- Title: HEALTH-HUNGER/FAO SUMMIT Policymakers gather for FAO food summit in Rome
- Date: 19th November 2014
- Summary: ROME, ITALY (NOVEMBER 19, 2014) (REUTERS) MEETING IN PROGRESS
- Embargoed: 4th December 2014 12:00
- Location: Italy
- Country: Italy
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVABGMHO454CNUT9NXNOLRLSKSY5
- Story Text: Policymakers and representatives of over 170 countries on Wednesday (November 19) gathered in Rome for the Second International Conference on Nutrition, organised by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO).
The participants were greeted by FAO and WHO director-generals Jose Graziano da Silva and Margaret Chan as the arrived by car at FAO's Rome headquarters.
The aim of the summit is to propose a flexible policy framework to address major nutrition challenges around the world and to identify priorities for enhanced international cooperation on nutrition, FAO said in a statement.
The participants, who include leaders of United Nations agencies and representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as well as private sector and consumer groups, would review progress made towards improving nutrition since 1992 as well as the new challenges and opportunities for improving nutrition presented by changes in the global economy and in food systems by advances in science and technology, the statement said.
"This conference marks a new stage in our quest to banish global hunger and malnutrition for good," Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, said in a video message relayed at the meeting's opening ceremony.
"I know from my own country's experience the crippling effect that hunger and malnutrition can have," Ban, who is of South Korean origin, added.
Chan told participants the world was "out of balance", with people starving in one part and suffering from obesity in another.
"Something is wrong. Ladies and gentlemen, part of our out of balance world still starves to death. Another part stuffs itself into a level of obesity so widespread that it is pushing life expectancy figures backward and pushing the cost of healthcare to astronomical figures. A high prevalence of population-wide obesity and overweight, it's not too difficult to spot those signs, is actually the warning sign that bad trouble is on its way in the form of more heart disease, more diabetes and more cancers at multiple sites," she said.
General debate was due to follow the meeting's inaugural ceremony. The conference runs through Friday (November 21).
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