§ Lord Howell of Guildford
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What proposals they have tabled at the current United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation meeting in Rome to meet the growing food crisis in central and southern Africa. [HL4708]
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Amos)
The United Kingdom tabled no proposals on the crisis at the FAO meeting "World Food Summit: five years later", which took place from 10 to 13 June in Rome and which was held to review progress in tackling global hunger. The United Kingdom Government are working with partner governments, United Nations organisations and non-governmental organisations to address the growing crisis in central and southern Africa. A meeting of Governments, NGOs and donors, hosted by the United Nations, was held in78WA Johannesburg on 6 and 7 June to assess humanitarian needs and consider responses. Following the meeting, the United Kingdom committed nearly £50 million to meet urgent humanitarian needs.
§ Baroness Amos
The Government share the widely held view that the "World Food Summit: five years later"—which was interposed between the 1996 Summit and the "plus ten" review due in 2006—did not justify the substantial financial and opportunity costs involved, both for FAO and its membership. The Government will work with the UN and like-minded member states to promote a more action-orientated, forward-looking, follow-up to UN conferences which concentrates on implementation rather than a review of existing agreements.
The Government's approach to food security in developing countries is set out in the policy paper Eliminating Hunger—Strategy for Achieving the Millennium Development Goal on Hunger launched on 13 June and a draft consultation paper Better livelihoods for poor people: the role of agriculture. These papers are in the Libraries of both Houses.