Ban Ki-Moon Pledges Support to Qatar

Panel of global leaders gathered in Qatar National Pavilion at Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development to discuss food security in dry land nations, according to a statement issued Saturday by Qatar National Food Security Programme.

“We want to say that we live in a sustainable world, but we cannot claim this when we have one billion starving people. Eradicating hunger is a top priority for the United Nations. So I would like to congratulate Qatar for its leadership in changing this situation through establishing the Global Dry Land Alliance (GDLA).” With this statement, Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon on Saturday set the tone for the last day of discussions in Rio at the Qatar Sustainability Forum.

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The Secretary General joined other world leaders in a panel discussion on “Partnering for Food Security: the Global Dry Land Alliance (GDLA).”  The panel was hosted by the GDLA, an alliance of dry land nations collaborating on food security issues.

“One of the key objectives of the UN is to feed the world’s population,” said the Secretary General. “At the moment, one-third of the food produced in the planet is wasted. This means that we have enough food, but the system is unable to ensure it reaches everyone.”

Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Attiya, executive chairman of the Qatar National Food Security Programme, led the day’s discussion on food security by outlining Qatar’s commitment to a master plan for renewable energy, water management and sustainable agriculture and called on other nations to participate in a collaborative effort for addressing global food concerns.

“Qatar is committed to doing more than simply addressing our own food and water security concerns,” said chairman Al-Attiya. “We are proud to join with nations from around the world to share research, best practices and resources in a formal alliance of dry land states.”

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Covering some 40 percent of the world’s surface, dry land areas are home to two billion people. The GDLA programs will address the challenges that face these nations.

More than 10 percent of these areas suffer from the effects of human activities, resulting in the erosion of arable land, rising water shortages, salinization, desertification and loss of biodiversity.  In these countries, concerns about food security are on the rise, with sustainable integrated strategies for agriculture and heightened water usage awareness.

The GDLA is a collaborative undertaking by countries severely affected by dry land challenges. The treaty-based alliance is designed to combat the threat of food insecurity, create solutions to common food security problems, and provide mutual assistance in times of extraordinary need.

In the picture above: Executive Chairman of the Qatar National Food Security Programme Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Attiya discusses the Global Dry Land Alliance with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

RMN News

Rakesh Raman