In a recorded message, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food1, Olivier de Schutter, expresses his regret that the November 16-18 World Food Summit declaration called for a timely completion of the Doha Round. Because, as he highlights, nothing is less certain that unregulated trade liberalization in international agricultural markets encourages greater food security.
In this respect, he urges the international community “to make an assessment that measures the impact of international agricultural trade liberalization on food security, and that each country examines the issue regarding who will benefit from this liberalization, as well as who will be affected by it.” Because, as he clearly notes, “import surges … will not reduce food insecurity if this liberalization does not benefit the poor” – those who are indeed, the most likely to suffer from hunger in the world.
It is a necessity that momagri has been calling for the longest time: in order to fight against protectionism, the international community regularly commits to finalizing the Doha Round, without assessing all of its consequences. And yet, it is necessary to evaluate the risks. It is not the 5% of farmers from developed countries – which are competitive- that should be assisted, but rather the farmers in developing countries, who, even though they represent 60 to 80 percent of the population, are unable to meet the food needs of their country. But, there is every reason to believe that the first to benefit from the Doha Round will be the competitive structures that are already widely present on the world markets.