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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Off-the-Cuff

Secretary-General's joint press conference on Global Food Crisis

Bern, Switzerland, 29 April 2008

Bilingual Transcript of Statements by Secretary-General, Heads of Concerned Agencies, and Response to Questions at Press Conference on Global Food Crisis

Following is a transcript of the remarks by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Foof and Agriculture Organization Director-General Jacques Diouf, World Bank President, Robert Zoellick, and World Trade Organization Director-General, Pascal Lamy, made at a press conference in Bern on 29 April on the United Nations system response to the global food crisis. It also includes responses to questions posed by journalists to those participants, as well as to World Food Programme Executive Director, Josette Sheeran. The press conference was held within the framework of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB), being held at Universal Postal Union Headquarters in Bern, Switzerland, on 28 April and the morning of 29 April.

SG: Good morning ladies and gentlemen of the media; Bonjour, Mesdames et Messieurs de la presse.

I am very pleased to be with you today, with my colleagues from the United Nations system, having just spent the last two days in a meeting of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) that I chair, and which comprises all the executive heads of the United Nations system organizations. Today, I would like to inform you about the outcome of our discussions concerning the dramatic escalation of food prices worldwide, which has evolved into what we believe is an unprecedented challenge of global proportions that has become a crisis for the most vulnerable. This has multiple causes, which includes escalating energy prices, lack of investment in agriculture over the past years, increasing demand, trade-distorting subsidies and recurrent bad weather. This crisis has multiple effects, with its most serious impact on the most vulnerable in the poorest countries. We see mounting hunger and increasing evidence of malnutrition, which has severely strained the capacities of humanitarian agencies to meet humanitarian needs, especially as promised funding has not yet materialized.

I am very pleased today to have with me, as a symbol of the solidarity of the entire United Nations system, some of the leaders of the key institutions in the United Nations on the front line in dealing with food security. We have agreed on a series of concrete measures that need to be taken in the short, medium and long terms. The first and immediate priority issue that we all agreed was that we must feed the hungry. The CEB calls upon the international community, and in particular developed countries, to urgently and fully fund the emergency requirement of $755 million for the World Food Programme, and honour outstanding pledges. Without full funding of these emergency requirements, we risk again the spectre of widespread hunger, malnutrition, and social unrest on an unprecedented scale. We anticipate that additional funding will be required.

The second and also urgent priority is that we must ensure food for tomorrow. In addition to increasing food prices, we see at the same time farmers in developing countries planting less, producing less, due to the escalating cost of fertilizer and energy. We must make every effort to support those farmers so that, in the coming year, we do not see even more severe food shortages.

Concrete measures are already being taken. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has proposed an emergency initiative to provide low-income deficit countries with the seeds and inputs to boost production, and is calling for $1.7 billion in funding. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is already making available an additional $200 million to poor farmers in the most affected countries to boost the food production and the World Bank is considering the establishment of a global crisis response facility for this purpose.

We have identified actions that need to be taken in the short term for crisis response. The United Nations system will cooperate together in crisis response, the development of emergency safety nets, and social protection of the most vulnerable. The United Nations system will fully deploy its capacity in monitoring quick assessment and analysis of the rapidly evolving food price trends and their impact on vulnerability to support the response of affected national Governments. At the country level, United Nations resident coordinators, heads of World Bank missions, and country teams will urgently meet in affected countries to develop support strategies for national Governments and seek international support for their implementation.

In the medium term, we also stress the fundamental need to support productive capacity. The United Nations system will bring together its technical and analytical capabilities to fill, research and manage gaps to support Governments. We will make an assessment of the diverse impacts of the crisis and develop tailored policy instruments. Domestic policy measures that correct distortions without affecting the supply response should be put in place, together with a budget and balance of payment support. We call on the international community to urgently address trade-distorting subsidies in developed countries in the ongoing Doha trade round.

But also in the long term, we need to strengthen the policy environment for sustainable food production in the future. We underscored the urgent necessity to address structural and policy issues that have contributed to this crisis, as well as the challenges posed by climate change.

In order to take this forward, we have agreed to establish a United Nations Task Force on the Global Food Crisis that I will chair, and will bring together the heads of the specialized agencies and the Bretton Woods institutions into an effective and coordinated mechanism. I have appointed Mr. John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, to support this Task Force as Coordinator.

We underscored the importance of global leadership and call upon world leaders to make every effort to participate in the high-level conference on food security in Rome at the FAO, on 3 to 5 June 2008. I look forward to meeting world leaders in order to further develop our common strategy. Thank you very much.

FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf: Thank you very much. I feel the Secretary-General, who is speaking on behalf of the whole United Nations system, has presented the situation and what he's intended. Therefore I will have very little to add. Just to say that what is happening is something that we knew would happen. That we alerted in a timely manner the world community. Unfortunately, we didn't take a decision at the appropriate time and as a consequence people have died, Governments – at least one – have been toppled, [and] there is a risk of more people dying.

I am hoping, that when we go to the Summit, in Rome, from 3 to 5 June, at the level of Heads of State and Government, we will be able, not only to deal with the immediate emergency needs, but we will address the fundamental problems of food security, in particular the need to boost production in poor countries. And the Secretary-General was very kind to indicate the need for the different farmers in developing countries to get access to seeds, to fertilizer, to animal feed, because these prices have gone up, and it will be more difficult for farmers to be able to produce and we may end up with a situation that might worsen because of lack of adequate production.

I'm also happy to indicate the collaboration we have with the World Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme, in joint missions being sent already in different countries to assess the need in these areas and to be able to respond. We hope that, with the support that the Secretary-General has asked those that have the resources to provide, we will be able to ensure that this food situation will be improved, through production, through supply by the farmers in poor countries, starting with this growing season where we needed already these inputs in March and we have until end of July in the northern hemisphere of developing countries, for developing countries to be able to act.

World Bank President Robert Zoellick: The next few weeks are critical for addressing the food crisis. For 2 billion people, high food prices are now a matter of daily struggle, sacrifice and, for too many, even survival. We estimate already some 100 million people may have been pushed into poverty as a result of high prices over the last two years. This is not a natural disaster. Make no mistake; there's nothing natural about it. But for millions of people, it is a disaster.

Donors must act now to support the WFP's call for $755 million to meet emergency needs. Roughly $475 million has been pledged, but pledges won't feed hungry mouths. Donors must put their money on the table, and give WFP maximum flexibility with a minimum of earmarkings, to target the most urgent needs.

This crisis isn't over once the emergency needs are addressed, as critical as they are. Though we've seen wheat prices fall over the last few days, rice and corn prices are likely to remain high, and wheat relatively so. The international community needs to commit to working together to respond with policy initiatives so that this year's crisis doesn't become a generation's fact of life. Already hunger and malnutrition are the underlying causes of death of over 3.5 million children every year, robbing the future potential of many millions more.

Many donors, Governments and international agencies have plans and policies. Over the last days we've seen pledges of financial support. The key now is to work together so that we can have an integrated international response.

So I thank the Secretary-General for convening this session of the UN Chief Executives to help organize the UN response. Ministers from over 150 countries have endorsed a new deal for global food policy. We must turn these words into action.

As we discussed here in Bern, a new deal must embrace a short-, medium- and long-term response. Support for safety nets, such as school feeding, food for work, and conditional cash-transfer programmes; increased agricultural production; a better understanding of the impact of biofuels; and action on the trade front to reduce distorting subsidies and trade barriers.

The World Bank Group will work with the UN agencies represented here to identify the countries most in need so that, with others, we can provide concessional financing and other support. We are already working closely with the IMF and regional development banks to integrate our work. At the World Bank Group, we are exploring with our Board the creation of a rapid financing facility for grant support to especially fragile poor countries, and quicker, more flexible financing for others. To address supply issues that Jacques Diouf mentioned, we are doubling our lending for agriculture in Africa over the next year to over $800 million.

We are urging countries not to use export bans. These controls encourage hoarding, drive up prices, and hurt the poorest people around the world who are struggling to feed themselves. Ukraine set a good example last week by lifting restrictions on exports of grain. This had an immediate effect on lowering prices in the markets, and others can do the same. As we coordinate action we must bring in the private sector and agribusiness.

These are all critical issues for international action that must be fleshed out in coming weeks so that millions do not find themselves in the same position next year. But first and foremost, donors must act now to meet the emergency and raise the $755 million for the World Food Programme. The world can afford this. The poor and hungry cannot.

World Trade Organization Director-General Pascal Lamy: As already mentioned this morning, this escalation in food prices is multidimensional and calls for responses from both Governments and international organizations. As far as international trade is concerned, what we can do now in WTO has to do mostly with reinforcing discipline in trade-distorting subsidies.

It's a well known fact that trade-distorting farm subsidies from rich countries have damaged food production in developing countries. The Doha Development Round of negotiations addresses specifically this issue, together with other market-opening or disciplines improvements.

After six years of negotiations what's on the table today in Geneva is a major cut in these subsidies, of an order of magnitude of 75 per cent, plus the elimination – zeroing – export subsidies. Now, these cuts are not about all farm subsidies, but about the part of farm subsidies that distort trade, as defined in WTO.

So these food price developments are, in my view, one more reason to urgently conclude these negotiations. This is doable. We are nearly there, and I believe that today's call for action under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General can help WTO members gathering the necessary political energy in order to help developing countries to increase their food production capacities.

* * *

Following these statements, the floor was opened to questions from journalists who put questions to the Secretary-General, World Bank President Robert Zoellick, Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Jacques Diouf, and World Food Programme Executive Director, Josette Sheeran.

Q: Question à M. Diouf et M. Lamy: Est-ce que M. Diouf vous êtes prêt à reprendre le dossier agricole des mains de M. Pascal Lamy?

M. Jacques Diouf: Je crois que j'ai suffisamment entre les mains pour ne pas vouloir y ajouter ce que fait Pascal [Lamy]. Notre rôle est d'encourager les différents pays du monde, et surtout ceux qui en ont les moyens, à aider à régler le problème de l'eau, d'abord. En Afrique et au Sud du Sahara, il n'y a que 4% des terres qui sont irriguées, ce qui veut dire que sur 96% des terres arables, la production dépend de la pluie. Notre rôle est d'encourager les pays à investir dans les moyens de stockage. On perd 40 à 60% de la production faute de moyens adéquats au niveau des villages et tout au long du circuit de commercialisation. Notre rôle est d'encourager les pays à investir dans les routes rurales pour qu'on apporte les intrants modernes à des coûts raisonnables aux agriculteurs et pour permettre que les produits aient au niveau des marchés nationaux, régionaux et internationaux. Notre rôle est donc d'encourager cela et, naturellement, de continuer à préparer les statistiques mondiales qui nous ont permis, plusieurs mois à l'avance, de sonner l'alerte sur ces problèmes-là et d'établir les normes et d'encourager la préparation des politiques agricoles pour pouvoir assurer la sécurité alimentaire du monde. La négociation des questions commerciales est de la compétence de Pascal Lamy qui le fait bien, même s'il a beaucoup de difficultés.

M. Pascal Lamy: J'ai remarqué, comme un certain nombre d'entre vous, cette idée selon laquelle, pour que l'agriculture soit mieux traitée, il suffirait de la sortir des pattes de l'OMC, qui comme chacun sait sont extrêmement envahissantes. La réponse sur ce sujet est très claire: les pays en développement ont mis 30 ans à obtenir un résultat pour lequel ils se sont battus, battus en permanence, qui est de faire en sorte que les règles et disciplines de l'OMC qui s'appliquaient aux produits industriels s'appliquent aussi aux questions agricoles. Ce sont les pays en développement qui ont mené ce combat. Ils représentent maintenant à peu près les trois-quarts des membres de l'OMC. Et si on doit être un peu réaliste et lucide, je les vois mal changer d'avis sur ce point.

Q: Ms. Sheeran, what we heard here is that subsidies do hurt, do increase the crisis. When will the World Food Programme stop buying subsidized food from the United States in order to distribute to Africa?

Josette Sheeran: Today, the World Food Programme purchases, with the cash that we receive, 80 per cent of our food in the developing world, in 69 different developing nations, and in many of those we are the major purchaser of surplus food. Including, for example, in the floods in Mozambique, 80 per cent of the food purchased to help the victims of the flood was purchased from Mozambican farmers. One hundred per cent of our school feeding is purchased in Ghana from farmers in Ghana.

From many countries, or a number of countries, we receive what is called an "in-kind" contribution – which is where we receive commodities rather than cash. That is true of the United States contribution, it is actually a commodity contribution that today plays a vital role feeding 70 per cent of the 3 million people a day we reach in Darfur, for example. So that is the rule of their contribution, is that it be procured through the United States Government, from American farmers.

Q: The alert for the food crisis came approximately two years ago. How come this is the first time you are meeting to discuss this question? And I have a second question for Mr. Zoellick. The World Bank has been taking the role of the FAO [inaudible] regarding agriculture in Africa, and the World Bank has been moving away from agriculture in the last years, so what is the responsibility of the World Bank in this crisis?

SG: As Mr. Diouf of FAO has stated in his opening remarks, in fact FAO and relevant United Nations agencies have cautioned about this situation. What I would like to urge international community leaders is that we should not repeat what we have done in the past. The international community should have listened more attentively to the cautions and assessment, which were made by FAO and other relevant organizations. This time, the whole United Nations is now leading this campaign to address this issue on a more holistic and comprehensive [basis]. There may be many reasons. There is not any single, definitive causes which can be seen as the causes of this issue. Therefore we have to address this issue.

I am encouraged by such a strong commitment of United Nations system leaders, as well as the international community. I hope that when we meet in Rome at the summit meeting, all world leaders will sit down together in a very serious manner with a sense of great urgency to make a strategy to address this issue.

Robert Zoellick: Last Autumn, the World Bank issued a World Development Report that I think was very significant in drawing attention to the fact that there had been under-investment in agriculture and, as Jacques Diouf has pointed out on many occasions, this can be one of the best ways to attack the problem of poverty, because the report revealed that income gains in agriculture have about three times the effect of overcoming poverty than those in other sectors. So, starting with that, we had already started to ramp up our production plans.

And, as Jacques mentioned, while one talks about a green revolution for Africa, one has to distinguish it from the green revolution in South Asia because the circumstances are different. So it really has to focus all along the value chain: property rights; seeds; fertilizers; irrigation systems; markets; roads, so people can be able to get their food to markets. And that's [where we're in] the process of working with FAO and IFAD and others.

In January, Josette Sheeran and I tried to draw more attention to the critical issue of malnutrition, which we've described as the "forgotten" Millennium Development Goal. It's the second of the goals under the first part about overcoming poverty, and in many ways it's the most critical because failures in malnutrition, as I mentioned, are the primary cause of death of children under five, so it affects the child and infant health goal; malnutrition is the cause of 20 per cent of maternal mortality; and, as we have seen, sadly, it also has long-term effects in terms of education and children's ability to grow. So it's critical.

I think what is important about this meeting, and actually to add to the comment of the Secretary-General, this is an item we discussed with our African Millennium Development Goal meeting earlier this year – where the Secretary-General in his statement in an opinion piece right after that tried to draw additional attention to it – is, I think we've now got the attention of the attention of the world community, now we have to integrate it, and make sure that we work at different elements. And the people around this table demonstrate – you've got some short-term emergency response; you've got some medium-term and longer term production response; you've got the trading system. And I think that if there's any message that comes out of this session, is that, the emergency is critical but we can't stop there. We have to work with these other pieces. And so, what I've outlined prior to our spring meetings were some ideas that the World Bank has about how we can support colleagues, like in the World Food Programme with school feeding programmes and food-for-work programmes, but how we can also work with colleagues like IFAD and FAO in terms of adding to the production and the productivity of these markets.

And I also join in Pascal's call to close the Doha Round because there's a deal on the table and that would be very critical for the importance of the world trading system. He emphasized subsidies, I'll also point out tariffs. What we've seen now is that countries are lowering tariffs to try to lower the cost of food, which is a good idea.

Q: If you will allow me a follow up, I was asking about the responsibilities of the World Bank in arriving at this situation, but about what you were going to do from now. Over the past years, the World Bank has retired from agriculture in Africa, so this was my question.

Robert Zoellick: Yes, you know the international community goes through various phases of things. The World Bank and frankly the Governments themselves invested less in agriculture. We have a country-system based approach, where the countries are our clients and they decide where they focus it. So, as we ramped up things for HIV/AIDS and malaria and other projects, there was clearly an underinvestment in agriculture. I don't think it's really helpful to point fingers at this responsibility, that responsibility. The key question is, having recognized the need – and it's one that I focused on shortly after taking over the Bank – how do we try to deal with it at these various stages.

But Jacques has also been very articulate. You know, this is an issue that in some ways you saw 10, 15, 20 years ago. And the question now is, with the attention of the world community, we have to look as this in a multifaceted way. That's why I called in a speech before the spring meeting we had recently for a new deal for global food policy.

Josette's got the challenge of this emergency need, which has to be first priority. But we can't stop there. Because we can't just replay this year after year after year. And the good news is there's actually an opportunity here if you can increase production and productivity in the developing world, particularly Africa, to create some additional income gains and some opportunity, for women most of all, I might add, because, if you look at the rural areas, that's where you find women deeply involved in agriculture. They are often disadvantaged. They can't get credit; they can't have property rights. So we can do something that will be a real boost for African development.

Q: Mr. Secretary-General, you were saying that the United Nations will try to help Governments boost their agricultural productivity. Do you think that genetically modified crops are a real option to improve productivity? Also, do you think your Task Force should elaborate the policy to push Governments to move faster to cut tariffs?

SG: To improve production and productivity, the national governments and the international community's research institutions should very closely coordinate. There are many ways to improve production and productivity, including the one which you have raised. However, what we need is to provide the necessary materials – like improve the seeds and fertilizers and pesticides – and we need to encourage African Governments and developed countries to invest more in agriculture.

We are now looking at this in a very comprehensive manner through a Millennium Development Goal project. Last month I chaired this African Millennium Development Goal Steering Group, and we are now looking at the possibility of launching an African Green Revolution. This is one way we are addressing [the problem] in a very much comprehensive way. The hardest hit countries are African countries. Therefore, we are focusing on how to improve all agricultural production and productive capacity in Africa.

Q: La crise a été diagnostiquée comme étant assez grave et pouvant s'aggraver pour qu'on se limite simplement à des mesures d'urgence. Il y a-t-il une réflexion à long terme ? Le Rapporteur spécial sur le droit à l'alimentation avait proposé un moratoire sur le biofuel, sur une réglementation des spéculations dans les commodités et sur le renforcement de l'agriculture vivrière -et non pas de simplement se limiter à l'agriculture d'exportation-. Ces segments-là sont-ils des segments envisageables dans le cadre d'une solution à long terme ?

SG: There is not a single cause. As I said, there are many causes which have affected this food crisis situation. There may be cases [which are] mostly climate-change affected: long spells of drought, and excessive flooding, which have resulted in a downfall of agricultural production. There may be a change in demand and consumption patterns, primarily in major developing economies. Like in Asia, there may be some biofuel issues. There are many other issues. There are, again, some bottlenecks in market economies, market structures, between the farmers and the users. And all these issues should be addressed in the short term, medium and long term. And this trade ban – export ban on agricultural products – that I have already urged to all national Governments to consider immediately lifting these trade bans.

M. Jacques Diouf: Je voudrais peut-être ajouter qu'il y a des programmes qui sont là. Le plus difficile, c'est que les programmes existent mais ne sont pas financés. On ne leur donne pas la priorité. À l'occasion du deuxième Sommet mondial de 2002, il y a un programme de lutte contre la faim qui devrait permettre d'atteindre les objectifs du Sommet mondial de l'alimentation. L'Afrique a son programme, le programme détaillé de développement agricole qui a été approuvé par les chefs d'États au Sommet de l'Union africaine en juillet 2003, avec une confirmation au Sommet extraordinaire de Syrte en février 2004. Mais personne n'a financé ces programmes, n'a permis de les mettre en ?uvre. Le Secrétaire général de l'ONU m'avait demandé de diriger un Groupe de l'ensemble du système des Nations Unies sur les problèmes de sécurité alimentaire pour la Corne de l'Afrique. Nous avons fait une étude conjointe en associant le système des Nations Unies dans chaque pays et en discutant avec les chefs d'États et nous nous sommes mis d'accord sur un programme. Personne ne l'a financé. Ce n'est pas une question de programme, ceci a été fait et bien fait et en accord avec les États membres. Mais on n'a pas mobilisé les ressources nécessaires, on n'a pas donné la priorité qu'il fallait au secteur de la sécurité alimentaire du monde.

Q: A question for the Secretary-General and the head of the World Food Programme. Your first urgent task is of course feeding the people who are hungry, who need this $755 million. How much have you got in your hands? How much is pledged? How long is it going to take to get the food to the people who are hungry? Because, we know from the past that this does not happen from one day to the next.

Josette Sheeran: Thank you for the question. Just to explain, the World Food Programme's entire budget is voluntarily funded, so we don't get any assessed funds. So the total requirements identified for 2008 were $3.1 billion, and this includes, for example, more than 3 million people, as I mentioned, reached in Darfur every day; more than 5 million people reached in Sudan every day; our programmes in northern Uganda and elsewhere with refugees, IDPs and others. That budget grew, just due to the soaring food prices, another $755 million. And so that gap, where we put out the extraordinary appeal, was because we could afford 40 per cent less food today, than we could last June, simply due to the soaring food prices. So, just as an example, the price of rice on 3 March was $460, last week, it was $980 for a metric ton. So you can see that our ability to reach people with that food was diminished.

In addition, there are new needs for what we have called "the new face of hunger". These are people who were not identified in the urgent category six months ago, who today are. And so far those are already at 418 million.

So we need to raise the total amount of the $755 – which is the gap caused just by the soaring food prices – we are 62 per cent there. So we've raised, or had pledged, $471 million as of just a few moments ago – I checked. Our challenge is that we only have $18 million of that cash in hand. And so this becomes urgent because we cannot procure the food until we have the cash in hand and so we're bumping into a real urgent time frame of needing to get these commitments in as soon as possible so that we can keep these programmes whole, and we are getting stretched across the globe where we cannot do so.

In addition, typically a lot of our funding is earmarked for specific programmes and we're finding now that some groups are more urgent than others in this challenge where we have to look at meeting a broad range of new needs in addition to the needs already identified being more even vulnerable and urgent than before. So, on that appeal we're 62 per cent there, but also we need the cash in hand, as has been mentioned.

Q: For Robert Zoellick, I wondered if you could comment on whether the food price increases have actually helped some poor farmers, in that one of the goals of the Doha Round is increasing incomes of poor farmers. We are in a situation where, in theory farmers should be getting paid more for what they are making. Is that actually something that's been seen, or were the harvests done before the food prices went up? Or what are we seeing on that?

Robert Zoellick: Sadly, the data we've had so far suggests that it's had very little effect. You asked about poor farmers, but I also want to draw attention to the urban areas. People are well aware, for example, of the urbanization of Asia, but many haven't recognized the degree to which which Africa has also been urbanized. So, this is a point Josette's talked about with the new face of hunger being the urban poor, and Jacques Diouf has emphasized in Africa more generally.

As for the rural areas, you've got some subsistence farmers, you've got some that are trying to participate in markets – many of them have gotten hit very badly by the high energy prices. So it's hard to separate the energy and food issue. And the energy not only affects their ability to have any gasoline or petrol, but also the effect on fertilizers. So one of the most worrisome things that Lennart and Josette and Jacques and I have all identified is that, even in some areas where people know the prices are higher, they're not planting more because they're fearful that they face very high input costs. But they are uncertain of the prices further down. That's one reason why we've talked about needing to look at this in the short, medium and long term.

If you'd like some more specific information, at sort of various income levels, I've seen it. So we can probably, through my office, help provide you with some of that.

Q: C'est une question pour M. Diouf ou M. Lamy. Hier, le Rapporteur spécial M. Ziegler a dénoncé les spéculations et notamment les spéculations boursières comme l'une des raisons de la crise. Êtes-vous d'accord? Et si oui, quelles sont les mesures que vous proposez pour contrôler ce problème?

M. Jacques Diouf: Comme cela a été expliqué, il y a d'abord des facteurs objectifs sur l'offre de produits agricoles, notamment l'impact du changement climatique sur la production, avec essentiellement les inondations, les sécheresses, les ouragans, etc. Il y a le niveau des stocks qui est le plus bas depuis 1980. De l'autre côté, il y a, au niveau de la demande, la demande croissante des pays émergeants, notamment la Chine, l'Inde, etc., qui ont des taux de croissance de 8 à 12%. Il y a en outre la croissance de la population mondiale, 78,5 millions par an. Et il y a, troisièmement, une partie des aliments qui va aux biocarburants, à travers des soutiens. Ceci a créé une tension entre l'offre et la demande sur les marchés et comme ce sont des marchés à terme, certains spéculent sur ces marchés à terme comme ils le font sur d'autres produits, sur les terres ou sur les métaux, etc. Je crois que le problème est un problème qui repose sur des bases objectives créant une situation qui a été mise à profit par des fonds spéculatifs.

M. Pascal Lamy: Je crois que Jacques est plus compétent que moi en matière de spéculation agricole.

Q: Une question pour M. Diouf. Par rapport à ce Sommet de Rome en juin prochain et dans le contexte actuel, où enfin on semble être alerté comme vous le souhaitiez depuis quelques années, qu'attendez-vous précisément, non pas seulement en termes d'argent mais en termes de politiques par les États et par les acteurs internationaux ?

M. Jacques Diouf: J'attends premièrement qu'on aide Josette [Sheeran, Directrice exécutive du Programme alimentaire mondial] à avoir des ressources pour les personnes qu'on doit nourrir tout de suite. J'attends que l'on aide les agriculteurs des pays à avoir des semences, des engrais et des aliments du bétail pour cette campagne -déjà-, qui se termine en juillet pour les semis. J'attends que les engagements qui ont déjà été pris pour investir dans la maîtrise de l'eau, dans les routes rurales, dans les moyens de stockage, notamment (naturellement, il y a d'autres secteurs d'infrastructures rurales), que l'on mobilise ces ressources pour pouvoir respecter les engagements qui ont été pris dès 1996 au premier Sommet mondial de l'alimentation, en 2002 au » Sommet mondial de l'alimentation: Cinq ans après » et les engagements qui ont été pris à Monterrey de mettre les ressources nécessaires. On a les programmes, on a les accords des États sur des programmes précis, connus. Même le rapport Blair les a précisés aussi. Maintenant, il faut l'action, il faut qu'on cesse de parler, de prendre des engagements et après de les oublier dans les tiroirs.