Trade agreements fail to solve problem of hunger: UN expert

Report
from UN Radio
Published on 17 Dec 2008 View Original
Trade agreements on agriculture have failed to solve the problem of hunger in the world.That's the assessment of a UN expert on the Right to Food.

Professor Olivier de Schutter made his comments at a Geneva press conference Wednesday in which he presented his findings on how international trade agreements might impact on the right to food.

He says least developed countries and many developing countries have not been able to benefit from improved access to the markets of the developed countries.

"We also know that the productivity of agriculture is stagnant in sub-Saharan Africa and that this is one of the reasons for the global food crisis. It is the inability of supply to meet increasing demand in agriculture. So, on the basis of this finding which I think nobody will contest- that's fairly consensual that we have not succeeded yet to ensure that trade works for development and works to combat hunger."

Mr. de Schutter says more should be done to remove trade distorting mechanisms, in particular subsidies in industrialized countries and improve market access for developing countries.

This is Donn Bobb reporting for United Nations Radio.