Italy: The Province of Treviso will be hosting the first G8 Agriculture Summit from 18 to 20 April 2009
In addition to the eight major countries’ ministers, the Czech Republic’s agriculture minister, in the capacity of EU Council duty president, EU Agriculture Commissioner Marianne Fischer Boel and the Brazilian, Chinese, Indian, Mexican, South African, Egyptian, Australian, Argentinian agriculture ministers will also be attending. Invitations have been extended as well to the FAO, WFP (World Food Programme), IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development), World Bank, High-Level Task Force on Food Security, African Union and OECD leaderships.
A final statement on world food safety was approved at the 2008 G8 Summit in Japan. The G8 leaders acknowledged the grave problem caused by rising agricultural commodity prices and called on the agriculture ministers to draw up concrete proposals on world food security.
The G8 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting aims to identify a joint strategy for containing spiralling prices and limiting the impact of future world food crises.
Conditions on the world agricultural commodity markets have changed considerably since the summer of 2008: the international recession and lower oil prices have halted the increase in agricultural commodities. Nevertheless, the international community, the United Nations agencies and the main research and statistics centres estimate that the launch of a fresh cycle of economic recovery may trigger a further rise in food commodity prices, creating serious problems in medium- to low-income countries, and dangerous inflationary trends in the more developed countries as well.
A working paper that will set out the drives on which the various governments will have to embark, in close liaison with the United Nations agencies concerned and the World Bank, is almost completely drawn up with a view to restoring farm produce to the centre of economic policy strategies, countering speculative phenomena, enhancing the production chains and boosting investment in the low-income areas.
The Italian G8 Presidency also intends to back the formation of a Global Partnership for Agriculture and Food Security, which is a scheme to coordinate the organisations and players working to fight hunger and poverty, as Foreign Affairs Under Secretary Vincenzo Scotti also emphasised at the High-Level Meeting on Food Security held in Madrid on 26 and 27 January this year.
The meeting is due to commence with a preliminary meeting of the G8 countries’ agriculture ministers on Saturday 18 April 2009. A working meeting of the G8 ministers and visits to the Treviso area will be held on the morning of Sunday 19 April 2009, followed by an informal working session devoted to the international organizations in the afternoon.
On the morning of Monday 20 April 2008, a working session will be held at Castelbrando comprising ministers from the G8 and G5 groups together with Argentina, Australia and Egypt. The session will also be attended by representatives of the EU Commission, the EU duty presidency, the World Bank, the FAO, the IFAD, the OECD, the World Food Programme, the UN High Level Task Force and the African Union. This will be followed by a final joint news conference.