Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe calls for decisive action to reverse the trends in the escalating number of hungry people in the world
16 November 2009
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has called on delegates at the opening of the World Summit on Food Security to act decisively on the commitments made at such gatherings.
He said that “In spite of these summits, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) state of food insecurity in the world report estimates that the number of hungry people has increased to unprecedented levels of 1 billion in 2009”.
“The figure is expected to increase further should there be no decisive actions to reverse the trend within the context of meeting the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets,” he added.
Deputy President Motlanthe reminded the gathering that the past decade witnessed an unprecedented increase in a number of Food Security and Agriculture Summits where commitments were made even as recent as the May 2008 summit which happened against the backdrop of food, finance and fuel crises. “There too commitments were made and a declaration adopted,” he said.
He said that he participates with the hope that the gathering will produce a clear programme of action with measurable targets and monitoring mechanisms to track progress.
“This is the essence of the urgent task facing this summit! And to equal this task we need strong accountability, follow-up mechanisms, monitoring, evaluation and matching funding to implement our decisions. The world cannot afford another summit in the face of increasing number of hungry people; let this summit help end hunger,” said the Deputy President.
He called for the speedy conclusion of the Doha Development Round negotiations if the summit intended to counter the instability of the agriculture commodity prices. He said that the conclusion of these negotiations would lead to a concrete and comprehensive response to the difficulties experienced by developing countries in accessing markets in the developed world and to protect the competitiveness of farmers from the developing world.
“The volatility of agriculture commodity prices demands of us to move faster to conclude a truly developmental Doha Round that would lead to a real and substantial reduction in trade and production distortions,” said the Deputy President.
“For as long as we fail to conclude those negotiations, many of the plans of this summit and others will remain just that plans,” he said. In closing the Deputy President welcomed efforts to reform the Food and Agriculture Organisation to effectively respond to the global challenges of food insecurities.
“We are encouraged by efforts to develop a coherent, integrated, inclusive and participatory global governance system on food security. However, this should be anchored on the centrality of the United Nations in the multilateral system. Therefore, we welcome all efforts to reform FAO to effectively respond to the global challenges of food insecurity amid plenty and wastage!” he said.
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Issued by: The Presidency
16 November 2009
Source: The Presidency (http://www.thepresidency.gov.za/)