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A World free from Hunger is possible in our lifetimes - Minister

Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello TD today vowed that Ireland will play a strong role in creating a world free from hunger and under-nutrition within our lifetime.

Minister Costello was chairing a major meeting in Brussels of the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of states (ACP) at which he set out the EU’s new plans to help improve global nutrition, negotiated under Ireland’s Presidency of the EU. The Minister said:

“I am delighted that the new EU Nutrition Policy and the new EU Food and Nutrition Security Implementation Plan has been endorsed. The adoption of these decisions by the EU sends a signal to the international community that we are serious about improving food and nutrition security and setting a framework for the EU and Member States to implement policy commitments in these critical areas”.

In his speech to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly Minister Costello addressed under-nutrition and food insecurity, which have been key themes of the Irish Presidency:

“Ireland has long been a champion of greater investment in measures to eradicate hunger and under-nutrition. We have prioritised these areas during our Presidency this year, including at our major conference in April which focused on the interlinked challenges of hunger, nutrition and climate change.

“One third of the participants at the conference were farmers and herders from the African, Caribbean and Pacific regions, who explained their experience of coping with these challenges.

“The clear lessons we learned were that local people must be listened to, and their solutions must feed into the policy debate;  that policy must be linked to the reality on the ground;  and that we must invest more effectively in knowledge, education and science. These findings must influence any discussions on nutrition and food insecurity.

“These are important lessons as we work together to prepare for new development goals ‘post 2015’. We must aim to end extreme poverty and hunger in a generation, and to protect our environment.  The goals, which will guide our efforts after 2015, need to be global, with a clear commitment to implementation at national level. We must ensure that people are at the heart of our deliberations.  

“Ireland stands ready to play our part. We will prioritise our resources of people, skills and money to achieve results, working with all our partners to realise our shared vision of a world free from hunger and under-nutrition within our lifetime.”