Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe completes visit to Italy where he was attending the World Food Summit

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Rome, Italy - Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has today, 17th November 2009, concluded his visit to Rome, Italy, where he was participating at the World Food Summit.

He said he was satisfied that the summit adopted a declaration that serves as a basis for addressing the challenge of hunger faced by a billion people world wide.

The Deputy President said the declaration sets the tone for investments in agriculture and urges governments to support small scale farming and this is a step in the right direction.

Heads of state and government attending the summit committed to take decisive action in supporting and implementing the declaration.

The declaration states in part that "in adopting this declaration we agree to undertake all necessary actions required at national, regional and global levels and by all States and Governments to halt immediately the increase in - and to significantly reduce - the number of people suffering from hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity. We will reinforce all our efforts to meet by 2015 the targets of Millennium Development Goal 1 and the World Food Summits. We commit to take action towards sustainably eradicating hunger at the earliest possible date".

The Deputy President echoed the linkage between food security and climate security affirming that "the outcomes of the summit are also a function of the outcome of the two forthcoming important events the Copenhagen summit on climate change and the conclusion of the WTO Doha round".

"If the solution is found in Copenhagen (on climate challenges), it protects and enhances the possibility for retention of fresh produce and on the other hand, if Doha (the WTO Doha round negotiations) is concluded and the terms of trade are not loaded negatively against developing countries, or products from developing countries, then the market will be available for producers in the developing countries", said the Deputy President.

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Issued by the Presidency