Skip to content .

Service navigation

Main Navigation


Further information

Link to opens in a new window


Statements in International Organisations


UNIDO - 34th Session of Industrial Development: Agenda Item 13 (14 – 16 May 2008, Vienna)

Statement by the Republic of Slovenia on behalf of the European Union

Check against delivery!


Thank you, Mr. President,

1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Candidate Countries Croatia*, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia* and Turkey, the Countries of the Stabilization and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia, the EFTA countries Iceland and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Moldova, Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine, associate themselves with this statement.

Mr. President,

2. The EU is concerned by the impact of rapidly rising food prices on the world's poor. We are aware that there is no simple answer to this global problem. The current crisis is being caused by a number of inter-related factors. Increasing demand for food due to stronger consumption and changed eating habits, demographic changes, commodity speculations, rising oil prices and their impact on the cost of food production, processing and distribution as well as bio-fuels have all played a part in this process.

3. The EU believes that the best means of addressing this crisis is to work together with key international institutions, such as the FAO, IFAD, WFP, UNICEF, other UN organizations, World Bank and the IMF to develop a comprehensive approach, that will help put food on the table for the nearly one billion people going hungry across the world.

4. The EU is already providing food aid to the areas most critically affected by this crisis and is working on mobilizing additional resources to finance this short-term requirement. In the medium to long-term the EU is considering other measures aimed at reducing imbalances in food markets, which have resulted in high food prices. The EU is enhancing its support for investment in agriculture and rural development in the Least Developed Countries, especially Africa. EU support will be provided in the framework of countries own policies and strategies, particularly those aimed at increasing food security at the regional level. An important role should also be given to research, social protection, micro-credit schemes, access to land and production measures.

5. The EU welcomes the decision by the UN Chief Executive Board, at its recent meeting in Berne, to establish a Task Force on the Global Food Crisis, under the Leadership of the Secretary General, bringing together the Heads of the United Nations Specialized Agencies; Funds and Programmes; and Bretton Woods institutions. The EU looks forward to the outcomes of this task force, which it hopes will result in a fully joined up response enabling the UN to deliver an effective and workable solution contributing to the alleviation of the world food crisis.

6. The EU notes that there will be a High-level Conference on Food Security in Rome on 3-5 June. Other high-level gatherings including the ECOSOC TICAD, the G8 Summit and the General Assembly High-level event on the Millennium Development Goals in September will offer further opportunity for the international community to move forward on this important issue. In the short term, it is important to help the most concerned countries by supporting actions of WFP / FAO and NGOs.

7. The EU welcomes the active role that the Director General played at the recent meeting of the UN Chief Executive's Board to discuss this issue. The EU believes that UNIDO's potential role in the medium to long term response to the global food crisis should be subject to due thought. The EU believes that it is essential for UNIDO to remain focused on its three priority areas as outlined in the Long Term vision statement. UNIDO is already engaged in certain activities such as agro-industries, food processing and other productive activities in the non-farm sectors which could contribute to the alleviation of the world food problem as part of a medium to long term solution. UNIDO's other areas of work e.g. trade capacity building, energy and environment activities may also have a role to play. All of this needs to be fully considered.

8. The EU would welcome a detailed report from the secretariat on what role UNIDO might play, working together with other relevant international organisations, in contributing to the alleviation of the world food crisis. We would appreciate a report by UNIDO in September in order to have enough time to examine the item prior to the next IDB. Once we have seen this report and building on the outcomes of the UN Task Force and the other High-level meetings referred to at other points in this statement, we will be better able to judge what if any role UNIDO might have in addressing this complex and very important issue.

Thank you, Mr President


* Croatia and The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilization and Association Process


Accessibility     . Print     .

Date: 26.05.2008