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ECOSOC: Council Discusses Global Food Crisis

Global_food_crisis21 May 2008: Speaking at the UN Economic and Social Council's (ECOSOC) special session on the global food crisis, Léo Mérorès, President of ECOSOC, emphasized the “need to concentrate efforts on minimizing greenhouse emissions, deforestation and global warming, while finding ways to promote investments in agriculture [and] maximize the use of agro-science and technology.”

The special session was originally scheduled for one day, 20 May 2008, but it extended to 22 May 2008 due to the large number of UN member states wishing to take the floor. It convened at UN headquarters in New York, US. Léo Mérorès also emphasized that “agriculture has to be put back in the center of the development agenda.” UN General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim highlighted the need for greater investment in agriculture, calling for the “best science, tools and technologies to optimize efficiency and boost production,…[and] policies that support land and resource ownership.” Kerim also drew attention to the role that high oil prices have played in rising food prices, and emphasized that “a sustainable solution to the crisis must therefore be linked to oil price stability and our efforts to tackle climate change.” The session also heard video-recorded messages from Bingu wa Mutharika, President of Malawi, and Gordon Brown, UK Prime Minister, as well as a keynote address by Joachim von Braun, Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute.

[Special Session on global food crisis website:  http://www.un.org/ecosoc/GlobalFoodCrisis/index.shtml] [Statements http://www.un.org/ecosoc/GlobalFoodCrisis/Statements.shtml]