Sunday, October 30, 2011

Comm'wealth leaders adopt a declaration on food security

Seeking coordinated action, the Commonwealth nations on Saturday called for elimination of trade barriers on food exports to address the issue of food security. 

The Commonwealth Heads of Government, at their summit meeting here, adopted the "Perth Declaration on Food Security Principles", that calls for coordinated and timely regional and global emergency relief efforts to deal with immediate food crises.
The Perth declaration was "a significant response to the food security challenge", Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma told reporters in Perth.
Australian Prime Minister and Commonwealth Chair Julia Gillard said the declaration was important since the world faces the challenge of increasing agriculture productivity by 70 per cent over the next few decades.
The declaration lists a 12-point agenda for the 54-nation grouping, to deal with the issue of food security.
It also called for improving market access for food producers, including small holders and women, through trade liberalisation measures such as elimination of tariff and non-tariff trade barriers and avoidance of restrictions on food exports.
The declaration also calls for "delivering practical measures over the medium-term to make agriculture, including irrigated agriculture, and fisheries more productive and sustainable; strengthening support to government-led programmes and initiatives; developing country-led strategies to improve food security, and scaling up nutritional interventions, including those that target mothers and young children."
The leaders of Commonwealth countries on Saturday are holding informal discussions on various issues in what are called retreat sessions today.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said that the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers had examined the proposal of a human rights commissioner, as suggested by the 11-member Eminent Persons Group (EPG), but there were "broad range of concerns" over it.
Trying to put up a brave face, Gillard said the leaders had examined the proposal and suggested "further procedure" by asking the Secretary General and the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) chair look into it and report back to them.
The leaders had yesterday agreed to strengthen the CMAG by empowering it to engage member nations veering off the track of democracy.
The 11-member EPG chaired by former Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi was invited for a retreat lunch of the leaders for an informal interaction.
The leaders accepted the EPG recommendation to have a Charter of the Commonwealth which would weave together several declarations issued by the leaders since 1971 that represent the values and principles of the association.
Gillard said the leaders have asked their foreign ministers to meet in 2012 and come out with a "clear and powerful statement" for the charter.
Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma said that the charter will reflect the aspirations of the member countries.
The leaders have also asked the foreign ministers to work overnight and examine other 102 recommendations made by the EPG.
The ministerial report is expected to be taken up at the concluding session tomorrow.
The CHOGM also came out with a Perth Declaration on Food Security Principles that reflect the shared approach to addressing the challenge of food insecurity and are focussed on meeting the needs of the most vulnerable, particularly women and children.

No comments:

Post a Comment