Food summit 'waste of time'
June 13, 2002 11:31 PM   Subscribe

Food summit 'waste of time' and a shame for many first world countries. Berlusconi and Spain’s prime minister Aznar were the only leaders of wealthy countries present during the summit. And Silvio Berlusconi made the summit end two hours early in order to watch his country's crucial World Cup game with México. I wish the War Against Hunger woukd receive the same attention than the War Against Terror…
posted by samelborp (7 comments total)
That's sickening. Unfortunately world hunger is just so 80's. There's not much political capital to be gained from attending a summit like this these days. And that's our (the population's) fault, we need to get this right back on the agenda.

And as far as I could see the only thing the UK government did in this summit was to use it as an excuse for having another crack at Robert Mugabe.
posted by dlewis at 3:50 AM on June 14, 2002

How many of the third world countries that did attend paid heed to the words of Sweden's agriculture minister Margareta Winberg, who said, "If women all over the world had the same opportunities as men, then we could get rid of world hunger."?
posted by mischief at 4:03 AM on June 14, 2002

One of the most annoying elements of the way most 'developed' countries disregarded this summit is the arrogance of the implied assumption that hunger is somehow not their problem. As if there's no one here in the UK, for instance, living in poverty and unable to afford a healthy diet.
posted by jonpollard at 4:42 AM on June 14, 2002

Speaking from the perspective of a non-Italian, that seems somewhat unlike Prime and Foreign Minister Berlusconi.
posted by tepidmonkey at 7:54 AM on June 14, 2002

Well, you know, samelborp, that hunger is not the problem it once was. Today most of the hunger we see is due to problems that are, at least in the short term, beyond our control: political turmoil, outright manipulation, self-immolation. Zimbabwe is a case in point, a nation that had been self-sufficient in food production for some 15 years until political threats to Mugabe led him to start his disastrous campaign against white land-owners, the end result of which has been turning the country from a net exporter to a net importer, even as Mugabe found justification for thumbing his nose at the West, refusing thousands of tons of whole corn because we could not guarantee that none of it was genetically modified. {Let's not derail down that siding, OK?}

A bunch of ministers in Rome can't solve problems like that.
posted by dhartung at 9:08 AM on June 14, 2002


hunger is not the problem it once was

In other words, it's beyond our control so screw the hungry!

Unless you happen to be one of the hungry, which I suspect you've never been in your life.

Check out the hunger talks opening menu.

Lobster, foie gras and goose!

Sure it could feed a small African contry for a month, but it's very very tasty!
posted by mark13 at 3:52 PM on June 14, 2002

Unfortunately, I have to take the "nature abhors a peasant" route once again. Hunger exists for the following reasons:

Corrupt and anachronistic local governments and cultures that promote and perpetuate starvation for political and cultural/religious/racist reasons. (example: North Africa)

Demographic pressures that are forcing the inefficient away from arable lands that can be more properly used by others. (example: Chiapas.)

Capitalists who wish to strip resources from lands where they are not being exploited by the locals, at minimal royalty and with maximum environmental damage in the process. (example: Nigeria.)

None of the above problems lend themselves to an easy solution.
posted by kablam at 8:09 PM on June 14, 2002

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