Only national solutions can solve food security problems, UN director says.
The World Summit on Food Security was a forum for raising awareness and encouraging international action, said Jacques Diouf, Director-General of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, at the end of the event.
“The responsibility for ensuring food security, agricultural and rural development is the responsibility of each government and its people,” Diouf said during the closing press conference today. “It’s not the responsibility of the FAO and certainly not the responsibility of a summit. A summit does not have land. A summit does not have farmers. A summit does not have a budget to invest. A summit is a framework for discussion and debate to arrive at consensus solutions in the face of common challenges at the global level.”
National responsibility for food security is one of the principles in the summit declaration, which states that plans for food security must be “nationally articulated, designed, owned and led.”
Diouf said the summit was successful in creating consensus on three issues:
1) The need to reverse the trend of under-investment in agriculture
2) The need to eradicate hunger, not just decrease it
3) The need for a more coherent governance system
It is now up to national governments to act on the proposals, Diouf said.
Concerns about food security have become more prevalent in recent years, especially after the 2007-08 food crisis when international prices reached record highs and caused riots in several cities. Prices have fallen because of the subsequent economic crisis, but are still above historical levels.
Summaries of roundtable discussions held during the three-day summit will be released soon, according to FAO officials.
Brett writes about agriculture, energy, infrastructure, and the politics and economics of water in the United States. He also writes the Federal Water Tap, Circle of Blue’s weekly digest of U.S. government water news. He is the winner of two Society of Environmental Journalists reporting awards, one of the top honors in American environmental journalism: first place for explanatory reporting for a series on septic system pollution in the United States(2016) and third place for beat reporting in a small market (2014). He received the Sierra Club’s Distinguished Service Award in 2018. Brett lives in Seattle, where he hikes the mountains and bakes pies. Contact Brett Walton