environment in support of food security, quality and safety;
  6. pay greater attention to the nutritional status of the population, through monitoring at national level and in cooperation with regional and international organizations;
  7. increase public awareness in the area of nutrition;
  8. develop and maintain national information systems to supply and distribute data compatible with regional and global food security information systems;
  9. develop supplementary food assistance programmes for low-income and vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women, kindergarten and school-age children, and the elderly;
  10. give due attention to the question of equitable access to food;
  11. modernize national food industries, distribution, marketing, and food quality assurance systems, using international technical and financial assistance as appropriate;
  12. with the goal of supporting lower-income and developing countries, participate in international food aid programmes (avoiding negative impacts on the agricultural sectors of recipient countries), and share the experience and technical expertise of the countries of the sub-region;
  13. support measures aimed at improving the quality and safety of food reserves;
  14. encourage sustainable agriculture and rural development programmes at national and regional levels;
  15. create the necessary conditions for effective cooperation in the utilization of plant and animal genetic resources for food and agriculture;
  16. move towards harmonization of national policies and institutions with international food standards;
  17. make effective use of the opportunities for food security in the sub-region resulting from the market access provisions of the Uruguay Round agreement.