U.N. food summit ends without agreement on solutions
A high-level three-day United Nations food summit ended Thursday without wide agreement on solutions to the world food crisis. At the meeting, delegates sparred over trade barriers, biofuels’ role in keeping food prices high, agricultural subsidies, how food aid should be spent, and how much aid to give. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened the conference by declaring that the food situation is so dire now that 1 billion people are going hungry and wealthier nations must collectively spend some $20 billion a year on food aid to feed them. However, by summit’s end only some $3 billion had been pledged toward the effort. Disagreements also kept delegates from reaching a formal declaration at summit’s end. The draft declaration contained compromise language on biofuels and also largely steered clear of concrete solutions to the other issues. “We will strive to ensure that food agricultural trade and overall trade policies are conducive to fostering food security for all,” the draft declaration said.