Grand Hospitaller Boeselager speaks at the UN Food Conference in Rome
The Order of Malta’s Minister for International Co-operation Albrecht Boeselager, spoke today to a packed auditorium of world leaders at the Conference on World Food Security, at the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome.
He stated the Order of Malta’s strong support for the coordinated approach adopted by the international community at the Conference: ‘We welcome strong practical measures to address the challenge of helping the poor immediately and subsequently improving agricultural production by refocusing politics on agricultural development and a decisive up scaling of funding for these purposes and also channelling the advantage of higher prices only to stimulate food-production,’ he said. He emphasised the urgent need to help farmers in developing countries and especially women in rural areas. ‘We are convinced that promoting domestic agricultural production is the best way to achieve food security over the medium and long term.’
Addressing the nutrition problem
The problem of malnutrition must also be addressed – by training and educating people towards better nutrition, so that the nutritional value of the food actually produced is not wasted and results in improved health. The Order of Malta would therefore welcome the addition of the nutrition dimension to the High Level Conference.
And he emphasised that the Order of Malta is open to collaboration with other governmental and non-governmental organisations: ‘The Order of Malta’s diplomatic relations with 100 states are the basis for establishing bilateral cooperation programmes, whenever circumstances require it.’
He noted the usefulness of combining efforts with those of multilateral organisations: ‘We have operated joint emergency and development projects with United Nations agencies, in particular with UNHCR, WHO, WFP, UNICEF and UNDP; others too. The Order of Malta recently signed with FAO a Letter of Understanding to cooperate in certain areas of mutual interest, starting in particular with the establishment of market gardens in combination with our medical institutions and programmes, with the objective of training rural families in horticulture and improved nutrition.’
In conclusion, a unanimous adoption of the Declaration of the High Level Conference on World Food Security for the benefit of the poor and the hungry on this earth was of key importance.
Photo credits: © FAO/Giulia Muir