|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Secretary-General, in Message to World Food Security Committee, Says Combating
Hunger among Foundations of Millennium Development Goals
This is the text of the message from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today to the Committee on World Food Security, in Rome, delivered by David Nabarro, Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Food Security and Nutrition:
I am pleased to send my greetings to the thirty-seventh session of the Committee on World Food Security.
Today, in the Horn of Africa, more than 13 million people are affected by one of the region’s worst droughts in 60 years. Famine grips swathes of southern Somalia. Yet, drought does not need to become famine — nor should it ever be allowed to, either through system failure or through the kind of deliberate deprivation we are seeing in areas controlled by Al-Shabaab.
The hunger in the Horn of Africa is but a fraction of a needless global menace. There is more than enough food on the planet to feed everyone, yet today nearly 1 billion people will go hungry because food is unavailable or unaffordable. This is the context in which you meet.
Every child, woman and man has a right to enough nutritious food for an active and healthy life. We need to break the links between poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition. This requires the full engagement of many sectors and actors. It means pursuing comprehensive approaches; responding to the needs of the most vulnerable; listening to the concerns of rural women; working for resilient and sustainable food systems; ensuring strong political commitment, predictable finance and a focus on results.
We should all be encouraged by the renewed political interest in the work of this Committee, including the prominence that food and nutrition security was given by the G-20 this year. You will be discussing how to better engage farmers’ organizations, businesses and Governments. You are developing guidelines on responsible governance of land, fisheries and forests. You are exploring options for sustainable agriculture. These efforts will also be valuable as we prepare for next year’s crucially important Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development.
In your deliberations, I urge you to work for broad agreement and to focus on helping all countries to build capacity and mobilize investment. Combating hunger and ensuring food and nutrition security are among the foundations of our efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and truly sustainable development.
I thank you for taking on this vital work and wish you a successful meeting.
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