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2nd International Conference on Nutrition of the United Nations (ICN2) in Rome

At the World Food Conference in Rome, Federal Minister Schmidt called for strong and decisive action to achieve the vision of a world without hunger and malnutrition and welcomed the Rome Declaration and the related Framework for Action adopted at the Conference.

The Rome Declaration on Nutrition describes the main reasons for hunger and malnutrition and their health-related, social and economic impact both on those affected and on society and states. It formulates a common vision for overcoming all forms of unbalanced diets.

The political declaration is flanked by ten so-called commitments to action that cover a broad spectrum, ranging from the call to eliminate hunger and malnutrition and the goal of reducing growth retardation and emaciation in children under 5 years of age to enhanced policy coordination.

The Framework for Action sets out voluntary policy options on how the objectives laid down in the political declaration could be achieved.

Both papers focus on sustainable food systems and the fight against all forms of malnutrition and unhealthy diets. As requested by Germany, the right to food was prominently enshrined in both documents.

Address delivered by Federal Minister Schmidt at the World Food Conference

Federal minister Schmidt at the lectern Source: BMEL

"The Rome Declaration throws light upon the most pressing challenges and reaffirms our commitment to tackle them resolutely. The Framework for Action offers a full set of options and strategies to realise the goals of ICN 2: a world without hunger and malnutrition," Federal Minister Schmidt underlined in his speech to the plenary and emphasised that it was important that the International Conference on Nutrition had finally, cutting across all sectors and on a global scale, brought malnutrition in all its forms into the public and political spotlight.

The "Policies against Hunger" conference hosted by BMEL in Berlin in summer 2014 laid some important groundwork for this. Thematically, the conference gave centre stage to the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (RAI principles), that had been unanimously adopted by the Committee on World Food Security in October 2014 and to which the Rome Declaration also refers.

Schmidt urged all nations involved to implement the adopted goals in a binding manner. He stated that what mattered was to seize the opportunities given by the Rome Declaration and the Framework of Action. The results of the World Food Conference should be incorporated into the negotiations on the post-2015 agenda and food security and balanced nutrition anchored in a prominent position.

Food security is more than the fight against hunger

Food security is generally associated with the fight against hunger and with undernutrition resulting from an insufficient calory intake. However, there is more to it than that: Besides the 805 million people who are currently starving there are 2 billion people suffering from a lack of vitamins and minerals. A further 1.4 billion people are overweight or even obese - and such cases are increasingly also occurring in developing countries. All in all, around half the world population is not adequately nourished. An integral approach that focuses attention on the quality of food is key to ensuring that people across the globe have a well-balanced diet. With its IN FORM national action plan, Germany has been committed since 2008 to improving dietary and exercise habits in Germany.

Federal Minister Schmidt said that, against this backdrop, our chief concern had to be to produce a diverse range of affordable and nutritious foodstuffs. He went on to say that the agri-food industry had a key role to play throughout the world in this regard.

Strengthening agricultural structures on the ground

"We need to make sure that farm structures are strengthened in a sustainable manner on the ground," stressed Schmidt and, in this context, also pointed to the good bilateral project work with the FAO.

Since 2002, the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) has supported FAO projects to eliminate hunger and malnutrition through a Bilateral Trust Fund (BTF). The main emphasis of the Fund is on the promotion of food security and agriculture in rural areas based on the right to food. With an annual budget of € 9.1 million, the Bilateral Trust Fund has been used to provide over € 115 million for a total of over 97 projects.

As of:
22.06.15

Further information

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The world’s population is growing. But today, at a global level, agriculture is currently producing one third more calories than necessary to feed all the people in the world. That means: In principle, there is enough food for everybody. Nevertheless one person in nine goes to bed hungry. Worldwide there are still 800 million people going hungry.

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This brochure will provide you with information on the underlying contexts of nutrition and agriculture globally, and will inform you about the activities of the BMEL on food security and good nutrition.

Deutsche Version: Welternährung verstehen - Fakten und Hintergründe

As of: January 2015

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