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Diplomacy in Action

41. U.S. comments on report of the Committee on World Food Security's 32nd session (November 2006)


Report of the 32nd Session of the Committee on World Food Security
Agenda Item 4
Statement by the United States of America

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The United States was pleased with the consensus outcome of the Committee on World Food Security. All participants recognized that if we are to meet the World Food Summit goal to reduce by half the number of undernourished people in the world, it is imperative that developed and developing countries, NGOs, the private sector, and others work in partnership as never before.

We appreciated hearing the diverse views presented in the multi-stakeholder forum. We would like to reiterate that we believe that efforts to increase food security and eradicate hunger must include an increase in agricultural productivity; agricultural trade; good governance; effective use of official development assistance; and the empowerment of women.

We would to once again commend the work of former Assistant Director General Eva Clayton, Mr. Hervé Lejeune, and the National Alliances Against Hunger for their dedication and actions in combating hunger. The United States welcomes the proposal that would permit the International Alliance to become progressively more self-supporting and able to generate funding for its activities. However, we caution that FAO still has a significant catalytic role to play in facilitating the continuing growth of the Alliance. We believe FAO should maintain its high-level commitment to the International Alliance. Substantial progress has been made in just three years, but the task is unfinished.

We would like to address one more issue that received attention in the CFS -- the role of the Voluntary Guidelines to Support the Progressive Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security. The United States was pleased to join consensus in adopting the Voluntary Guidelines in 2004. We view the Voluntary Guidelines as a useful toolkit of policies and strategies that countries may consider in their efforts to enhance their food security. It is important to remember, however, that they are voluntary, and that governments and other actors are invited to implement them as they see fit. For this reason, the United States does not support mainstreaming the Voluntary Guidelines in the work of FAO.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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