On June 5, 2008, the representatives of nations participating in the high-level FAO Summit on Food Security adopted of a final declaration at the close of difficult negotiations. While reaffirming the member States’ commitment to consider food security an “ongoing issue of national policy”, the declaration already generates numerous negative reactions. These echo disappointments and misgivings from some experts or decision makers regarding the working sessions conducted during the Summit, particularly because many basic problems were not sufficiently addressed.
Thus, Italy’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Franco Frattini qualified the Summit outcome as “disappointing”. Likewise, Monica Robelo Raffone, who headed the Nicaraguan delegation, indicated that participating countries did not achieve concrete solutions since the food crisis “real causes”––high oil prices, market speculation and subsidies––were not really addressed. As for Jean Siegler, former Rapporteur on UN Right to Food and current member of the UN Human Rights Council’s Advisory Committee, the FAO Summit is a “total failure (…) extremely worrisome for the future of the UN.” He recalled that the objective to reduce by half the number of undernourished people by no later 2015 made by participating nations during the Summit is tantamount to “deceit”, since it relates to the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG) adopted in September 2000, a pledge whose implementation remains very doubtful in the opinion of many experts.
Furthermore, by encouraging the international community to continue its efforts “in liberalizing international trade in agriculture”, the final declaration endorses the unregulated liberalization of agricultural markets advocated by WTO. Yet, as shown by the momagri’s model first results, this strategy runs the risk to increase the natural volatility of agricultural prices, thereby further impacting food security in developing countries.