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News Release

Release No. 0139.08
Contact:
Keith Williams (202) 720-4623
Linda Habenstreit (202) 720-9442

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SCHAFER ANNOUNCES TRAVEL TO ROME FOR FAO HIGH-LEVEL CONFERENCE ON WORLD FOOD SECURITY

Press Conference Transcript

WASHINGTON, May 29, 2008-Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer will lead the U.S. delegation to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations High-Level Conference on World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy in Rome, Italy, June 3-5.

Other members of the delegation include U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator and Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance Henrietta H. Fore and Agriculture Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Dr. Mark E. Keenum.

"This conference can help countries devise sustainable solutions to rising food prices and the new challenges of climate change and energy security," said Schafer. "I will present the three-pronged U.S. strategy to address these issues: provide food and other support to people who are hungry now, direct development assistance to those countries best able to rapidly increase the production of key food staples that can help feed the hungry, and encourage action to address multilateral and country-specific policies that prevent access to food and the technologies that produce food."

While in Rome, Schafer will also meet with several agriculture ministers from around the world and with high-level United Nations and FAO officials.

The FAO mission is to raise levels of nutrition and standards of living, improve agricultural productivity, promote rural development and, ultimately, provide all people at all times with access to the food they need for an active and healthy life. This conference will build on previous meetings and recent analysis undertaken by FAO. More than 40 heads of state are expected to attend.