"Nichts mehr davon, ich bitt euch. Zu essen gebt ihm, zu wohnen.
Habt ihr die Blöße bedeckt, gibt sich die Würde von selbst."
Friedrich Schiller
  May 2008 FOOD

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.