70 Heads of State Expected at UN FAO Summit in Rome
According to FAO Director General Jacques
Diouf, the Rome summit's purpose is to prevail on world leaders
coming to Rome to "agree on the urgent measures that are required
to boost agricultural production, especially in the most affected
countries, and at the same time protect the poor."
The FAO meeting opens Tuesday, with an address by Director
Diouf, and speeches by the President and Prime Minister of Italy,
and the Vatican Secretary of State. The summit will then diverge
into two tracks -- one for the heads of state, another for
working groups and "roundtables."
Heads of state attending include: Cristina Kirchner of
Argentina; Prime Minister Fukuda of Japan, who will be coming
from the Tokyo conference on food reported elsewhere in the
briefing; Prime Minister Zapatero of Spain; President Ignacio
Lula da Silva of Brazil; and President Sarkozy of France. Other
heads of state scheduled to attend include President Ahmadinejad
of Iran, and those of Angola, Benin, Togo, Namibia, Mauritius,
Lesotho, and, likely, Congo, South Africa, Nigeria, and
Venezuela. India and Russia's delegations will be represented by
their Agriculture Ministers.
The U.S. delegation will be led by Agriculture Secretary Ed
Schafer, and USAID official Henrietta Fore (who recently
testified before Congress in favor of food for work, and market
and trade incentives to cure food shortages). The Canadian
delegation will be led by the Minister of Agriculture.