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"It is our duty to make further progress in the fight against hunger."

Address delivered by Federal Minister Ilse Aigner at the 36th Meeting of the Committee on World Food Security

Date:
14.10.10
Location:
Rome, Italy
Speaker:
Federal Minister Ilse Aigner

Ministers of Agriculture from Denmark, Germany, France, Poland and the Netherlands, the EU Agriculture Commissioner Cioloş, MEP De Castro, MEP Lyon and around 180 participants from the political and scientific sectors, associations and the press attended the Conference.

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Salutation,

Global food security and nutrition is of immense concern to us. I came to Rome today to make my point very clear: it is our duty to make further progress in the fight against hunger. And we are fully committed to this goal! We have many analyses in hand that pave the way for us. And we can derive the right steps to be taken from them.

In June, I hosted the Conference "Policies against Hunger" on behalf of the German Government. This year marks the eighth anniversary of this conference already. Many participants from developing countries also joined us at the conference table in Berlin.

We focused on the question of how to improve cooperation between all stakeholders in the fight against hunger. And there was one thing we all agreed upon: the reform of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) constitutes a major step forward.

Germany attaches enormous importance to the Committee. Here we have the opportunity to place international cooperation on a new and viable basis: for ensuring world food security! Let us seize this opportunity!

The participation of those social groups that are most vulnerable to hunger and malnutrition is essential to us. For it is their right to food that is under threat!

What we have to do now is to put these words into action: Germany therefore made a significant financial contribution in order to make it easier for representatives from developing countries to attend the CFS meeting.

Ladies and Gentlemen, When national, regional and local strategies are drawn up to promote food security and nutrition, they should be consistent with the Guidelines on the Right to Food. They were adopted by all of us and therefore constitute a good basis

  • for a future Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition and
  • for the "Voluntary Guidelines on Land"
  • and also for the Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investment that are now being formulated.

One topic which is of concern to many people is that of extensive foreign investment in agricultural land and forest areas. We must prevent the local population from becoming the loser in this development! At the same time we need more private investment in order to increase productivity and thus promote food security and nutrition.

That is why I welcome

  • the work done by the FAO on the "Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land and other Natural Resources" and
  • the "Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investment", which are currently being developed jointly by a number of UN agencies.

A diet that banishes hunger takes us forward, but does not go far enough. What is more, such a diet must be healthy and tailored to meet people's needs. We need access to knowledge about food quality, safety and hygiene in order to make this happen. All these aspects also form part of food security and a good diet!

We all saw the effects that extreme price spikes can exert on agricultural commodity markets. They can hamper food supplies when countries need to import foodstuffs. We need commodity futures exchanges to hedge against risks. But: foodstuffs must not be the subject of excessive financial speculation! What we need first and foremost is more market transparency. This is also one way of reducing price swings!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Our objective is clear.We need to make a huge effort to achieve this objective. In doing so, a heavy burden of responsibility rests with the governments on the ground. They can make the crucial contribution towards success in the fight against hunger and malnutrition. Only together will we be able to achieve our goals!

Thank you very much.

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