I was in attendance during the final negotiations on Responsible Agriculture Investment, and I echo the IAFN’s statement regarding the results:
In Rome, private sector representatives have expressed extreme dismay with the lack of recognition of the role of farmers in new Principles on Responsible Agricultural Investment. The Principles, to be endorsed by the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in October, fail to recognise that farmers – in all their sizes – are a vital part of our agricultural system.
The document as currently worded suggests that being a farmer is not a valid self-identity – having to pick whether they are “smallholders” or “business”. It disrespects their established role around other UN processes and most of all it ignores their primary role in producing the world’s food. Private sector representatives have spoken on the Plenary floor, stating that this is a sad message to take back to farmer organisations around the world.
Research conducted in part by Dr. Allan Ronald and the University of Manitoba, long ago showed reduced risk of AIDS transmission in circumcised men. Despite subsequent recommendations by the World Health Organisation, countries have been slow to take up circumcision programming. One of the arguments was that men might be less responsible in their sexual decisions. New research shows that is not the case. Let’s hope the natural protection circumcision offers, combined with good practices, makes a dent in AIDS transmission.
Deborah Helen Fulton will be the new Secretary of the United Nations Committee on Food Security as of October. An Australian national, she was selected by a panel representing the Rome Based Agencies. As the secretariat for the private sector mechanism of the CFS, we look forward to working with her in the coming years.
I am heading to the BioEnterprise annual meeting, where I sit on the Board of Directors. It is great to see that one of the fellow members of the Agri-Technology Commercialization Centre has appointed its new President. The ATCC is a single point of contact for entrepreneurs, researchers, and companies (early-stage to multi-nationals) who are growing businesses in the cutting edge fields of agriculture and biotechnology, and BioEnterprise is a member.
Today is World Population Day 2014 and the theme is “Investing in Young People.”
There are 1.8 billion people aged 10-24 in the world, making one quarter of the world’s population. This group comprises adolescents (aged 10-19) and youth (aged 15-24).
The proportion of the global population that is between the ages of 10 and 24 accounted for 28 per cent in 2010. While this proportion will decline in most regions in the coming 25 years, it will remain above 20 per cent in all regions except Europe until 2035, and above 30 per cent until 2035 in Africa.
Investing in young people today by promoting healthy habits and ensuring education and employment opportunities, access to health services, and social security coverage for all workers is the best investment to improve the lives of future generations.
It is particularly important for agriculture and we are thrilled to be working on talent development in sector, including through a special roundtable at the UN Committee on Food Security next year.