- Title: SPAIN: U.N. calls for 'stain' of hunger to be removed from the world
- Date: 28th January 2009
- Summary: MADRID, SPAIN (JANUARY 27, 2009) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF VENUE WHERE FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION (FAO) MEETING TAKES PLACE POSTER SECURITY STANDING OUTSIDE BUILDING SPANISH PRIME MINISTER JOSE LUIS RODRIGUEZ ZAPATERO SITTING WITH UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL BAN KI-MOON CLOSEUP OF BAN KI-MOON CLOSEUP OF ZAPATERO ZAPATERO AND BAN SITTING IN PHOTOCALL BAN LISTENING ZAPATERO TALKING BAN LISTENING CAMERAMEN CREWS ZAPATERO AND BAN SITTING
- Embargoed: 12th February 2009 12:00
- Location: Spain
- Country: Spain
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVAAJZP7EDNHPJT1I4COU9DPU2PQ
- Story Text: United Nations Secretary General Ban ki Moon calls for work done in 2008 to be built upon to remove the "stain" of hunger from the world.
The United Nations Secretary General said that despite the "unprecedented effort" made in 2008 more must be done in order to remove the "stain" of hunger from the world.
Food prices had come down for the time being but the number of hungry people was set to rise again, Ban told the High Level Meeting on Food Security for All in Madrid on Tuesday (January 27).
Ban Ki Moon added that the resources were available to provide the solution but that more efficiency was needed in the movement of resources, he finished his closing statement saying that history would be the judge if the international community failed to act when they had the means.
"I know you all will agree, that continuing hunger is a deep stain on our world. The time has come to remove it forever. We have the wealth and know-how to do so. Let us do our utmost to keep hunger at the centre of the political lens. History will judge us on our response," he said to applause from the watching delegates.
The two-day Madrid meeting sponsored by the United Nations and other international organisations such as the World Bank followed a summit held in Rome last year at which donors pledged 22 billion US dollars in agriculture and food aid.
Conference co-host and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said that aid was now more important than ever and promised that the aim of reserving 0.7 percent of the country's GDP for development would be met in this term of office.
However, he added that it was also imperative to tackle the root causes of the problem, citing speculation as one of the culprits of rising food prices in 2008 before calling for more clarity in future business dealings in foodstuffs.
Zapatero went on to pledge a contribution of one billion euros to be paid over five years, adding that although the world was experiencing an economic crisis, the financial outlook would eventually improve whereas the problem of world hunger was of fundamental importance and investment was needed to encourage development.
"It is urgent to re-establish growth in national economies and employment. It is a big part of our work, but there is something more important, something more imperative, more necessary and that is to advance aid in favour of development," he said.
After the closing speeches which marked the end of the two-day conference, delegates posed together with the summit's co-hosts Ban Ki Moon and Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
The FAO said the number of hungry people increased by 40 million last year but investing 30 billion U.S. dollars a year in infrastructure and agricultural production could eliminate the causes of hunger by 2025.
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