UN food summit produces nothing nutritious

The three-day United Nations-sponsored summit on world food security ended in Rome on Thursday with the host lamenting that the meeting failed to reach its goal.

Jacques Diouf, UN Food and Agriculture Organization director-general and host of the World Food Summit host, said the meeting produced neither measurable targets nor specific deadlines for ending the scourge of hunger that afflicts more than one billion people.

Summit delegates unanimously adopted a declaration renewing a commitment to eradicate hunger in a sustained manner and at the earliest date. But the nations failed to make any specific pledges to help the world's poorest farmers.

Sixty heads of state and government and 191 ministers from 182 countries and the European Community attended the gathering. Pope Benedict XVI was among the speakers, calling for rules governing international trade to be separated from "the logic of profit viewed as an end in itself."

Diouf said after the meet, "To my regret the official declaration adopted by the summit this past Monday contains neither measurable targets nor specific deadlines which would have made it easier to monitor implementation." 

FAO finds that directly or indirectly, agriculture provides the livelihood for 70 per cent of the world's poor. The summit was convened to build political momentum to increase investment in agriculture.