Food security expected to top agenda at hunger conference in New York


MINISTER FOR Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin and US secretary of state Hillary Clinton are to co-host an international hunger conference in New York next month to which up to 190 nations have been invited.

The issue of food security in the wake of the devastating floods in Pakistan and fires in Russia is expected to top the agenda.

Mr Martin said he and Ms Clinton had agreed to co-host the conference when Ms Clinton visited Dublin last year. Officials from both nations had been working on the plan since the Dublin meeting to ensure the conference formulates what he called “tangible proposals” to help tackle world hunger.

The conference, to be held on the fringes of the United Nations general assembly, will take place in five weeks’ time.

The conference will also hear from leading high-profile campaigners on world hunger, and from global private sector leaders.

Mr Martin in a statement last night said the events in Pakistan and wheat shortage caused by the recent fires in Russia had added a new focus to the September conference.

“We are prioritising the prevention of under-nutrition in children under the age of two, as the science shows that children never recover from malnutrition at that age; they never develop to their full potential physically or mentally.

“And we estimate that about 200 million children are suffering from malnutrition globally. We will call on the international community to work together to respond to this crisis,” he said.