Heidelberg, 16.11.2009 - The human rights organization FIAN
International is expecting a self-critical analysis and a change of
course in global food politics from the World Summit on Food Security
starting in Rome today. In 1996, governments had promised to halve
hunger by 2015. “The rise to over one billion in numbers of malnourished
and starving people is an unparalleled scandal of global politics,”
criticizes Flavio Valente, Secretary-General of FIAN International. “The
community of states must unmistakably recognize their failure and
clearly name the causes. The global food politics must be coordinated in
a more democratic and transparent way by means of a strengthened UN and
further be monitored on the basis of the human right to food,” Valente
According to FIAN, the final declaration draft is concealing some of the
central causes of hunger. “The summit declaration does not mention in
any way the sellout of African and Asian countries’ agricultural lands
to foreign states and companies,” comments Sofia Monsalve, agrarian
policies expert at FIAN International. “Regarding speculation and
agrofuels - two central causes of the price hikes - the declaration only
recommends carrying out studies and entering into dialogue. At the same
time, the declaration is demanding that agrarian markets further open
up, but does not mention the detrimental effects of agrarian dumping
policies. The combination of market opening and dumping threatens the
right to food of millions of small farmers,” explains Monsalve. “The
industrialized countries must finally recognize their responsibility for
the realization of the right to food, if they want to regain credibility.”
As a result of the summit, FIAN is expecting convincing steps to reform
and stabilize the UN within the field of world nutrition. “The UN
Committee on World Food Security (CFS), which underwent a reform process
in October, must therefore in the future coordinate the international
food system, develop a global framework strategy, and monitor national
and international programs,” demands Valente. All of which should be
based on the Right to Food Guidelines that were unanimously adopted by
FAO member states in 2004.
FIAN advises against the current attempt of the USA and other states to
marginalize the reformed Committee on World Food Security from the very
beginning. Some states want to transfer the 20 billion USD that were
agreed by the G8 G8 Group composed of the most powerful countries of the planet: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the USA, with Russia a full member since June 2002. Their heads of state meet annually, usually in June or July. to invest into agriculture in developing countries to a
World Bank World Bank
WB The World Bank was founded as part of the new international monetary system set up at Bretton Woods in 1944. Its capital is provided by member states’ contributions and loans on the international money markets. It financed public and private projects in Third World and East European countries.
It consists of several closely associated institutions, among which :
1. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, 180 members in 1997), which provides loans in productive sectors such as farming or energy ;
2. The International Development Association (IDA, 159 members in 1997), which provides less advanced countries with long-term loans (35-40 years) at very low interest (1%) ;
3. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which provides both loan and equity finance for business ventures in developing countries.
As Third World Debt gets worse, the World Bank (along with the IMF) tends to adopt a macro-economic perspective. For instance, it enforces adjustment policies that are intended to balance heavily indebted countries’ payments. The World Bank advises those countries that have to undergo the IMF’s therapy on such matters as how to reduce budget deficits, round up savings, enduce foreign investors to settle within their borders, or free prices and exchange rates.
http://worldbank.org Trust. “If these financial resources are passed on to the
World Bank, the UN will be left out,” warns Valente. “Neither developing
country’s governments nor civil society might then participate in
decisions on the assignment of the funds,” Valente adds. “Respective
national governments must strive to prevent this setback and commit
themselves to achieve a strong mandate of the reformed Committee on
World Food Security,” concludes Monsalve.
*Contact and background information:*
Flavio Valente (+49-172-1394447) and Sofía Monsalve
(+49-173-7570286) will be attending the World Food Summit on behalf of
FIAN International. They will be available for interview or comment in
Rome during the Civil Society Forum that takes place in parallel to the
Summit from 14-17^th and during the official Summit from 16-18^th.
Call Wilma Strothenke at FIAN International at
+49-6221-65300-56 for scheduling an interview or background information.
Failure by national governments and international
institutions to ensure the right to food has led to rising numbers of
malnourished and starving people, as documented in the /Right to Food
and Nutrition Watch 2009, a report launched in October by a consortium
of human rights organizations, social movements and development
agencies, among them Brot für die Welt, the Interchurch Organization for
Development Cooperation (ICCO) and FIAN International.
Information on FAO World Summit on Food Security at