Mr. Nikhil Seth, the Director of the Division for Sustainable Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) introduced the report that examined the progress made to date and the challenges that remain in eradicating hunger and malnutrition: sustainable increasing of agricultural production; reducing agricultural losses and waste; and ensuring that all food systems are sustainable. The report also aims to look ahead, highlighting the importance of food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture in the proposed SDGs.
In terms of eradicating hunger and malnutrition, the report noted that, despite overall progress, large differences remain across developing regions. It also highlighted that the target does not capture the different dimensions of under nutrition. In terms of sustainably increasing agricultural productivity, the report noted that in order to avert future food crises, agricultural productivity must be increased.
The representative of Bolivia on behalf of the Group of 77 and China stated that the ‘State of Food Insecurity’ (SoFI) 2014 showed that advances in reducing world hunger require political commitment, which is expressed through appropriate policies, legal framework and resources. They reaffirmed that hunger is a violation of human dignity and called for urgent measures to be taken at the national, regional and international levels to eliminate it. They welcomed the implementation of the International Year of Family Farming by recognizing the important contributions of family farming and smallholder farming. Moreover, they called for immediate elimination of all forms of agricultural subsidies and other market-distorting measures taken by developed countries that are not in compliance with WTO rules. The representative of Guyana on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) stressed that activities in this area are critical in creating employment and entrepreneurial opportunities (especially for women and youths), in the sustainment of livelihoods, and in the reduction of the high incidence of NCDS.
The representative of Laos People’s Democratic Republic, on behalf of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), stated that they are of the view that the challenge of food and nutrition insecurity should be addressed in a sustainable manner in order to increase agricultural production and improve agricultural productivity by augmenting investment and technological improvement in the agricultural sector. The representative of the Kingdom of Tonga, on behalf of the Pacific Small Island Developing States, noted that climate change adaptation strategies relevant to food security and nutrition should be mainstreamed in all aquaculture and fisheries policies and actions at national and sub-national levels. The representative of the European Union and its Member States noted that through EU polices they strongly promote the multiplier role of the agricultural sector and the contribution that all actors can make. They welcomed the Malabo Declaration of 27 June of the African Union recommitting to agricultural development and resolving to triple intra-Africa trade in agricultural commodities and services by 2025.
Meeting: 24th and 25th meetings of the Second Meeting: Agriculture development, food security and nutrition [item 25]
Date: 28 October 2014
Location: Conference Room 2, UN Headquarters, New York.
Written by WIT Representative: Aslesha Dhillon
Edited by WIT Representative: Philip Bracey