National action against hunger crucial in post-2015 world – FAO

José Graziano da Silva - FAO Director-General
José Graziano da Silva – FAO Director-General

National leadership and action are crucial and governments have the primary responsibility for assuring the food security of their citizens, Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has said.

The Organisation’s Director-General José Graziano da Silva told a high-level meeting on the United Nation’s vision for a post-2015 strategy against world hunger in a statement signed by Peter Lowrey of the FAO Media Relations Department in Rome and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Friday.

He said the Millennium Development Goals had pushed us forward; however with 870 million people still suffering from hunger, the war against food insecurity was far from over.

The Director General said the only effective answer to food insecurity was political commitment at the national level, and reinforcement at the regional and global levels by the international community of donors and international organizations; adding that the world’s attitude toward hunger had changed profoundly.

He stated that the right to food in the context of national food security was now the agreed foundation for policy discussion worldwide.

The Director-General said since the world produced enough food to feed everyone, emphasis needed to be placed on access to food and to adequate nutrition at the local level. “We need food systems to be more efficient and equitable.”

He said such progress would require significant public and private investment in rural areas where over 70 percent of the hungry live and where millions of people depended on agriculture for food and employment including 500 million smallholder farm families.

However, he warned that despite the primary responsibility of national governments to ensure their citizens were fed, today’s globalized economy meant that no country should act alone.

“Actions taken by one country or company may affect the food security of others [while] conflicts can lead to instability in neighboring countries and regions.

“Impacts on environmental and natural resources are not purely national and it is virtually impossible to regulate markets and activities at the national level alone,” he said.

The Director General said examples of multilateral efforts that contributed to national efforts to reduce hunger and make development more sustainable include the strengthening of the Committee on World Food Security and the United Nations Secretary-General’s High Level Task Force on Global Food Security.

“Another example is the Zero Hunger Challenge launched by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon last June, at the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development,” he said.

He said public policies should also create opportunities for the most disadvantaged, including subsistence and small-scale producers, women, youth and indigenous people.

The UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) deadline is 2015.

Source: GNA

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