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Minister For Food And Horticulture Trevor Sargent TD Addresses The 34th Session Of FAO Conference In Rome

The Minister for Food and Horticulture, Mr Trevor Sargent T.D., at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, today addressed the 34th session of the Food and Agriculture organisation (FAO) Conference in Rome. Agriculture Ministers and High Level officials from across the globe are meeting in Rome to agree the budget for the next two years for the organisation. The major topic for discussion will be the state of food and agriculture in the world today. FAO Member nations will also be trying to reach agreement on a programme of reform of FAO to implement the recent evaluation which covered all aspects of FAO's mandate.

Minister Sargent called on the countries present to strive to make immediate progress on FAO reform and enhance the organisation's efficiency and effectiveness. Minister Sargent also drew attention to the important role of climate change and how it was affecting food security. "Climate change is a global reality and we have an estimated 10 year window to get it under control" declared Minister Sargent. Stressing the need to focus on the critical role of agriculture in combating hunger and food insecurity Minister Sargent stated "Agriculture must feed the world's population which is growing by 85 million people per year as well as provide employment and business opportunities, produce energy supplies and do all of this in a sustainable manner in an era of increasing demands, an unpredictable climate and diminishing resources".

20 November, 2007

Note for Editors:

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations was founded in 1945 with a mandate to raise levels of nutrition and standards of living, to improve agricultural productivity, and to better the conditions of rural populations. Since its inception, FAO has worked to alleviate poverty and hunger by promoting agricultural development, improved nutrition and the pursuit of food security. FAO is one of the largest specialised agencies in the United Nations system and the lead agency for agriculture, forestry, fisheries and rural development. The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (DAFF) pay an annual subscription to support the work of FAO, which amounted to nearly €1.1 million in 2007. In addition to the annual subscription DAFF also provides additional extra budgetary funding to support particular FAO activities.

Date Released: 20 November 2007