I want to thank President Rodríguez Zapatero for hosting this High Level Meeting on Food Security for All. This is a welcome occasion, and I pledge my support with you to work to address global hunger.
I am sorry that I could not attend today, but I am sending a strong team composed of senior officials from across the United States government who will report back to me after the meeting.
President Obama has made clear that alleviating hunger worldwide is a top priority of this Administration. As he said on the first day of his Presidency, “to the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds.” The President and I intend to focus new attention on food security so that developing nations can invest in food production, affordability, accessibility, education and technology.
Food insecurity and high food prices pose a threat to the prosperity and security in many developing countries. Millions of people are at risk of being pushed back into poverty, jeopardizing the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal to cut hunger and poverty in half by 2015. And governments and nations, as you know so well, are more likely to be unstable when their populations are hungry and unfed.
We are committed to building a new partnership among donor states, developing nations, UN agencies, NGO’s, the private sector and others to better coordinate policies to achieve the Millennium Development Goals agreed to in 2000.
Once again I want to commend Spain for taking the initiative to further global efforts to find a long-term solution to the problem of hunger. This is one of many issues that needs collaboration and coordination among nations, especially in light of the complex global challenges we share in this new century. I look forward to working closely with you and others to support the results of this important conference.