Minister for Agriculture: EU is ready to provide further support for rural development and food supply in the world
The 39th session of the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (UN FAO), under the Latvian Presidency of EU Council, has been finalised in Rome (Italy). At the general debates the European Union was represented by Latvian Minister for Agriculture, Jānis Dūklavs, expressing a common position of the EU.
The Minister for Agriculture, Jānis Dūklavs pointed out that the EU has a long tradition regarding ensuring a sustainable agricultural production. In his speech he reminded that “the European Union and its Member States are the major providers of rural development, food and nutrition support in the world”. The EU is both a significant importer and exporter of food with the experience and production technologies, which can be used by the sectors of agriculture in other countries. The EU is ready to continue sharing this knowledge,” said Jānis Dūklavs.
At the opening of the conference, the ex-President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, during MacDougall memorial lecture, traditional for the conference, emphasized that eradication of hunger in the world is an attainable objective, mentioning Brazil as an example, which is not among the countries, suffering from deficit of food anymore.
At the plenary session of the conference, during general debates, the high-level officials of FAO member states discussed FAO statement on the situation with food and agriculture in the world in 2015. The president of Argentine, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner pointed out that poverty is the main reason for hunger and the most effective way to overcome malnutrition is to implement active national policies to do away with inequality. The Prime-Minister of Fiji, Ratu Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama emphasized the threat of climate changes for agriculture and food sufficiency, as Pacific Ocean islands are losing fertile agriculture land due to raising level of water thus jeopardizing availability of food for island inhabitants.
Participants of the conference were granted an audience with the Pope Francis. Addressing the audience, he encouraged to reduce food losses, protect soil, taking into account the limited nature resources and the impact of climate changes on agriculture and food production. It is also necessary to facilitate solidarity in order to provide each inhabitant of the globe with food every day.
FAO Conference was honoured by presence of the Queen of Spain, Leticia, who was entrusted with the honour to become the FAO Special Ambassador for Nutrition.
At the conference, member states also approved the FAO Program of Work and Budget for 2015-2017, re-elected the FAO Director-General, Jose Graziano da Silva for the second term as well as made other decisions significant for the Organisation.
UN FAO objective is to overcome poverty by means of agricultural development, facilitating production of wholesome and safe food in developing countries and improving living quality in poor rural areas all over the world. UN FAO has been founded in 1943 in the State of Virginia (USA), whereas the first FAO conference has held in 1945 in Quebec (Canada). Since 1951, the FAO headquarters are situated in Rome, Italy. Currently, FAO consists of 194 member states, one member organisation and two associated members. Latvia became FAP Member State in 1991.
For media contacts:
Kristīne Rīna, Head of the Minister’s Office
Ministry of Agriculture
Mobile: +371 26547332
Telephone: +371 67027665
Rūta Rudzīte, Public Relations officer
Ministry of Agriculture
Telephone: +371 67027498