UNO will "Hungernde ernähren" / "We must ensure food for tomorrow"
Generalsekretär Ban setzt Krisenstab für Hilfeleistungen an *
Angesichts der weltweiten Lebensmittelkrise hat UNO-Generalsekretär Ban Ki Moon die Einsetzung eines Krisenstabs angekündigt. Dazu im Folgenden einen Artikel aus der Tagespresse sowie das Transkript der Eingangsstatements von UN-Generalsekretär Ban Ki-moon, WTO-Chef Pascal Lamy, Weltbank-Chef Robert Zoellick und WFP-Chef Jacques Diouf auf einer gemeinsamen Pressekonferenz am 29. April 2008 in Bern (Schweiz).
Bern (AFP/ND). Vordringliches Anliegen der ihm direkt unterstellten Task Force sei es, »die
Hungernden zu ernähren«, sagte Ban am Dienstag in Bern nach Beratungen von 27 UN-Institutionen
über die hohen Nahrungsmittelpreise. Die reichen Länder forderte Ban auf, ihren
finanziellen Beitrag im Kampf gegen den Hunger zu leisten. Das Welternährungsprogramm (WFP)
drang auf die Einlösung von Hilfszusagen. Weltbankchef Robert Zoellick warnte vor Exportstopps für
Lebensmittel, da diese die Preise weiter in die Höhe trieben.
Ohne genügend Geld für Hilfsprogramme drohten »weit verbreiteter Hunger, Mangelernährung und
soziale Unruhen in noch nie da gewesenem Ausmaß«, erklärte Ban. Die UN-Krisengruppe habe
auch das Ziel, für die Zukunft die Nahrungsmittelversorgung sicherzustellen. Dazu müssten die
strukturellen und politischen Ursachen der Krise sowie die Auswirkungen des Klimawandels
berücksichtigt werden. Die Koordinierung des Krisenstabs der UN-Institutionen soll laut Ban sein
Stellvertreter John Holmes übernehmen.
Das WFP und die Welternährungs- und Landwirtschaftsorganisation (FAO) erinnerten an einen
Finanzbedarf für das laufende Jahr von insgesamt fast fünf Milliarden Dollar. Wegen der
gestiegenen Lebensmittelpreise benötige das WFP für seine Arbeit 755 Millionen Dollar mehr,
insgesamt 3,1 Milliarden Dollar, sagte WFP-Chefin Josette Sheeran bei der Pressekonferenz mit
Ban. »Wir haben Zusicherungen über 471 Millionen, aber nur 18 Millionen bar in den Händen.« Die
FAO will mit einem Jahresetat von 1,7 Milliarden Dollar die Landwirtschaft in armen Ländern fördern.
»Wir haben das Alarmsignal gegeben, aber niemand hat im richtigen Moment eine Entscheidung
gefällt«, kritisierte FAO-Chef Jacques Diouf den bisherigen Umgang mit der Lebensmittelkrise.
Weltbankchef Zoellick warnte wie auch Ban vor Exporteinschränkungen für landwirtschaftliche
Produkte, wie sie Länder wie Brasilien, Indien, China, Ägypten und Russland kürzlich verhängt
hatten. Derartige Maßnahmen »treiben die Preise in die Höhe und schaden den ärmsten Bewohnern
der Erde«, sagte Zoellick in Bern. Dieser Einschätzung pflichtete der Chef der
Welthandelsorganisation (WTO), Pascal Lamy, bei und erklärte, der beste Lösungsansatz seien die
Verhandlungen zur Liberalisierung des Weltmarkts.
Das WFP stoppte unterdessen in Kambodscha die Ausgabe eines kostenlosen Frühstücks an 450
000 arme Kinder. Insbesondere wegen des hohen Reispreises seien die Hilfslieferungen bis auf
Weiteres eingestellt worden, sagte der WFP-Chef in dem südostasiatischen Land, Thomas
Keusters, in Phnom Penh. Derzeit kostet dort eine Tonne der besseren Reissorten rund 700 Dollar,
im vorigen Jahr hatte der Preis noch bei 400 Dollar gelegen.
Thailands Premier Samak Sundaravej kündigte an, die 2,1 Millionen Tonnen Reis des staatlichen
Vorrats zu reduzierten Preisen zu verkaufen, um dem Preisanstieg entgegenzuwirken. Hohe
Lebensmittelpreise hatten zuletzt unter anderem in Haiti, Bangladesch, Ägypten und Kamerun
gewalttätige Proteste ausgelöst.
* Aus: Neues Deutschland, 30. April 2008
Dringlicher Spendenappell Ban Ki-moons
UNO-Generalsekretär Ban Ki-moon fordert von der internationalen Gemeinschaft Sofortmaßnahmen gegen die weltweite Nahrungsmittelkrise. "Der immense Preisanstieg für Lebensmittel hat sich zu einer realen globalen Krise entwickelt", sagte Ban in Wien. "Kurzfristig müssen wir uns um die humanitären Krisen kümmern, die auf den ärmsten Völkern der Welt lasten", sagte er. Nötig seien 775 Millionen Dollar Soforthilfe. Sonst seien weitere 100 Millionen Menschen von Hunger bedroht, so seine Warnung. Laut Welternährungsorganisation FAO sind die durchschnittlichen Preise für Lebensmittel in den vergangenen neun Monaten um fast 50 Prozent gestiegen. Bei Reis stieg der Preis innerhalb eines Jahres sogar um mehr als 70 Prozent.
Quelle: Deutschsprachige UN-Website; www.unric.org
Im Folgenden dokumentieren wir die Statements von UN-Generalsekretär Ban Ki-moon, WTO-Chef Pascal Lamy, Weltbank-Chef Robert Zoellick und WFP-Chef Jacques Diouf anlässlich einer Pressekonferenz am 29. April 2008 in Bern (Schweiz) abhielt.
Bern, Switzerland, 29 April 2008 - Secretary-General's joint press conference on Global Food Crisis
Following is a transcript of the remarks by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Foof and Agriculture Organization Director-General Jacques Diouf, World Bank President, Robert Zoellick, and World Trade Organization Director-General, Pascal Lamy, made at a press conference in Bern on 29 April on the United Nations system response to the global food crisis.
I am very pleased to be with you today, with my colleagues from the United Nations system, having just spent the last two days in a meeting of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) that I chair, and which comprises all the executive heads of the United Nations system organizations. Today, I would like to inform you about the outcome of our discussions concerning the dramatic escalation of food prices worldwide, which has evolved into what we believe is an unprecedented challenge of global proportions that has become a crisis for the most vulnerable. This has multiple causes, which includes escalating energy prices, lack of investment in agriculture over the past years, increasing demand, trade-distorting subsidies and recurrent bad weather. This crisis has multiple effects, with its most serious impact on the most vulnerable in the poorest countries. We see mounting hunger and increasing evidence of malnutrition, which has severely strained the capacities of humanitarian agencies to meet humanitarian needs, especially as promised funding has not yet materialized.
I am very pleased today to have with me, as a symbol of the solidarity of the entire United Nations system, some of the leaders of the key institutions in the United Nations on the front line in dealing with food security. We have agreed on a series of concrete measures that need to be taken in the short, medium and long terms. The first and immediate priority issue that we all agreed was that we must feed the hungry. The CEB calls upon the international community, and in particular developed countries, to urgently and fully fund the emergency requirement of $755 million for the World Food Programme, and honour outstanding pledges. Without full funding of these emergency requirements, we risk again the spectre of widespread hunger, malnutrition, and social unrest on an unprecedented scale. We anticipate that additional funding will be required.
The second and also urgent priority is that we must ensure food for tomorrow. In addition to increasing food prices, we see at the same time farmers in developing countries planting less, producing less, due to the escalating cost of fertilizer and energy. We must make every effort to support those farmers so that, in the coming year, we do not see even more severe food shortages.
Concrete measures are already being taken. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has proposed an emergency initiative to provide low-income deficit countries with the seeds and inputs to boost production, and is calling for $1.7 billion in funding. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is already making available an additional $200 million to poor farmers in the most affected countries to boost the food production and the World Bank is considering the establishment of a global crisis response facility for this purpose.
We have identified actions that need to be taken in the short term for crisis response. The United Nations system will cooperate together in crisis response, the development of emergency safety nets, and social protection of the most vulnerable. The United Nations system will fully deploy its capacity in monitoring quick assessment and analysis of the rapidly evolving food price trends and their impact on vulnerability to support the response of affected national Governments. At the country level, United Nations resident coordinators, heads of World Bank missions, and country teams will urgently meet in affected countries to develop support strategies for national Governments and seek international support for their implementation.
In the medium term, we also stress the fundamental need to support productive capacity. The United Nations system will bring together its technical and analytical capabilities to fill, research and manage gaps to support Governments. We will make an assessment of the diverse impacts of the crisis and develop tailored policy instruments. Domestic policy measures that correct distortions without affecting the supply response should be put in place, together with a budget and balance of payment support. We call on the international community to urgently address trade-distorting subsidies in developed countries in the ongoing Doha trade round.
But also in the long term, we need to strengthen the policy environment for sustainable food production in the future. We underscored the urgent necessity to address structural and policy issues that have contributed to this crisis, as well as the challenges posed by climate change.
In order to take this forward, we have agreed to establish a United Nations Task Force on the Global Food Crisis that I will chair, and will bring together the heads of the specialized agencies and the Bretton Woods institutions into an effective and coordinated mechanism. I have appointed Mr. John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, to support this Task Force as Coordinator.
We underscored the importance of global leadership and call upon world leaders to make every effort to participate in the high-level conference on food security in Rome at the FAO, on 3 to 5 June 2008. I look forward to meeting world leaders in order to further develop our common strategy. Thank you very much.
FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf:
Thank you very much. I feel the Secretary-General, who is speaking on behalf of the whole United Nations system, has presented the situation and what he's intended. Therefore I will have very little to add. Just to say that what is happening is something that we knew would happen. That we alerted in a timely manner the world community. Unfortunately, we didn't take a decision at the appropriate time and as a consequence people have died, Governments – at least one – have been toppled, [and] there is a risk of more people dying.
I am hoping, that when we go to the Summit, in Rome, from 3 to 5 June, at the level of Heads of State and Government, we will be able, not only to deal with the immediate emergency needs, but we will address the fundamental problems of food security, in particular the need to boost production in poor countries. And the Secretary-General was very kind to indicate the need for the different farmers in developing countries to get access to seeds, to fertilizer, to animal feed, because these prices have gone up, and it will be more difficult for farmers to be able to produce and we may end up with a situation that might worsen because of lack of adequate production.
I'm also happy to indicate the collaboration we have with the World Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme, in joint missions being sent already in different countries to assess the need in these areas and to be able to respond. We hope that, with the support that the Secretary-General has asked those that have the resources to provide, we will be able to ensure that this food situation will be improved, through production, through supply by the farmers in poor countries, starting with this growing season where we needed already these inputs in March and we have until end of July in the northern hemisphere of developing countries, for developing countries to be able to act.
World Bank President Robert Zoellick:
The next few weeks are critical for addressing the food crisis. For 2 billion people, high food prices are now a matter of daily struggle, sacrifice and, for too many, even survival. We estimate already some 100 million people may have been pushed into poverty as a result of high prices over the last two years. This is not a natural disaster. Make no mistake; there's nothing natural about it. But for millions of people, it is a disaster.
Donors must act now to support the WFP's call for $755 million to meet emergency needs. Roughly $475 million has been pledged, but pledges won't feed hungry mouths. Donors must put their money on the table, and give WFP maximum flexibility with a minimum of earmarkings, to target the most urgent needs.
This crisis isn't over once the emergency needs are addressed, as critical as they are. Though we've seen wheat prices fall over the last few days, rice and corn prices are likely to remain high, and wheat relatively so. The international community needs to commit to working together to respond with policy initiatives so that this year's crisis doesn't become a generation's fact of life. Already hunger and malnutrition are the underlying causes of death of over 3.5 million children every year, robbing the future potential of many millions more.
Many donors, Governments and international agencies have plans and policies. Over the last days we've seen pledges of financial support. The key now is to work together so that we can have an integrated international response.
So I thank the Secretary-General for convening this session of the UN Chief Executives to help organize the UN response. Ministers from over 150 countries have endorsed a new deal for global food policy. We must turn these words into action.
As we discussed here in Bern, a new deal must embrace a short-, medium- and long-term response. Support for safety nets, such as school feeding, food for work, and conditional cash-transfer programmes; increased agricultural production; a better understanding of the impact of biofuels; and action on the trade front to reduce distorting subsidies and trade barriers.
The World Bank Group will work with the UN agencies represented here to identify the countries most in need so that, with others, we can provide concessional financing and other support. We are already working closely with the IMF and regional development banks to integrate our work. At the World Bank Group, we are exploring with our Board the creation of a rapid financing facility for grant support to especially fragile poor countries, and quicker, more flexible financing for others. To address supply issues that Jacques Diouf mentioned, we are doubling our lending for agriculture in Africa over the next year to over $800 million.
We are urging countries not to use export bans. These controls encourage hoarding, drive up prices, and hurt the poorest people around the world who are struggling to feed themselves. Ukraine set a good example last week by lifting restrictions on exports of grain. This had an immediate effect on lowering prices in the markets, and others can do the same. As we coordinate action we must bring in the private sector and agribusiness.
These are all critical issues for international action that must be fleshed out in coming weeks so that millions do not find themselves in the same position next year. But first and foremost, donors must act now to meet the emergency and raise the $755 million for the World Food Programme. The world can afford this. The poor and hungry cannot.
World Trade Organization Director-General Pascal Lamy:
As already mentioned this morning, this escalation in food prices is multidimensional and calls for responses from both Governments and international organizations. As far as international trade is concerned, what we can do now in WTO has to do mostly with reinforcing discipline in trade-distorting subsidies.
It's a well known fact that trade-distorting farm subsidies from rich countries have damaged food production in developing countries. The Doha Development Round of negotiations addresses specifically this issue, together with other market-opening or disciplines improvements.
After six years of negotiations what's on the table today in Geneva is a major cut in these subsidies, of an order of magnitude of 75 per cent, plus the elimination – zeroing – export subsidies. Now, these cuts are not about all farm subsidies, but about the part of farm subsidies that distort trade, as defined in WTO.
So these food price developments are, in my view, one more reason to urgently conclude these negotiations. This is doable. We are nearly there, and I believe that today's call for action under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General can help WTO members gathering the necessary political energy in order to help developing countries to increase their food production capacities.
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