UN sustainable development meeting focuses on boosting global food supply

5 May 2008 –

The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) kicked off a two-week meeting today, closely examining the issues underpinning the current food crisis.

“The international community has only belatedly recognized this food crisis, threatening much of humanity,” said Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.

He called for long-term planning and analysis of deeper problems that have threatened food security to determine how to avoid such a crisis in the future.

“The basic problem is that agricultural productivity growth has been slowing since the 1970s, even as demand for food has been accelerating,” Mr. Sha said.

The current session – running until 16 May – launches a two-year cycle seeking to tackle topics – including agriculture, land use, rural development, desertification and drought – that are key to boosting the world’s food supply while addressing problems pertaining to poverty, hunger and the environment.

Government officials, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society representatives are among those who will take part in the meeting, and over 50 government ministers are expected to take part in the high level segment from 14-16 May.

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