[fao] FAO - DECLARATION OF THE HIGH-LEVEL CONFERENCE ON WORLD FOOD SECURITY: THE CHALLENGES OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND BIOENERGY

mercoledì 11 giugno 2008


[fao] -

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

and bioenergy.

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

private sources.

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

countries.

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

purchase.

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

encouraged.

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

international prices.

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

development needs.

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

improve it.

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

organizations.

* * *

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

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