FAO initiates debate on declaration for World Summit on Food Security

Calls for eradication of hunger by 2025 and for more investment in agriculture

31 July 2009, Rome - FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf has invited governments around the world to participate in negotiations to agree on a declaration for adoption by the World Summit of Heads of State and Government on Food Security, to take place from 16 to 18 November 2009 in Rome. The decision to convene the summit was taken by the FAO Council in June 2009.

To initiate the negotiation process, Dr Diouf has sent a document to Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Development Cooperation and Agriculture of members of FAO and the United Nations.

The text, entitled "Secretariat contribution to defining the objectives and possible decisions of the World Summit on Food Security", calls for the complete eradication of hunger from the face of the Earth by 2025 and for secure, sufficient, safe and nutritious food supplies for a growing world population that is projected to reach 9.2 billion in 2050.

The document proposes elements of a new world food security governance structure. It also addresses issues of public and private investment for increasing agricultural production in developing countries, emergency food assistance, early reaction to food crises, trade and support to farmers, market instability, institutional and capacity building, food quality and safety, transboundary pests and diseases of plants and animals, as well as agriculture mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

The document sent to FAO's member countries builds on the recent G8 statement on food security, adopted in L'Aquila, Italy, a few weeks ago.

G8 leaders called for decisive action to free humankind from hunger and poverty by promoting sustainable production, increasing agriculture productivity, with an emphasis on private sector growth and smallholders, and committed themselves to mobilize $20 billion over three years.

"I hope that the document will lead to a rich debate within Member Nations, involving not only governments, but also the private sector, farmers and non-governmental organizations, the UN system and other international organizations and partners in development, together with Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives of the different regional groups,"  Dr Diouf said. "The time has come to tackle the root causes of hunger and find structural and lasting solution for world food security."

Photo: ©FAO/Johan Spanner
Investing in agriculture is key to reduce hunger and poverty.