UN members commit to fighting hunger

(AGI) Rome, Nov 19 - Fighting malnutrition with practicalaction should be among the priorities of countries, agreed thesecond international conference of the UN Food and AgricultureOrganisation (FAO). "We have the knowledge, expertise andresources needed to overcome all forms of malnutrition," saidFAO Director-General, Jose Graziano da Silva, after thedecision from ministers and officials of the 170 governmentsthat have adopted the Rome Declaration on Nutrition."Governments must lead the way," he added. "But the push toimprove global nutrition must be a joint effort, involvingcivil society organisations and the private sector. The RomeDeclaration

(AGI) Rome, Nov 19 - Fighting malnutrition with practicalaction should be among the priorities of countries, agreed thesecond international conference of the UN Food and AgricultureOrganisation (FAO). "We have the knowledge, expertise andresources needed to overcome all forms of malnutrition," saidFAO Director-General, Jose Graziano da Silva, after thedecision from ministers and officials of the 170 governmentsthat have adopted the Rome Declaration on Nutrition."Governments must lead the way," he added. "But the push toimprove global nutrition must be a joint effort, involvingcivil society organisations and the private sector. The RomeDeclaration and Framework for Action, are the starting point ofour renewed efforts to improve nutrition for all, but they arenot the finishing line." UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon,said in a video message, that the United Nations would do "allit can to provide effective support". The Director General ofthe World Health Organisation, Margaret Chan, said: "Theworld's food system, with its reliance on industrialisedproduction and globalised markets, produces ample supplies, butcreates some problems for public health. Part of the world hastoo little to eat, leaving millions vulnerable to death ordisease caused by nutrient deficiencies. Another part overeats,with widespread obesity pushing life-expectancy figures downand pushing the costs of health care to astronomical heights."In order to provide universal access to healthy diets,governments should encourage a reduction in trans fats,saturated fats, sugars and salt in foods and drinks, andimprove the nutrient content of foods through laws andvoluntary regulation. The prevalence of hunger has fallen by 21percent since 1990-92, but more than 800 million people in theworld are still malnourished. "We must do more against hungerworldwide because although in the last 20 years there has beena step forward, it is not enough," said Italian ForeignMinister, Paolo Gentiloni. He spoke of the need in rural areasto "strengthen efforts to counter the impact of pandemics,climate change and economic crises". This could only be donewith a "partnership with the private sector and civil society".Minister of Health, Beatrice Lorenzin, said the issue ofmalnutrition must be "at the top of the national agenda ofFAO-member countries". (AGI).