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Insight : FAO food summit in Rome

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Food summit in Rome: a fiasco?

In a world supposed to be free from food shortage, the spectre of hunger is back, alive and well. In June 2008, heads of state and other delegates met in Rome to try and design a solution for the problem.

The FAO diagnosis is bleak:

It is clear that the very countries that already lag behind in terms of well-being, are likely to be most dramatically impacted by the current trends.

What did the summit conference achieve to fix the problem? According to Jean Ziegler, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, the output of the conference is very little indeed. Ziegler had three recommendations:

  1. strict ban on using food commodities for producing bio fuel;
  2. price fixing system to prevent speculative moves on food commodities;
  3. priority shift by FMI and World Bank from agricultural production for export, to investment in agricultural production of food for auto-consumption.

They did not succeed. Instead, there will be more globalization and more free trade under the auspices of the WTO (World Trade Organization) World hunger will remain a dramatic reality for more than 13% of mankind..


(See FAO document HLC/08/INF/1 and Le Monde dated 6 June 2008)




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