Historic Pacific Gathering agrees regional way forward for improving security
Recognising the priority give to action on food security in the Pacific Plan and acknowledging the call for action to address food security in the Pacific in order to sustain human life, minimise early death and ensure healthy and productive people, delegates at the inaugural Pacific Food Summit have agreed on a Framework for Action to improve food security across the Pacific.
Port Vila, Vanuatu – 23 April 2010: Messages resonating from the inaugural Pacific Food Summit are clear: everyone – from the Government to food traders to producers to community groups to individuals- has responsibility for making sure that all Pacific people have access to safe, nutritious, local food. This is critical to ensure the future health and prosperity of the Pacific.
More than 170 delegates gathered over 3 days to discuss current concerns and potential solutions to the issue of food security in the Pacific. “The challenge to food security in our region is not only urgent but enormous. This historical gathering of a vast range of stakeholders has recognised access to safe, nutritious, quality food is a basic human right and a development issue that poses challenges for the future well being across the region,” said Dr Chen Ken, Chair of the Summit Secretariat and WHO Representative for the South Pacific, World Health Organisation (WHO). “Over the last 3 days, leaders gathered here have debated and formulated a Framework for Action that outlines a plan for an ambitious, but practical collaborative approach to pool resources, and to coordinate regionally for national benefit to sustain human life, minimise early death and ensure healthy and productive people.”
For the first time in the region, trade, health and agriculture Ministers- building on the vision of ‘Healthy Islands’ and recognizing the priority give to action on food security in the Pacific Plan, have jointly developed an approach to Food Security to support country action.
“The outcome document marks the commitment of countries, regional agencies and all other stakeholders to a coordinated multi-sectoral response to food security as envisaged by leaders in the 39th Forum Leaders Meeting in 2008,” said Mr Feleti Teo, Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS).“Government representatives have undertaken to present the Framework to their leaders for endorsement and develop national implementation plans. Participating agencies will continue to support the implementation and resourcing of the strategies. The private sector must continue to provide input and consider innovating for food security solutions. Our development partners are vital in supporting the actions that flow from the Framework.”
The Government of Vanuatu has made a commitment to present the Framework to leaders at the 41st Pacific Islands Leaders Forum in August as the basis for further actions at national and regional levels to address food security challenges in a more comprehensive, inclusive and coordinated manner.
“Food is central to our Pacific way of life. This Summit has shown us that we must build stronger partnerships and learn from our experience. We do not have all the answers to the challenges we face, but we have begun. And now, as we heard one of our esteemed Ministers remind us today: we must make your plan, follow our plan and do what we plan, so that we are better prepared to protect this precious resource now and for the future,” ended Mr Teo.
For further information, please visit www.foodsecurepacific.org and contact the following people:
FAO Dirk Schulz CP: +678 565 3293
Global Health Institute Jan Kang CP: +61 405 820 492 (Aust)
Government of Vanuatu Shirley Laban CP: +678 7770 594
PIFS Johnson Honimae CP: +678 5664 721
SPC Ruci Mafi CP: +679 9784-330 (Fiji)
UNICEF Donna Hoeder CP: +678 5607 185
WHO Stephanie Doust CP: +678 7750 481
The Pacific Food Summit 21-23 April 2010