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Page last updated at 19:24 GMT, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 20:24 UK

In quotes: UN food crisis summit

Forty world leaders have been presenting their ideas about how to tackle global food shortages at a UN-sponsored summit of the Food and Agriculture Organisation in Rome. Here are some key quotes from the opening day.

UN SECRETARY GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

We have an historic opportunity to revitalise agriculture... I call on you to take bold and urgent steps to address the root causes of this global food crisis.

FRENCH PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY
It seems to me to be important to create an international group on reliability of food supply to ensure all the international institutions, all the states, all the companies, all the NGOs are going in the same direction and this group's mission would be to define a world strategy for a reliable food supply.

ZIMBABWEAN PRESIDENT ROBERT MUGABE
These western-funded NGOs also use food as a political weapon with which to campaign against [the] government, especially in the rural areas.

IRANIAN PRESIDENT MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD

Given the urgent importance of food products and their necessity to protect human life, we put forward a number of proposals... Diverting an appropriate proportion of states' military spending to improving the production of food and subsidizing food earmarked for the poor without being obsessed with lethal weapons. It is possible to ensure security without these weapons. However, life is not possible without food.

EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT HOSNI MUBARAK

I call for a global contribution to deal with the reasons for the current crisis and its repercussions in a way that achieves the interests of both developed and developing countries; a global contribution that goes beyond policies, attitudes and interests in their narrow national perspectives so that this contribution will deal with the people's food security more comprehensive... a global contribution that witnesses our joint efforts on the national, regional and international levels to contain this crisis and stop the mounting rise in food prices.

JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER YASUO FUKUDA

I would like to call on other countries to release to international markets from their stockpiles of food as well to return some degree of equilibrium to the food market, which has been heating up recently. Japan, as the world's largest net food importer, will engage in all possible efforts to contribute to the stabilization of demand and supply in the world food market through the promotion of domestic agricultural reform and increasing our food self-sufficiency rate.

SPANISH PRIME MINISTER JOSE LUIS RODRIGUEZ ZAPATERO

You will see me being the first country to respond, with more money, to a serious global food crisis.

CROATIAN PRESIDENT STJEPAN MESIC

We must admit the fact that we have reached the present situation because of decades of mistaken understanding of global development, because of a truly brazen imposition of unacceptable models on other communities and ways of life, because of unfair rules of international trade and the hypocrisy of international financial institutions, because of favouring big business at the expense of ordinary people.

MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER ABDULLAH AHMAD BADAWI

The international community must be prepared to consider bold and unprecedented measures. The burden, which is now borne largely by the developing countries and the poor, can easily spill over into the developed societies.

BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT LUIZ INACIO LULA DA SILVA

Genuine food security should be global, and achieved through cooperation.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.




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