More summits than mountains
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CTA. 2002. More summits than mountains. Spore 100. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47624
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore100.pdf
It s the Year of the Mountain, but it s not just the summits of Mount Kilimanjaro, the Blue Mountains and the highlands of Papua New Guinea which are getting crowded these days. Take a look at the diaries of the world s political leaders ...
It s the Year of the Mountain, but it s not just the summits of Mount Kilimanjaro, the Blue Mountains and the highlands of Papua New Guinea which are getting crowded these days. Take a look at the diaries of the world s political leaders chock-a-block with summit meetings, sometimes two in one week. In mid-June 2002, squashed between an environmental summit in Brazil and a richest nation moot, with NEPAD partners, in Canada, was the World Food Summit Five Years Later in Rome, Italy. There, under the absent eye of most northern Heads of State, and with massive (but very porous) security, the leaders of many developing countries, powerless and budget-challenged, reaffirmed the previous summit s pledge in 1996 to halve the number of hungry people in the world within the, by now, next 12 years. Tying up the time of 6,613 participants, 74 Heads of State or Government, 181 country representatives, 1,200 civil society people and 1,601 media representatives (the equivalent of 250 working years), have such summits become exercises in pompous insincerity, or do they have a value? In terms of promises kept, no. The networking, though, driven by the hundreds of southern NGOs that made the journey, was a joy to behold. The rapprochements between NGOs and the World Bank, the furtive search of the life science industrialists and farmers leaders for partnership, the opportunity to coax the EU representative almost to seek forgiveness for subsidised agriculture all these mark a new phase in cooperation which could change the face of ACP agriculture. That makes a summit worthwhile. And it brings out the occasional chance remark that could trigger off quite a debate, such as that by Nobel prize winner Amartya Sen on poverty and hunger: 'What really matters is that people can buy food; where it is produced is not important.'