Yesterday, Secretary Clinton spoke with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon about food security. The Secretary said:"It is a great pleasure for me to be joining Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and all of you to exchange ideas and join forces against one of the most urgent threats facing our world: chronic hunger, and all of the consequences that it causes, some of which we saw in the short film leading into our conference today.
I wish that we had time to acknowledge every head of state and government minister here today, as well as all the representatives from foundations, non-governmental organizations, universities, and the private sector. But there are far too many of you -- which is the good news, that we have such an extraordinary turnout. And so, let me join with the Secretary-General in welcoming and thanking all of you for taking time out late on a Saturday afternoon to be here.
Yesterday, at the Clinton Global Initiative, I discussed the principles that the Secretary-General referred to: how we are going to fight hunger together and begin to alleviate and decrease poverty through sustainable agricultural development. We want to make sure that enough food is available, and that people have the resources to purchase it. That is a key foreign policy objective of President Obama and our administration. This is an issue that affects all of us, because food security is about economic, environmental, and national security for our individual homelands and the world.
As the Secretary-General mentioned, five principles were embraced at the G-8 summit in Italy. And these principles will guide our efforts.
The first of these principles is the need to invest in country-led plans. Few people know better the complex obstacles that hinder a country's food supply than the people who actually live and work in that country. And we will have the greatest chance at success if we pursue partnership, not patronage.
Second, we will address the underlying causes of hunger, by investing in everything from research to better seeds to insurance programs for small farmers to large-scale infrastructure projects that create sustainable, systemic change. And we will put women at the heart of our efforts, because most farmers of small holdings in the world are women.
Third, we will improve coordination at every level. Too often in the past, we have worked in silos, duplicating some efforts and overlooking others. Now we want to bring every partner from every sector together around a virtual one table across the world to discuss each country's plan, and then devise a way of executing it.
Fourth, we will leverage the benefits of multilateral institutions to support and help fulfill the country plans, because these institutions have the reach and resources to do more than any single country could do.
And, fifth, we pledge a long-term commitment, based on accountability. Now, we know that this is going to take years, and even decades, before we reach the finish line. But we have to stay committed. Because what we have seen, as illustrated in the film, is that international support for agriculture has declined, while contributions to emergency aid have increased.
We will continue, of course, to invest in the crises and the emergencies, but we want to begin to try to alleviate the crises and the emergencies by once again enabling people to feed themselves. Now, together, these principles represent an approach based on investments in our collective future. And they will help us achieve broad-based results that last."
Read the Secretary's full remarks here. Secretary Clinton and Secretary-General Ban will act to move this agenda forward in the coming months. To catalyze coordination and collaboration, while ensuring accountability, they have introduced a proposal titled “Partnering For Food Security: Moving Forward.” This is designed as a point of reference for diverse stakeholders as they align their efforts and amplify their actions.
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