THE FIRST G8 AGRICULTURE MINISTERS' MEETING
The world food emergency
VIDEOS OF THE PARTICIPANTS:
Michel Barnier, french Minister of agriculture
Ilse Aigner, german Minister of agriculture
Tom Vilsack, U.S. State Secretary of Agriculture
Mariann Fischer Boel, European agriculture Commissioner
Kanayo F. Nwanze, President IFAD
Jacques Diouf, FAO General Director
Vandana Shiva, ambientalist
Jeremy Rifkin, economist
Antonio Buonfiglio, Sottosegretario di stato politiche agricole
Letizia Moratti High commissioner Expo 2015
Marco Lucchini, Banco Alimentare Director
Cison di Valmarino, 20 April 2009
The Agriculture G8 Ministers’ meeting under the Italian presidency was held in Cison di Valmarino from 18 to 20 april 2009. On Saturday 18 the meeting started in G8 format and the Ministers were engaged in a debate on the mandate emerged from Hokkaido Toyako G8 summit of 7-9 July 2008: food security and price volatility. The delegations discussed on means and strategies to increase production and productivity, on the role of markets, the relation between agriculture and environment and the role of the international organization for the market stability.
The delegations underlined the need to place agriculture and food security at the core of political agenda.
The G8 partners reached a consensus on a final declaration in which they commit to use all the tools available to alleviate the negative consequences of the current financial crisis on poverty and hunger, strengthen and encourage sustainable agriculture and food production, increase the investments in agriculture and research, avoid unfair competition, agricultural trade distortions, including export restrictive measure, as agreed by G20. They also recommended a monitoring and analysis of factors potentially affecting commodity market, including speculation.
AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SECURITY AT THE CORE OF THE INTERNATIONAL AGENDA
The G8 Leaders Statement on Global Food Security, adopted at Hokkaido Toyako (Japan) Summit from 7 to 9 July 2008, acknowledged the negative implications of the food crisis on the living conditions of millions people in several areas across the world, recognized the need for short, mid and long-term measures to tackle the issue of food insecurity and poverty and asked Ministers of Agriculture to develop sound and shared proposals on food security, to prevent future crises linked to prices of agricultural primary commodities and input factors.
We, the Ministers of Agriculture of the G8 Countries, met in Cison di Valmarino (Italy), from 18 to 20 April 2009 and concluded the following:
• The 2000 Millennium Declaration aimed to halve the proportion of the world population facing poverty and undernourishment by the year 2015; the world is very far from reaching this goal according to the alarming data provided by the relevant international bodies.
• The FAO High-Level Conference on World Food Security, held in Rome from 3 to 5 June 2008, reaffirmed commitments to achieve the Millennium Development Goals through increased agricultural production and response to the immediate needs of vulnerable populations, with particular attention to climate change adaptation and mitigation. The Conference recalled the importance of the Voluntary Guidelines to support the progressive realization of the Right to adequate food in the context of national food security.
• The relevant international institutions called on successive occasions for an urgent need to help developing countries and countries in transition to expand agriculture and food production and to increase investments in agriculture, agribusiness and rural development, from both public and private sources. We believe that more should be done to increase the quantity and enhance the quality of agricultural production and enable all citizens to have economic and physical access to safe and nutritious food.
• Although the global economic downturn has caused the international market prices of nearly all agricultural commodities to fall dramatically since summer 2008, and prices have fallen for some consumers, they are still well above previous lows in many countries and the depth of the current economic recession means that the number of people who are poor and, consequently, hungry has increased since last year. Structural factors may affect prices over the medium term, and increased volatility and demand raise important questions about food security for the future.
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