The United Nations' World Food Programme is preparing for a major conference. 'The World Food Conference' will be held in Rome next November.
GV PAN from river to UN Building
SV interior with press conference in progress
CU Mr. Marie speaks
MR. MAREI: "And so, last year, the world seemed to be heading towards the most serious world food crisis that it has probably yet known. Serious enough for the meeting of non-aligned nations in Algiers and the United States' Secretary of State, Dr. Kissinger, to propose the idea of a World Food Conference which was accepted and endorsed by the United Nations' General Assembly. The world food situation, meanwhile, continues to be precarious in many parts of the world. It is in the context that the Conference takes on an immediacy and importance that is difficult to overstate. I would say just one word about the Conference. It must produce action...as I said a minute ago, "decisive action"....in tackling all the major issues that have a bearing on the world food problem. If it fails to do so, if the world community demonstrates its powerlessness in the face of such a basic issue for mankind, the Conference will not only prove a mockery of the hopes it is arousing, but will--in my view--represent a serious setback to the whole idea of genuine co-operation among nations. Thank you."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The United Nations' World Food Programme is preparing for a major conference. 'The World Food Conference' will be held in Rome next November.
At the United Nations' building in New York on Thursday (7 February) the Preparatory Committee of the conference held its first meeting to discuss and plan the Rome meeting.
Sayed Ahmed Marei, the Conference's Secretary General, spoke to newsmen on the same day. He had been appointed to his post by U.N. Secretary General Kurt Waldheim on 1 February. The 61-year-old diplomat is a Special Assistant to President Anwar Sadat of Egypt.
Mr. Marei told newsmen that world food-supply problems are urgent. But, he said, the world has never been able to organise itself to ease "the unbearable condition of hunger and malnutrition that is a constant threat or reality to so many human beings".
He went on to add that the world is heading for the most serious food crisis that it has ever known. He called for "decisive action", concluding that if this did not come out of the conference it would "prove a mockery....of the whole idea of genuine co-operation among nations".
At the Committee meeting itself member nations were asked to contribute a minimum total of 440 million U.S. dollars (about 20 million pounds sterling) in food and finance for the years 1975 and 1976. This is a one-hundred-million dollar (about 45-million-pounds sterling) increase for the current two years.