UN Secretary-General Reports Task Force Recommendations at FAO Conference


3 June 2008: UN Secretary-General Ban

Ki-moon urged “bold and urgent steps” to tackle the global food crisis in his

statement to the FAO High-Level Conference on World Food Security, which

convened in Rome, Italy, from 3-5 June 2008. Noting that food production will

have to rise by 50% by the year 2030 to meet rising demand, he said “it is

important that our longer term focus is on improving world food security - and

remains so for some years.”

He reported on the recommendations of

the UN High-Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis, including:

improving access to food; increasing food availability; expanding food

assistance; boosting smallholder farmer production; improving rural infrastructure

and links to markets; and adjusting trade and taxation policies to minimize

export restrictions and import tariffs. He appealed to countries to resist

“beggar thy neighbor” policies and to immediately release

exports designated for humanitarian purposes. He also called for focusing on

long-term policies, such as: removing structural impediments to

agricultural development; investing in smallholder farming in developing

countries; eliminating market distorting trade and taxation policies; and

supporting research into optimal food crops and better animal production

systems. He explained that requirements for boosting productivity in Africa are

estimated at US$8 to 10 billion annually, suggesting that “the overall global price tag for national governments and international donors could exceed $15 to 20 billion annually.” [Statement] [FAO Conference website] [IISD RS coverage]