Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Air Algerie investigation continues

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Dozens of youths trampled to death on Conakry beach

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola death toll tops 700

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

UNRWA official breaks down over Gaza deaths

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults - Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults - Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Renault's women drivers ad deemed sexist

Read more

FOCUS

Constitution prohibits Aung San Suu Kyi to run for president

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

War and Markets, with Steen Jakobsen, Chief Economist at Saxo Bank

Read more

  • Israel and Hamas 72-hour ceasefire begins

    Read more

  • Dozens killed and injured in Taiwan gas blast

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • Regional summit to tackle deadly Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

  • French Jews speak of growing fear in Paris amid Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Video: Inside Hamas ‘terror’ tunnels in Gaza

    Read more

  • Sierra Leone declares state of emergency over spread of Ebola

    Read more

  • Investigators reach MH17 site amid 24-hour ceasefire

    Read more

  • France remembers murdered socialist hero Jean Jaurès

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Scores feared dead in India landslide

    Read more

  • Russia ordered to pay further €1.9 billion to Yukos shareholders

    Read more

  • Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run?

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

Ban Ki-moon calls for 'revitalisation' of agriculture

Latest update : 2008-06-03

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in his address at the three-day UN summit of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome, "We have an historic opportunity to revitalise agriculture." (Report: T.Gruzca)

Speaking at the opening session of a three-day summit on the world food crisis in Rome Tuesday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the immediate objective was to produce more food to respond to the world’s increasing demand.


According to the World Bank, a 100 million extra people could be plunged into poverty because of rises in the price of staple foods.


Warning that it would take “enormous political will” to revitalize agriculture across the world, he set an objective of a 50% increase in food production by 2030.


“The longer term focus is to increase world food security,” Ban said.


Aiming to defuse the idea that biofuels are solely to blame for the rising food prices, the secretary-general called for a “greater degree of international consensus on biofuels”.


Farming crops for food and biofuels “are two parallel tracks”, he said, adding that the UN would lend financial support to countries who had already invested heavily in biofuels to help them turn some of the land back to farming.


Dismissing the idea that the liberalization of trade was the reason behind the current crisis, he warned of the dangers of “policies that might impoverish neighbouring countries”.


“Limiting food exports or controlling prices cannot work,” he said.


The focus of the long-planned conference moved away from climate change to look at solutions to the growing food crisis, which, in recent months, has sparked hunger riots in a number of countries around the world.


French President Nicolas Sarkozy and upcoming head of the European Union,  proposed the creation of an international group on world food safety which would include institutions like UN agencies, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, regional banks and the World Trade Organisation as well as states, companies and non-governmental organizations.


There is a strategy, he said, "that relies on the devlopement of local farmers. It is the only solution that is both sustainable, responsible but demanding."
 
Some 50 heads of state and government are attending the conference. They include President Robert Mugabe from Zimbabwe and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from Iran, whose presence at the summit has been sharply criticized. Groups of Italian activists planned to demonstrate on Tuesday.


“Nothing is worse than hunger,” Ban said as he concluded his statement. “Especially when it is man-made.”

Date created : 2008-06-03

COMMENT(S)