G8 Leaders Statement on Global Food Security
1. We are deeply concerned that the steep rise in global food prices coupled with availability problems in a number of developing countries is threatening global food security. The negative impacts of this recent trend could push millions more back into poverty, rolling back progress made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. We have taken additional steps to assist those suffering from food insecurity or hunger, and today renew our commitment to address this multifaceted and structural crisis.
2. We are determined to take all possible measures in a coordinated manner, and since January 2008 have committed, for short, medium and long-term purposes, over US$ 10 billion to support food aid, nutrition interventions, social protection activities and measures to increase agricultural output in affected countries. In the short-term, we are addressing urgent needs of the most vulnerable people. In this regard, we welcome the contributions which others have made to address the global food crisis. We call on other donors to participate along with us in making commitments, including through the World Food Programme (WFP), to meet remaining immediate humanitarian needs and to provide access to seeds and fertilizers for the upcoming planting season. We will also look for opportunities to help build up local agriculture by promoting local purchase of food aid. We underline the importance of strengthening the effective, timely and needs-based delivery of food assistance and increasing agricultural productivity.
3. Responding effectively to this crisis requires leadership, ambition and an appropriate scale of resources. The international community needs a fully coordinated response and a comprehensive strategy to tackle this issue in an integrated fashion from short to medium and long-term. We welcome in this regard the outcomes of relevant international fora including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) High-Level Conference on World Food Security in Rome and the Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD) IV in Yokohama. We commend the leadership of the United Nations (UN) and Bretton Woods institutions in convening the High Level Task Force on the Global Food Crisis to establish the “Comprehensive Framework for Action”, and urge the relevant stakeholders to swiftly implement plans to achieve prompt delivery for countries in need.
4. To coordinate and implement this effectively, we will work with the international community in forming a global partnership on agriculture and food, involving all relevant actors, including developing country governments, the private sector, civil society, donors, and international institutions. This partnership, strengthening and building on existing UN and other international institutions, could provide efficient and effective support for country-led processes and institutions and for local leadership, draw on the expertise in existing international organizations and, in particular, ensure monitoring and assessment on progress. The UN should facilitate and provide coordination. As part of this partnership, a global network of high-level experts on food and agriculture would provide science-based analysis, and highlight needs and future risks.
5. We are committed to thorough reform of the FAO to enhance its effectiveness in helping to ensure food security for all. In this context, we expect the next FAO extraordinary conference to provide effective follow-up to the Rome Food Summit and outline concrete steps to enhance the effectiveness of the FAO.
6. Food security also requires a robust world market and trade system for food and agriculture. Rising food prices are adding inflationary pressures and generating macroeconomic imbalances especially for some low-income countries. In this regard, we will work toward the urgent and successful conclusion of an ambitious, comprehensive and balanced Doha Round. It is also imperative to remove export restrictions and expedite the current negotiation at the World Trade Organization (WTO) aimed at introducing stricter disciplines on these trade actions which prolong and aggravate the situation, and hinder humanitarian purchases of food commodities. Furthermore, we continue to promote the development of open and efficient agricultural and food markets, and support monitoring of the functioning of such markets by relevant agencies, with a view to minimizing the volatility of food prices and preempting future crises. We also call for countries with sufficient food stocks to make available a part of their surplus for countries in need, in times of significantly increasing prices and in a way not to distort trade. We will explore options on a coordinated approach on stock management, including the pros and cons of building a ‘virtual’ internationally coordinated reserve system for humanitarian purposes.
7. We fully recognize the need for a wide range of mid- to long-term measures to tackle the issue of food security and poverty, inter alia, the importance of stimulating world food production and increasing investment in agriculture. To this end, we will:
8. We have tasked a G8 Experts Group to monitor the implementation of our commitments, and identify other ways in which the G8 can support the work of the High Level Task Force on the Global Food Crisis and work with other interested parties for the next UN General Assembly to realize the global partnership.
9. We also ask our ministers of agriculture to hold a meeting to contribute to developing sound proposals on global food security.
10. We will review the progress on this issue at our next Summit.