[fao] FAO - DECLARATION OF THE HIGH-LEVEL CONFERENCE ON WORLD FOOD SECURITY: THE CHALLENGES OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND BIOENERGY
mercoledì 11 giugno 2008
DECLARATION OF THE HIGH-LEVEL CONFERENCE ON WORLD FOOD SECURITY: THE
CHALLENGES OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND BIOENERGY
WE, the Heads of State and Government, Ministers and Representatives of 180 countries
and the European Community, have met in Rome at this High-Level Conference convened
by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, together with the United
Nations World Food Programme, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and
Bioversity International on behalf of the CGIAR system, to seek ways of achieving world
food security and, in this context, to address challenges of higher food prices, climate change
1. We reaffirm the conclusions of the World Food Summit in 1996, which adopted the Rome
Declaration on World Food Security and the World Food Summit Plan of Action, and the
objective, confirmed by the World Food Summit: five years later, of achieving food security for
all through an ongoing effort to eradicate hunger in all countries, with an immediate view to
reducing by half the number of undernourished people by no later than 2015, as well as our
commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).We reiterate that food
should not be used as an instrument for political and economic pressure. We also recall the
Voluntary Guidelines to Support the Progressive Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the
Context of National Food Security. We reiterate that it is unacceptable that 862 million people are
still undernourished in the world today.
2. We are here to address the challenges of bioenergy and climate change, and the current
situation of soaring food prices that is having adverse impacts on food security, particularly in
developing countries and countries in transition, all the more because the indications are that food
prices will remain high in the years to come.
3. We are convinced that the international community needs to take urgent and coordinated
action to combat the negative impacts of soaring food prices on the world’s most vulnerable
countries and populations. We are further convinced that actions by national governments, with
the support of the international community, are required in the short, medium- and long-term, to
meet global and household food security needs. There is therefore an urgent need to help
developing countries and countries in transition expand agriculture and food production, and to
increase investment in agriculture, agribusiness and rural development, from both public and
In adopting this Declaration, we pledge to embrace food security as a matter of permanent
national policy, renew our commitment to achieving the World Food Summit objectives and
the Millennium Development Goals, and commit ourselves to the following measures.
Immediate and Shorterm Measures
4. The global food situation calls for a strong commitment from governments as well as
from all other stakeholders. We call upon all donors and the United Nations System to increase
their assistance for developing countries, in particular least developed countries and those that are
most negatively affected by high food prices. In the immediate future it is essential to proceed
along two main lines.
5. The first line of action is to respond urgently to requests for assistance from affected
a) The relevant United Nations agencies should be assured the resources to expand
and enhance their food assistance and support safety net programmes to address
hunger and malnutrition, when appropriate, through the use of local or regional
b) The appropriate regional organizations which have emergency food security
arrangements should enhance their cooperation with a view to effectively cope with
soaring food prices.
c) All efforts by governmental and non-governmental organizations to strengthen
immediate humanitarian and development assistance should be synergized with
those of the multilateral organizations, and made coherent, to deal with the
continuum from urgent to longer term assistance.
d) All national and international efforts should be made to ensure that international
emergency food assistance is delivered as quickly and efficiently as possible to
populations in distress.
e) To facilitate adjustment to higher food prices, donors and international financial
institutions, in accordance with their mandates and in consultation with recipient
countries, should provide in a timely manner, balance of payments support and /or
budget support to food-importing, low-income countries. Other measures should be
considered as necessary to improve the financial situation of the countries in need,
including reviewing debt servicing as necessary. We also call on the relevant
international institutions to simplify the eligibility procedures of existing financial
mechanisms to support agriculture and environment.
6. The second line of action is immediate support for agricultural production and trade.
a) All relevant organizations and cooperating countries should be prepared to assist
countries, on their request, to put in place the revised policies and measures to help
farmers, particularly small-scale producers, increase production and integrate with
local, regional, and international markets. South-south cooperation must be
b) Development partners are invited to participate in and contribute to international
and regional initiatives on soaring food prices and, in particular, under the FAO
initiative launched on 17 December 2007, in support of country-led measures to
give farmers in low-income food-deficit and the most affected countries access to
appropriate locally adapted seeds, fertilizers, animal feed and other inputs, as well
as technical assistance, in order to increase agricultural production.
c) Development partners are called upon to undertake initiatives to moderate unusual
fluctuations in the food grain prices. In particular, we call on relevant institutions to
assist countries in developing their food stock capacities and consider other
measures to strengthen food security risk management for affected countries.
d) Members of WTO reaffirm their commitment to the rapid and successful
conclusion of the WTO Doha Development Agenda and reiterate their willingness
to reach comprehensive and ambitious results that would be conducive to
improving food security in developing countries. Implementing an aid for trade
package should be a valuable complement to the Doha Development Agenda to
build and improve the trading capacity of the developing countries.
e) We will strive to ensure that food, agricultural trade and overall trade policies are
conducive to fostering food security for all. For this purpose we reaffirm the need
to minimise the use of restrictive measures that could increase volatility of
Medium and Longerm Measures
7. The current crisis has highlighted the fragility of the world’s food systems and their
vulnerability to shocks. While there is an urgent need to address the consequences of soaring food
prices, it is also vital to combine medium and long-term measures, such as the following:
a) We urge national governments, all financial institutions, donors and the entire
international community to fully embrace a people-centred policy framework
supportive of the poor in rural, peri-urban and urban areas and people’s livelihoods
in developing countries, and to increase investment in agriculture.
b) It is essential to address the fundamental question of how to increase the resilience
of present food production systems to challenges posed by climate change. In this
context, maintaining biodiversity is key to sustaining future production
performance. We urge governments to assign appropriate priority to the agriculture,
forestry and fisheries sectors, in order to create opportunities to enable the world’s
smallholder farmers and fishers, including indigenous people, in particular in
vulnerable areas, to participate in, and benefit from financial mechanisms and
investment flows to support climate change adaptation, mitigation and technology
development, transfer and dissemination. We support the establishment of
agriculture systems and the sustainable forest management practices that positively
contribute to the mitigation of climate change and ecological balance.
c) In addition, we reaffirm the Mauritius Strategy for the sustainable development of
small island developing states and call for its implementation in the context of the
challenges of climate change and food security.
d) We urge the international community, including the private sector, to decisively
step up investment in science and technology for food and agriculture. Increased
efforts in international cooperation should be directed to researching, developing,
applying, transferring and disseminating improved technologies and policy
approaches. We urge member states, to establish in accordance with the Monterrey
Consensus, governance and policy environments which will facilitate investment in
improved agricultural technologies.
e) We encourage the international community to continue its efforts in liberalizing
international trade in agriculture by reducing trade barriers and market distorting
policies. Addressing these measures will give farmers, particularly in developing
countries, new opportunities to sell their products on world markets and support
their efforts to increase productivity and production.
f) It is essential to address the challenges and opportunities posed by biofuels, in view
of the world’s food security, energy and sustainable development needs. We are
convinced that in-depth studies are necessary to ensure that production and use of
biofuels is sustainable in accordance with the three pillars of sustainable
development and takes into account the need to achieve and maintain global food
security. We are further convinced of the desirability of exchanging experiences on
biofuels technologies, norms and regulations. We call upon relevant intergovernmental
organizations, including FAO, within their mandates and areas of
expertise, with the involvement of national governments, partnerships, the private
sector, and civil society, to foster a coherent, effective and results-oriented
international dialogue on biofuels in the context of food security and sustainable
Monitoring and Review
8. We request the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, in close
partnership with WFP and IFAD and other relevant international organizations, including those
participating in the High-Level Task Force on the Global Food Crisis and in collaboration with
governments, civil society and the private sector, to monitor and analyse world food security in all
its dimensions - including those addressed by this Conference - and to develop strategies to
9. In realizing the contents of the measures above, we stress the importance of the effective
and efficient use of the resources of the United Nations system, and other relevant international
* * *
We firmly resolve to use all means to alleviate the suffering caused by the current crisis, to
stimulate food production and to increase investment in agriculture, to address obstacles to
food access and to use the planet’s resources sustainably, for present and future generations.
We commit to eliminating hunger and to securing food for all today and tomorrow.
Rome, 5 June 2008