Notable Food Security Quotes from the Rio+20 and G20 Conferences

Posted by on June 22nd, 2012 | 0 Comments »

Heads of state, UN officials, private sector and civil society leaders discussed numerous sustainable development issues at the Rio+20 Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and at the G20 Conference in Los Cabos, Mexico this week. Many of these leaders recognized that agriculture unites the diverse efforts to create the “Future We Want” and meet the needs of a world population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. Below are their comments on the challenges facing the world, the solutions that agriculture and sustainable development provide, and the actions needed to implement the resolutions of the Rio+20 Outcome Document.


“In a world of plenty, no one, not a single person, should go hungry. But almost 1 billion still do not have enough to eat. I want to see an end to hunger everywhere within my lifetime.”

– Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General


“Imagine all the food mankind has produced over the past 8,000 years. Now consider that we need to produce that same amount again — but in just the next 40 years if we are to feed our growing and hungry world.”

– Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, and Daniel Servitje, CEO of Grupo Bimbo


“Sustainable development is not an option! It is the only path that allows all of humanity to share a decent life on this, one planet. Rio+20 gives our generation the opportunity to choose this path.”

Sha Zukang, Secretary-General of the Rio+20 Conference


“We need to strengthen research for efficiently produced, healthy food, while ensuring the availability of food at affordable prices. This includes improving logistics, infrastructure, and transportation systems to ensure those who need food are supplied with it.”

– Paul Bulcke, CEO of Nestlé


“The quest for food security can be the common thread that links the different challenges we face and helps build a sustainable future.”

– José Graziano da Silva, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General


“Trade makes consumers less vulnerable to local shortages and the higher prices caused by bad weather, disease or civil disorder. Free trade helps feed a hungry world. Export restrictions and trading bans isolate local markets and give farmers little incentive to expand production for the next season. Governments must encourage open trade and a fair, transparent, rules-based system to everyone’s gain, including the environment. And companies that are directly or indirectly in the business of feeding the world have a responsibility to promote trust-based free trade.”

– Greg Page, Cargill Chairman and CEO


“Adopting and promoting sustainable production practices require concerted effort, something which in practice is too often missing or insufficient. Making this shift at the scale required demands forward-looking leadership in the public and private sectors alike.”

– Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator


“Rio+20 negotiators must make explicit the link between food security and sustainable development as well as steps needed to ensure farmers, especially smallholders, have dignified livelihoods, can feed their families and have money in their pockets. For this to happen they require conducive policy environments that enable them access to markets and appropriate technology.”

– Dr. Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, Chief Executive of the South Africa-­based Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)


“Today we are seeing best practices in action. We know that, if scaled up with speed, these approaches could increase food production and improve livelihoods without damaging the environment. We need to create conditions for innovation and then invest so that innovation moves from the lab to the farmer’s fields.”

– Rachel Kyte, Vice President of the World Bank


“It is no coincidence that in countries where agriculture has taken off there have been large investments in research and infrastructure.”

– Kanayo Nwanze, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)


Photo credit: UNIC Rio/Diego Blanco

« GHI Articles of Interest: G20 Collaboration Targets Improvements in Agriculture Productivity Growth; World Food Prize Laureate Promotes Peace Through Science
GHI Articles of Interest: Agriculture Game Changers at Rio+20, Tackling Food Insecurity Will Take the G20 and the B20 (and the Rest of Us Too!) »

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