UN accepts Dhaka’s proposal to form task force on food crisis
Thursday, 24 April 2008

Secretary General of the United Nations Ban ki Moon has accepted Bangladesh proposal for forming a Task Force to address the current global food crisis, particularly as rice shortages triggered a stir, reports UNB.

The proposal, placed by Foreign Adviser Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury during the current UNCTAD XII session in the Ghanaian capital, was enthusiastically received by the attending delegations.

The Foreign Adviser''s proposal, made from the Chair of the LDC Ministers'' Conference on the sidelines of the UNCTAD meet, was incorporated in the Declaration issued by the LDCs in Accra on Apr 20 (Sunday).

The following day, in his inaugural remarks at UNCTAD XII, Ban ki Moon said, "In this regard, I will immediately establish a high-powered Task Force, comprising eminent experts and leading policy authorities, to address this issue." He added: "We hear the call of the least developed countries to deal with market failures and stabilize world food prices.

The Task Force must also deal with the longer- term security issues of agricultural productivity, land utilization, financing mechanisms and all other elements of the current crisis." He urged the leaders of the international community to sit down together and give this matter their fullest attention as soon as possible.

Welcoming the Secretary General''s remarks, Dr Iftekhar Chowdhury said: "Ban ki Moon was quick to respond to our call, which reflected an overwhelming sentiment, and that is the mark of true leadership."

"The Task Force should not only look towards stabilizing the food price but also lowering it to make food more available to the teeming masses of Africa and Asia. Bangladesh will work closely with the Secretary General in this regard," he added. The Foreign Adviser identified ''Climate Change and spiraling food prices'' as the twin-challenges facing developing countries at present times.

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