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Food supply in the world

Recommendation 1351 (1997)

Parliamentary Assembly
See Doc. 7943, report of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, rapporteur: Mr Alexander. Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 7 November 1997.
1. The Assembly refers to the World Food Summit, organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome from 13 to 17 November 1996, and especially to the Rome Declaration on World Food Security and the World Food Summit Plan of Action adopted by the heads of state and government.
2. It also refers to the declaration adopted on 15 November 1996 by the parliamentarians who met in Rome on the occasion of the World Food Summit.
3. The Assembly also recalls its Resolutions 961 (1991) on food aid and food security policies and 1006 (1993) on North-South interdependence and solidarity: Europe and the least developed countries, and its Recommendation 1319 (1997) on the organisation by the Council of Europe of a second European campaign on North-South interdependence and solidarity in 1998.
4. It further recalls the Vienna Summit of October 1993, when the heads of state and government of the member states of the Council of Europe affirmed their "responsibilities regarding North-South interdependence and solidarity".
5. In this respect, the Assembly reiterates its conviction, expressed in paragraph 15 of Recommendation 1324 (1997) on the Parliamentary Assembly contribution to the 2nd Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe, that Europe "should make every effort to help bridge the unacceptable gulf between North and South".
6. The Assembly is aware that in many countries food supply is insufficient because of unsatisfactory economic policies pursued by non-democratic regimes and misuse by these regimes of humanitarian aid from abroad, as well as because of armed conflicts.
7. The emancipation of women and their integration into the political life and economy of a country are fundamental factors for the eradication of hunger. Young people also have an important role to play in developing agriculture and great importance should be attached to their education and training.
8. On the other hand, the Assembly is aware that food aid from abroad may have an adverse effect on the agriculture of developing countries. Emphasis must be put on long-term co-operation policies for the sustainable development of these countries' food resources.
9. The Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers invite the governments of member states:
9.1 to devote as quickly as possible 0.7% of their GNP to development aid (the target set by the United Nations in 1970) and in so doing to pay due attention to the agricultural needs of each beneficiary country;
9.2 to help countries which are at present unable to produce the minimum food supply necessary to develop their agriculture so that it is capable of meeting at least the basic food requirements of the population;
9.3 to set up, under the auspices of the United Nations and in co-operation with the authorities in the beneficiary country(ies), a form of sponsorship and partnership aimed at co-ordinating development, in particular of a sustainable agriculture, providing advice and at the same time promoting respect for democratic principles in this (these) country(ies);
9.4 to pay special attention to the development of local agriculture and family production in these countries, so as to conserve arable land and prevent rural emigration, as well as to the training of farmers, in particular women and young people, in sustainable farming methods;
9.5 to assist these countries in the development of agricultural structures, in particular at local level, by introducing or modernising production methods, distribution chains and financing systems, by promoting local trade, products and markets and by creating co-operatives, associations and professional organisations;
9.6 to associate the professional organisations (farmers' unions, chambers of agriculture, etc.) and the voluntary sector (associations, non-governmental organisations, etc.) of their own countries with these activities;
9.7 to reduce the sale and export of arms to the developing countries and to finance development projects in the civil sector, in particular the agricultural sector.
10. The Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
10.1 set an example by earmarking 0.7% of the Council of Europe's budget for the implementation, with the assistance of the Council of Europe's North-South Centre, of co-operation projects in developing countries;
10.2 organise in 1999, on the occasion of the Council of Europe's fiftieth anniversary and as a follow-up to a possible second European campaign in 1998, a large conference on North-South interdependence and solidarity, bringing together not only government officials and representatives of international organisations and institutions, but also elected representatives, religious leaders, non-governmental organisations, youth organisations, and others, from North and South. The conference should assess the present situation, co-ordinate existing policies, define new strategies and improve solidarity and co-ordination, in particular concerning food security and aid, as well as promote democracy and human rights.