Press Release

No new alternative for facing hunger

18 November 2009 by FIAN

Heidelberg, 17.11.09 - The human rights organization FIAN criticized the
final declaration of the World Summit on Food Security as a document that
presents no new alternative for facing hunger and promoting the right to
food. ”Neither the recognition of the right to food nor the finding that
agriculture in countries of the Global South must be promoted are new
explains Flavio Valente, Secretary General of FIAN International. “We miss
any new and obligatory commitment of funds to be invested into sustainable
rural development, and improved global and national governance of food and
nutritional security. Above all, we miss answers to the central causes of
hunger such as the unjust world trade, land grabbing by foreign enterprises
and states, speculation at the commodity stock exchanges and the publicly
promoted expansion of energy crops for agrofuels,“ Valente adds.

FIAN positively evaluates the support of the Summit towards the reformed UN World Committee on Food Security (CFS) and its coordinating role of world food policies. “The Committee must now quickly tackle those questions which were excluded from the Summit,” says Valente. In October, FAO State members had already unanimously approved a document that reformed the CFS fundamentally and opened it up for a broad civil society participation, in particular of those groups affected by hunger such as small farmers, indigenous people and pastoralists.

The right to adequate food based global framework strategy, which is to be prepared by the Committee, must not become only a piece of paper.
Governments and international organizations must recognize it as obligatory guidelines for agriculture, trade, social and development policies. That must also be valid for the World Bank World Bank
The World Bank was founded as part of the new international monetary system set up at Bretton Woods in 1944. Its capital is provided by member states’ contributions and loans on the international money markets. It financed public and private projects in Third World and East European countries.

It consists of several closely associated institutions, among which :

1. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, 189 members in 2017), which provides loans in productive sectors such as farming or energy ;

2. The International Development Association (IDA, 159 members in 1997), which provides less advanced countries with long-term loans (35-40 years) at very low interest (1%) ;

3. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which provides both loan and equity finance for business ventures in developing countries.

As Third World Debt gets worse, the World Bank (along with the IMF) tends to adopt a macro-economic perspective. For instance, it enforces adjustment policies that are intended to balance heavily indebted countries’ payments. The World Bank advises those countries that have to undergo the IMF’s therapy on such matters as how to reduce budget deficits, round up savings, enduce foreign investors to settle within their borders, or free prices and exchange rates.

and the International Monetary Fund IMF
International Monetary Fund
Along with the World Bank, the IMF was founded on the day the Bretton Woods Agreements were signed. Its first mission was to support the new system of standard exchange rates.

When the Bretton Wood fixed rates system came to an end in 1971, the main function of the IMF became that of being both policeman and fireman for global capital: it acts as policeman when it enforces its Structural Adjustment Policies and as fireman when it steps in to help out governments in risk of defaulting on debt repayments.

As for the World Bank, a weighted voting system operates: depending on the amount paid as contribution by each member state. 85% of the votes is required to modify the IMF Charter (which means that the USA with 17,68% % of the votes has a de facto veto on any change).

The institution is dominated by five countries: the United States (16,74%), Japan (6,23%), Germany (5,81%), France (4,29%) and the UK (4,29%).
The other 183 member countries are divided into groups led by one country. The most important one (6,57% of the votes) is led by Belgium. The least important group of countries (1,55% of the votes) is led by Gabon and brings together African countries.
and all funds geared to support small scale producers
,” demands Valente.

The Peoples Forum on Food Sovereignty, which gathered more than 700
peasants, fisherfolk, indigenous peoples, pastoralists, youth, urban poor
and agricultural workers, took place parallel to the Summit in Rome from the
14th to the 17th of November. It reaffirmed that Food Sovereignty and
people´s participation in the elaboration, implementation, direct
participation and monitoring of food security and nutrition policies is the
solution to guarantee the realization of the right to adequate food for all.

Civil society will hold governments accountable to the commitments made in the CFS document and in the declaration of the World Summit on Food
Security. This will be done through the direct participation in the CFS
mechanism that was conquered as a result of the joint struggle of a broad
diversity of social movements.

Contact and background information:

Flavio Valente (+49-172-1394447) and Sofía Monsalve
(+49-173-7570286) are attending the World Food Summit on behalf of FIAN
International. They are available for interview or comment in Rome during
the Civil Society Forum that takes place in parallel to the Summit from
14-17th and during the official Summit from 16-18th.

Failure by national governments and international institutions to
ensure the right to food has led to rising numbers of malnourished and
starving people, as documented in the Right to Food and Nutrition Watch 2009 at




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