27 January 2009
Secretary-General
SG/2148
DEV/2730

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

SECRETARY-GENERAL, SPAIN’S PRIME MINISTER ISSUE JOINT STATEMENT

 

FOLLOWING FOOD SECURITY MEETING IN MADRID

 


Following is the text of a joint statement by Prime Minister Rodriguez Zapatero and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued today in Madrid, Spain:


We have just participated in the closing session of a Government of Spain–United Nations high-level meeting to chart the way ahead to eliminate hunger, promote smallholder agriculture and improve food security for the world’s poorest people.  The situation is urgent.  There are nearly 1 billion hungry people in the world today, and the number is rising as a result of the economic crisis.  Hunger and food security must now take their place back on the top of the political and development agenda of the world.  The way forward is a comprehensive approach that links nutrition, food security, agriculture and trade.  It depends on inclusive, broad-based partnerships bringing together Governments, civil society, farmers’ organizations, businesses and international organizations.


We will work together with nations and other stakeholders to explore options for a global partnership that sustains a movement against hunger and promotes smallholder agriculture.  The Secretary-General thanked the Government and people of Spain for an excellent meeting, extraordinary commitment and a generous pledge of €200 million a year over five years for the fight against hunger.


We are delighted with the response to this meeting from at least 15 countries that have indicated their intention to commit funds, technical assistance and political support for the effort to eliminate hunger.  We agreed that the United Nations system will establish improved mechanisms to ensure that these funds lead to sustainable benefits and measurable results.


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For information media • not an official record