Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

A thin line between fact-checking and propaganda in Gaza social media coverage

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive

Read more

FOCUS

Ireland's missing babies casting light on a dark history...

Read more

WEB NEWS

World Cup 2014: Germany-Brazil inspires the Web

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Boutros-Ghali: 'I wanted to reform the UN'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

57 000 little problems

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Sarkozy 'threat'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Budget challenge for India's new government

Read more

  • Hamas rockets reaching deeper into Israel

    Read more

  • French companies will have to accept anonymous CVs

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces close in on Donetsk

    Read more

  • Germany asks US intelligence station chief to leave country

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Gaza as militants target Israeli cities

    Read more

  • UN chief Ban Ki-moon appoints new Syria mediator

    Read more

  • Video: Muslims in China confront obstacles to Ramadan fasting

    Read more

  • Tour de France passes WWI Chemin des Dames battlefield

    Read more

  • Senegalese man awarded French visa in gay marriage debate

    Read more

  • Israel steps up airstrikes as diplomacy gets under way

    Read more

  • Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties to reach World Cup final

    Read more

  • Foiled French jihadist ‘targeted Louvre and Eiffel Tower’

    Read more

  • Obama in Texas to urge congressional action on child migrant crisis

    Read more

  • Iraq’s heritage 'in danger' from ISIS militants

    Read more

  • 100 years on, the Tour de France returns to the Western Front

    Read more

Europe

UN 'hunger summit' largely ignored by world leaders

©

Video by Rebecca BOWRING

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-11-20

More than 60 heads of state will gather in Rome this week for a summit on global hunger, but leaders of the world's wealthiest nations have largely snubbed the event. Pope Benedict XVI will be among the inaugural speakers at Monday's meeting.

AFP - The leaders of the world's wealthiest nations will be conspicuous by their absence as more than 60 heads of state and government gather in Rome this week for a UN summit on the plight of the planet's billion hungry.
   
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is the only leader from the Group of Eight industrialised countries expected to attend the "Hunger Summit" from Monday through Wednesday.
   
Pope Benedict XVI will be among the inaugural speakers at meeting at the Rome headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organisation.
   
Also expected at the summit are Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Moamer Kadhafi of Libya, Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.
   
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe arrived Saturday with an entourage of some 60 people. His human rights record has seen him barred from travelling to the European Union, except for international gatherings, since 2002.
   
Humanitarian groups warned last week that the summit could be a "waste of time," calling for the commitment of new resources to fight hunger.
   
"It's a tragedy that the world leaders are not going to attend the summit," said Daniel Berman of Doctors Without Borders (Medecins sans Frontieres -- MSF).
   
A draft declaration already circulating ahead of the meeting is "just a rehash of old platitudes," said Francisco Sarmento, ActionAid’s food rights coordinator.
   
"Rich countries are failing to show enough interest and urgency," said Oxfam spokesman Frederic Mousseau.
   
"At the G8 in Italy this summer they pledged 20 billion dollars (13.5 billion euros) for agriculture over three years, so they believe they have done enough. They haven’t -- and the 20 billion dollars is a mirage," he said.
   
Even the Italian Catholic Church warned of a possible "flop" unless the produces concrete commitments.
   
The Italian bishops' newspaper Avvenire lamented that the draft final declaration makes no mention of the 44 billion dollars per year that FAO chief Jacques Diouf is seeking for agriculture in poor countries.
   
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will prod world leaders to step up the fight against global warming as well as hunger during his stop at the summit.
   
"Given the close interrelationship between food security and climate change, the secretary-general will engage world leaders to advance both agendas together," a spokeswoman said last week.
   
To help create a sense of urgency ahead of the summit, Diouf went on a 24-hour fast on Saturday.
   
Diouf spent the night Friday at FAO headquarters, sleeping on a makeshift mattress of foam blocs, the UN agency said in a statement.
   
"I hope that through these gestures we will raise awareness, and build pressure from public opinion," Diouf said.
   
"Every six seconds a child dies of hunger," Diouf said last week. "This enormous tragedy is not only a moral outrage and an economic absurdity, but also it presents a serious threat to our collective peace and security."
   
Agricultural production must increase 70 percent if the world is to feed the population of nine billion by 2050, according to the FAO.
   
Non-governmental organisations plan a parallel forum with the slogan "People's Food Sovereignty Now!" to be attended by Diouf and Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno.
   
More than 400 delegates from around 70 countries will attend the forum.
   
On Sunday evening, the international anti-poverty agency ActionAid plans a "Stop Hunger!" vigil at Rome's Colosseum, which will be lit up for the occasion.

Date created : 2009-11-15

Comments

COMMENT(S)