May 24, 2013

Live Blog - US must lead positive change throughout the World

By Firdavs Kabilov from Uzbekistan

As the 21st century world sees rapid population growth, it faces the dual challenge of feeding the growing population and alleviating poverty. Provided that the capacity of the Earth is finite, innovate ways of food production are required. The Green Revolution, which occurred between the 1940s and the late 1970s, oversaw a series of research, development, and technology transfer initiatives that resulted in huge global food progress. However, it left two very important questions behind which are very relevant in today’s world: environmental conservation and nutrition. Today, we need to produce more nutritious food with fewer resources. Uplifting the livelihood of small-holder farmers (mainly in South Asia and Africa), which represent 50 percent of the world’s poor, is also very important for US economic and security interests.

As the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ 2013 Global Food Security Symposium  entitled “Capitalizing on the Power of Science, Trade, and Business to End Hunger and Poverty” kicked off this morning, the Honorable Catherine Bertini, co-chair of the event and former executive director of the UN World Food Program (1992-2001), presented the report produced by the Global Agricultural Development Initiative. The report titled, Advancing Global Food Security: The Power if Science, Trade, and Business, defines the next steps for the US on global agricultural development.  

A number of key policy proposals were highlighted by Catherine Bertini including more public investment in research and development in order to achieve the above mentioned goals: more nutritious food with fewer resources. Furthermore, the Government, Civil service, academia and the private sector should listen to those who they want to serve. Global food security should remain America's top prioriy because it is important for US foreign policy, economic and security interests. The Transatlantic Investment Program, currently negotiated between the US Government and the EU, could be a good model if it is implemented successfully.

However, above all or perhaps as a conclusion, the report highlights three major points as presented by Catherine Bertini: first, global food security will never be achieved unless its engine is the private sector; second, we must find the answer to the question “How can we sustain the Earth?”; and third, the US must lead the global effort to ensure positive change throughout the world because it has the capacity to do so.

Firdavs Kabilov hold masters degree (LLM) in International Public Law from Edinburgh University in Scotland. For the last two years, Firdavs has been doing research and consultancy work for an international organization - International Water Management Organization (IWMI) Central Asia office in Uzbekistan. Firdavs recently began following and getting involvement in the YPARD activities and participated at GCARD2 as a young social reporter.

About

The Global Food and Agriculture Program aims to inform the development of US policy on global agricultural development and food security by raising awareness and providing resources, information, and policy analysis to the US Administration, Congress, and interested experts and organizations.

The Global Food and Agriculture Program is housed within the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. The Council on Global Affairs convenes leading global voices and conducts independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.

Support for the Global Food and Agriculture Program is generously provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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