Speech by Dr. Mary Robinson, President, The Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice
Thank you for inviting me to speak here today – over lunch I had the opportunity to hear about the discussions you had in the working sessions this morning and I look forward to learning more from you all this afternoon.
COP17 is a vital test of the international community’s willingness to tackle the issues that result from the impact of climate change, including the most fundamental issue of food security. We are having these discussions on the continent of Africa – where hunger and under nutrition are ever present threats. The Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that 925 million people in the world go hungry every day. And every year 3.5 million children die from under nutrition, while 11% of the total disease burden is attributable to maternal and child under nutrition.As we meet today, over 13 million people in the Horn of Africa continue to be in desperate need of assistance. The region has had eight of the hottest years ever in succession, resulting in devastating drought. Since the food price crisis of 2008, food security has again been high on the agenda of donors, NGOs and multilateral aid agencies as they recognised the central role that agriculture plays in helping people to escape from dire poverty and famine. The more recent scenes from the Horn of Africa brought home the terrible vulnerability of the people living there to weather and climate shocks. It reinforced the imperative of sustaining efforts and attention on food and nutrition security, and the urgency of tackling the problem. Read more »
CCAFS Coordinating Unit - University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Rolighedsvej 21, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark, phone +45 35331046; Email ccafs [at] cgiar [dot] org, EAN 5790000279012
Lead Center - International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)