AGRICULTURE SECRETARY VILSACK RETURNS FROM SUCCESSFUL G8 AGRICULTURE MINISTERIAL ON FOOD SECURITY
Monday, April 20, 2009 -- On Monday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack returned from the first-ever gathering of the G8 Agriculture Ministerial, held in Treviso, Italy.
"I am pleased to report that the G8 Agriculture Ministerial has produced a strong declaration of support for the critically important task of promoting food security," said Vilsack. "Supporting food security is not only our moral obligation, as a factor impacting global economic development and international stability, it is our responsibility. We took an important step toward building a consensus around issues affecting access, availability, and utilization of food among vulnerable populations."
USDA plays an integral role in promoting food security through food aid donations, agriculture research and extension activities, and its support for the McGovern-Dole International Food For Education Program.
During the Ministerial, Secretary Vilsack worked with fellow G8 members to produce a food security declaration and participated in a series of plenary sessions with representatives from more than 15 nations, where he discussed America's proud legacy of leading the world in providing emergency humanitarian assistance and President Obama's recent pledge to double agriculture development spending.
In addition, the high-level conference provided Vilsack with an opportunity to engage in a series of bilateral discussions with agriculture ministers and other senior officials from around the world, including Japan, the European Commission, People's Republic of China, Australia, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, Egypt, Italy and Mexico. During the trip, Vilsack also met with senior officials from the Food and Agriculture Organization, World Food Program, and International Fund for Agriculture Development.