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Economic and Social Council - 29 luglio 1983
Member Name E83r071

29 July 1983

Food problems

The Economic and Social Council,

Recalling the Declaration and the Programme of Action on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order, contained in General Assembly resolutions 3201 (S-VI) and 3202 (S-VI) of 1 May 1974, the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States, contained in Assembly resolution 3281 (XXIX) of 12 December 1974, Assembly resolution 3362 (S-VII) of 16 September 1975 on development and international economic co-operation, and the International Development Strategy for the Third United Nations Development Decade, contained in Assembly resolution 35/56 of 5 December 1980,

Recalling the Universal Declaration on the Eradication of Hunger and Malnutrition, as adopted by the World Food Conference, and the Programme of Action adopted by the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development,

Reaffirmiing General Assembly resolutions 37/245 on the situation of food and agriculture in Africa, 37/246 on an international year for the mobilization of financial and technological resources for food and agriculture in Africa, and 37/247 on food problems, all of 21 December 1982,

Recognizing the need for keeping food and agriculture issues at the centre of the global agenda,

Concerned that the achievement of the food and agriculture objectives of developing countries is being severely constrained by the world-wide economic recession and political environment, and that those countries are faced with depressed prices in commodity markets, sluggish demand, restricted access to markets, declining concessional flows in real terms and protectionist policies, coupled with the obligations of servicing a large international debt and with monetary market instability,

Expressing its deep concern at the fact that a substantial part of world resources, material as well as human, continues to be diverted to armaments, which has a detrimental effect on international security and on efforts to achieve the new international economic order, including the solution of food problems, and calling upon Governments to take effective measures in the field of real disarmament that would increase the possibilities of the allocation of the resources now being used for military purposes to economic and social development, especially development of developing countries, and to improving their food situation,

Emphasizing that food objectives should be pursued within the framework of national food strategies, plans and programmes and that food self-reliance is an essential element of national sovereignty and of political and social policy, that food security should be based, to the maximum extent feasible, on a vigorous domestic food sector and that, consequently, the development of the food sector should be recognized as a dynamic element in the economic development of the developing countries,

Emphasizing the need to adopt, according to priorities identified in the field of food and agriculture, comprehensive national and international measures with a view to realizing the aims and objectives of the International Development Strategy for the Third United Nations Development Decade in the promotion of food and agricultural development in the developing countries,

Recognizing that a substantial increase in the export earnings of developing countries is essential for the adequate financing of their overall economic development, including even their imports of food and agricultural inputs,

Noting the need for all countries, particularly the developed countries, to adopt policies designed to bring about the reduction and elimination of obstacles in order to avoid the disruption of international trade in agricultural products and to facilitate access to international markets for agricultural exports, especially those of developing countries,

Noting with concern the continuing hunger and malnutrition in many developing countries, especially in Africa and in the least-developed countries,

Concerned about the anomaly of large crops and stock accumulation in some developed countries while many developing countries are facing problems of growing food deficits and hunger,

Stressing that measures taken by certain developed countries to reduce future food and agricultural production should not adversely affect the food problems faced by developing countries,

Further concerned about the uncertainty in the world food economy and the risks of an unstable supply and price situation in the international grain market,

Calling for progressive increases in grain production in developing countries to achieve a better balance in the production and distribution of global stocks,

1. Welcomes the conclusions and recommendations of the World Food Council at its ninth ministerial session in particular those relating to the regions of Africa, Asia and Latin America;

2. Welcomes the eighth annual report of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes;

3. Emphasizes the need to consider the food problem in a comprehensive manner, in its technical, economic, commercial, financial and human dimensions;

4. Reaffirms that the right to food is a universal human right and that food should not be used as an instrument of political pressure;

5. Expresses its concern at the application of economic measures against some developing countries, and urges that those measures be revoked as soon as possible and not be repeated in the future;

6. Affirms that peace and disarmament are conducive to improved economic conditions and enhanced food security;

7. Notes with satisfaction that integrated national food strategies, plans and programmes and the comprehensive food security concept are largely accepted by countries and development agencies;

8. Endorses the decision of the World Food Council to welcome the adoption by the Committee on World Food Security of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations of the enlarged and integrated concept of world food security, focusing on the adequacy of food supplies and production, stability in food supplies and markets, and security of access to supplies, and calls for its widest possible implementation by the international community;

9. Reaffirms that national food strategies, plans and programmes should play a central role in the process of establishing priorities, in co-ordinating national and international funding and the application of technology, promoting food production and increasing the national food self-reliance of the developing countries;

10. Emphasizes the role of farm women as part of the rural family, calls for more policy attention to the role of women in relation to food systems, and stresses the need to involve women in the formulation and implementation of national food strategies, plans and programmes;

11. Underlines the role of developing countries in the formulation and implementation of national food and agricultural policies and programmes and the importance of international support measures, including the mobilization of necessary financial resources;

12. Calls upon the developed countries, international institutions and others able to provide development assistance to provide urgently the necessary technical and financial resources to support the efforts of developing countries to achieve self-defined national food objectives for the eradication of hunger and malnutrition;

13. Reaffirms that increased food production is one of the most important elements in meeting the food needs of the developing countries;

14. Invites Governments concerned to adopt direct hunger-reduction measures integrated with productive development within the framework of national strategies and policies, including, inter alia, more assistance to rural development to reach smallholder producers and co-operatives, special attention to the needs of women farmers, investment in human capacities through programmes for mothers and children, the creation of productive employment for poor landless families and an increase in food aid;

15. Expresses its concern at the expanding food-import requirements of the developing countries, particularly the least developed, which underlines the gravity of the problem and the importance of food aid both as a temporary relief measure and as a resource for food and agricultural development;

16. Urges that, in the implementation of food aid policies and programmes, a greater volume of food and agricultural products be acquired from food-exporting developing countries, where appropriate, including through triangular transactions;

17. Calls for adequate and continuous flows of resources for the World Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the regional development banks, whose work in food and agricultural development is important and effective in providing to the developing countries, in particular the least-developed countries, additional development assistance to implement more effective incentives and programmes directed towards increasing food production and towards raising nutritional standards;

18. Stresses the need for substantial and timely replenishments of the International Development Association to enable it to increase its assistance to all its recipient countries in the development of food and agriculture;

19. Calls upon the relevant entities of the United Nations system to accord priority support to economic and technical co-operation among developing countries in food and agriculture;

20. Emphasizes the importance of research and exchange of information on scientific research and technological progress for the purposes of the development of food production, and calls upon the international community to provide to the developing countries increased financial and technical assistance in the area of agricultural research and to take appropriate measures to promote the transfer of technology in regard to the improvement of farming methods, including support to activities in these areas relating to technical co-operation among developing countries;

21. Calls upon the international community to accord continuing and increasing support towards improving global food security and for the elimination of hunger and malnutrition;

22. Recognizes that the expansion of exports, particularly from developing countries is an important element of food security, and calls for additional measures by developed countries to liberalize agricultural trade;

23. Calls for improved international co-operation by countries exporting and importing cereals, relating to their food trade, production and stocking policies, in order, inter alia, to avoid instability in the international cereals market adversely affecting developing countries;

24. Urges all Governments concerned to consider within the International Wheat Council, at its next session, the early resumption of the United Nations Conference to Negotiate an International Arrangement to Replace the International Wheat Agreement, 1971, as extended, in order to conclude as soon as possible a new agreement that will contribute to the efficient operation of the international wheat market, taking into account the interests of developing countries;

25. Calls upon the international community to support, through the mobilization of financial and other resources, the efforts of developing countries to strengthen their stocking programmes in cases where those countries have expressed the need to build food reserves;

26. Expresses the urgent need to find multilateral solutions to the problems of trade, access, competition and supply of agricultural products, and calls upon the relevant institutions to find appropriate solutions, taking particularly into account the special needs and circumstances of developing countries;

27. Endorses the new target approved by the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes for the biennium 1985-1986 of $US 1.35 billion for the regular resources of the World Food Programme, and calls upon traditional and new contributing countries to ensure its timely achievement;

28. Supports the appeal launched by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in favour of the African countries threatened by food shortages, and urges the international community to respond generously to that appeal, in particular by increasing on an emergency basis its assistance in food aid and agricultural inputs;

29. Takes note of the progress made in the implementation of the Programme of Action as adopted by the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development, and looks forward to the comprehensive review to be submitted to the Economic and Social Council in 1984 on progress in agrarian reform and rural development;

30. Calls upon the Governments concerned to implement agrarian reform and rural development within the framework of their national plans and objectives and in accordance with the recommendations, as adopted, of the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development;

31. Supports the establishment of regional mechanisms to reduce food vulnerability, malnutrition and under-nutrition and, in this context, welcomes the recent establishment of the Action Committee for Regional Food Security;

32. Stresses the importance of fisheries development for expansion of food supplies and nutritional improvements, and endorses the initiative by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to convene in 1984 a World Conference on Fisheries Management and Development;

33. Emphasizes the importance of stock breeding and fisheries development in the food strategies, plans and programmes of developing countries, and calls upon the international community to continue to provide relevant international bodies with the necessary resources for the completion of studies in those areas in order to increase their contribution to the development of the food and agriculture sector;

34. Takes note with satisfaction of the preparation by the World Food Council, for its tenth session in 1984, of a special assessment of progress made and the task ahead to achieve the objectives of the 1974 World Food Conference;

35. Urges the World Food Council, within the context of its mandate, to mobilize and sustain greater efforts in the struggle to overcome hunger, to continue to review and report on major problems and policy issues, and to continue to serve as a co-ordinating mechanism in the field of food and other related policy matters within the United Nations system.

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