We, the participants in the World Food Day Colloquium held in Rome in October 1982, have assessed food problems and prospects in the context of the world economic situa­tion and adopted the following Declaration.

We believe that it is indeed possible to end world hunger by the year 2000. More than ever before, humanity possesses the re­sources, capital, technology and knowledge to promote development and to feed all people, both now and in the foreseeable future. By the year 2000 the entire world population can be fed and nourished.

Only a modest expenditure is needed each year - a tiny fraction of total military ex­penditure, which amounts to about $650 billion a year. What is required is the po­litical will to put first things first and to give absolute priority to freedom from hunger. This is the challenge which faces peoples and their governments. We call upon them to meet the challenge and to start now.

While recognizing the complexities and difficulties of the task, we emphasize that hope can replace despair and positive ac­tion replace negative pessimism.

We are aware that the international scene is characterized by deep recession, mount­ing unemployment and increasing ten­sions. While we do not underestimate the seriousness of difficulties facing industri­alized countries, the plight of most devel­oping countries is even more dramatic. Stagnation or decline in growth rates, fall­ing commodity prices, adverse terms of trade, high interest rates and growing ex­ternal debt aggravate the problems of poverty and hunger.

There has been a dangerous decline in in­ternational cooperation for development, precisely at the time when such coopera­tion is most needed. Retreat from multi­lateral development cooperation and strong trends towards bilateralism or even unilateral action accentuate the division on the world, a phenomenon which has led to major world conflicts in the past.

Against this somber background we took stock of the food situation of developing countries. While some have succeeded in increasing food production faster than population, many more have not been able to do so and hunger and malnutri­tion continue to afflict hundreds of mil­lions of men, women and children.

The central importance of food stands en­dorsed on many occasions, most categori­cally and emphatically in Article 11 of the Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which states that: "Parties to the present Covenant, recognizing the funda­mental right of everyone to be free from hunger, shall take, individually and through international cooperation, the measures, including specific programmes, which are needed to improve methods of production, conservation and distribution of food...".

We are convinced by the evidence assem­bled by FAO in its valuable study "Agricul­ture: Toward 2000" and by other authori­tative studies that a continuation of present policies and attitudes could prolong the shame of chronic and widespread hunger into the twenty-first century. That is why this challenge must be met.

The prospect of persistent and ever-grow­ing inequality between and within nations, of which hunger is one manifestation, can lead to violence and political destabilization, as evidenced by recent experience.

The objective solemnly declared in 1974 by the World Food Conference of eradi­cating hunger and malnutrition by 1985 is far from being achieved. We feel that even the more modest objective adopted in 1980 by the UN General Assembly for the Third United Nations Development Decade of eliminating hunger and malnu­trition "as soon as possible and certainly by the end of this century" may not be realized if present trends continue. We note with satisfaction that international agreement exists as to the priority charac­ter and huge dimensions of the world food problem and that basic guidelines for na­tional and international action have been accepted by the international community. What is needed now is action in line with commitments and pledges made or reit­erated at successive high-level conferences.

The serious hunger problem in South and Southeast Asia and the dramatically dete­riorating food situation in sub-Saharan Africa deserve the urgent and substantial support of the international community.

We are convinced that a major and con­certed global effort to accelerate growth in developing countries, especially the less developed among them is urgently needed. A much higher priority to food production, as well as sustained efforts to­wards greater equity, is in the common in­terest of all people and all nations and is the only long-term solution.

Resumption of the momentum of growth in the industrialized world through appro­priate policies is urgently needed. We are persuaded that accelerated growth in de­veloping countries must play an important role in support of sound expansionary poli­cies of the world economy.

We urge, as an overall target, that food production in developing countries should be at least doubled over the next two dec­ades so as to make them self-reliant in basic foods. Their Governments should define or review existing food policy goals, as­sign high priority to food and agriculture and, in order to meet growing demands and redress imbalances, allocate sufficient resources to the sector.

Farming should be progressively modern­ized and intensified on the basis of sus­tained research efforts- national, regional and inter national - focusing on the pro­ductivity of food crops. Adequate incen­tives, including appropriate pricing poli­cies, must be provided. Particular stress must be laid on efficient water use and expansion of irrigation as a basis for stabi­lizing and increasing food production. This must be undertaken in ways which conserve natural resources in agriculture, for­estry and fisheries and avoid ecological damage which cannot be made good ex­cept at very great cost.

Food and agricultural development can­not and should not be looked upon in iso­lation from the whole process of social and economic development. Even high rates of growth in developing countries have not solved the problems of hunger and mal­nutrition. The growth process needs a new orientation to attack the social problems of those people who have been benefit­ing only little in recent years from general economic progress.

Hunger, unemployment and poverty go together. The rural landless and the urban jobless should be provided with opportu­nities for productive employment through higher rates of investment. The purchas­ing power of the poor must be increased, for instance, by subsidies and direct food distribution schemes.

Other essential requirements include eq­uitable access to land, water and other natural resources; people's participation in­cluding integration of women in rural de­velopment; access to inputs, markets, serv­ices and education, training and extension; expansion of income and employment op­portunities through rural work programmes and non-farm activities to counter the prevalence of hunger in rural areas.

We strongly urge that the Declaration of Principles and the Programme of Action adopted by the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development of July 1979 should be implemented with vigor by developing countries supported fully by industrialized countries.

Not all countries can be self-sufficient in food. Through sub-regional, regional and inter-regional cooperation developing countries can achieve the objective of col­lective self-reliance.

The elimination of hunger and malnutri­tion is an essential and integral part of the New International Economic Order. We earnestly hope, therefore, that negotiations will be successfully concluded at the present session of the General Assembly


1.    We. the Ministers and the Plenipoten­tiaries representing 159 states and the European Economic Community at the International Conference on Nutrition (Rome, December 1992), declare our determination to eliminate hunger and to reduce all forms of malnutri­tion. Hunger and malnutrition are un­acceptable in a world that has both the knowledge and the resources to end this human catastrophe. We rec­ognize that access to nutritionally ad­equate and safe food is a right of each individual. We recognize that globally there is enough food for all and that inequitable access is the main prob­lem. Bearing in mind the right to an adequate standard of living, includ­ing food, contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we pledge to act in solidarity to ensure that freedom from hunger becomes a reality. We also declare our firm com­mitment to work together to ensure sustained nutritional well-being for all people in a peaceful, just and envi­ronmentally safe world.

2.    Despite appreciable worldwide im­provements in life expectancy, adult literacy and nutritional status, we all view with the deepest concern the unacceptable fact that about 780 mil­lion people in developing countries, 20 percent of their combined popu­lation, still do not have access to enough food to meet their basic daily needs for nutritional well-being.

3.    We are especially distressed by the high prevalence and increasing num­bers of malnourished children under five years of age in parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean . Moreover, more than 2,000 million people, mostly women and children, are   deficient   in   one   or   more micronutrients: babies continue to be born mentally retarded as a result of iodine deficiency; children go blind and die of vitamin A deficiency; and enormous numbers of women and children are adversely affected by iron deficiency. Hundreds of millions of people also suffer from communica­ble and non-communicable diseases caused by contaminated food and water. At the same time, chronic non-communicable diseases related to ex­cessive or unbalanced dietary intakes often lead to premature deaths in both developed and developing countries.

4.    We call on the United Nations to con­sider urgently the issue of declaring an International Decade of Food and Nutrition, within existing structures and available resources, in order to give additional emphasis to achieving the objectives of this World Declara­tion on Nutrition. Such consideration should give particular emphasis to the food and nutrition problems of Africa, and of Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean .

5.    We recognize that poverty and the lack of education, which are often the effects of underdevelopment, are the primary causes of hunger and under-nutrition. There are poor people in most societies who do not have ad­equate access to food, safe water and sanitation, health services and edu­cation, which are the basic require­ments for nutritional well-being.

6.    We commit ourselves to ensuring that development programmes and poli­cies lead to a sustainable improve­ment in human welfare, are mindful of the environment and are condu­cive to better nutrition and health for present and future generations. The multifunctional roles of agriculture, especially with regard to food secu­rity, nutrition, sustainable agriculture and the conservation of natural re­sources, are of particular importance in this context. We must implement at family, household, community, frames, we pledge to make all efforts to eliminate before the end of this decade:

   famine and famine-related deaths;

   starvation and nutritional defi­ciency diseases in communities af­fected by natural and man-made disasters;

   iodine and vitamin A deficiencies.

We also pledge to reduce substantially within this decade:

   starvation and widespread chronic hunger:

   under nutrition , especially among children, women and the aged:

   other important micronutrient de­ficiencies, including iron;

   diet-related communicable and non-communicable diseases;

   social and other impediments to optimal breast-feeding;

   inadequate sanitation and poor hy­giene, including unsafe drinking-water.

20.  We resolve to promote active coopera­tion among governments, multilateral, bilateral and non-governmental or­ganizations, the private sector, commu­nities and individuals to eliminate pro­gressively the causes that lead to the scandal of hunger and all forms of mal­nutrition in the midst of abundance.

21.  With a clear appreciation of the in­trinsic value of human life and the dig­nity it commands, we adopt the at­tached Plan of Action for Nutrition and affirm our determination to re­vise or prepare, before the end of 1994, our national plans of action, including attainable goals and meas­urable targets, based on the princi­ples and relevant strategies in the at­tached Plan of Action for Nutrition. We pledge to implement it. NUTRITION COALS OF THE FOURTH UNITED NATIONS


Member States must give effect to agreements already reached to make all efforts to meet four goals during the decade:

(a)   To eliminate starvation and death caused by famine;

(b)   To reduce malnutrition and mor­tality among children substantially;

(c)   To reduce chronic hunger tangibly;

(d)   To eliminate major nutritional diseases.




(to be reached by the year 2000)

(a)   Reduction in severe, as well as moderate malnutrition among under-5 children by half of 1990 levels;

(b)   Reduction of the rate of low birth weight (2.5 kg or less) to less than 10 percent;

(c)    Reduction of iron deficiency anemia in women by one-third of the 1990 levels;

(d)   Virtual elimination of iodine defi­ciency disorders;

(e)   Virtual elimination of vitamin A de- , efficiency and its consequences, in­cluding blindness;

(f)    Empowerment of all women to breast-feed their children exclu­sively for four to six months and to continue breast-feeding, with complementary food, well into the i second year;

(g)   Growth promotion and its regular monitoring to be institutionalized in all countries by the end of the 1990s;

(h) Dissemination of knowledge and supporting services to increase food production to ensure house­hold food security.


We, the Heads of State and Government,1 or our representatives, gathered at the World Food Summit at the invitation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, reaffirm the right of everyone to have access to safe and nutri­tious food, consistent with the right to ad­equate food and the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger.

We pledge our political will and our com­mon and national commitment to achiev­ing food security for all and to an ongoing effort to eradicate hunger in all countries, with an immediate view to reducing the number of undernourished people to half their present level no later than 201 5.

We consider it intolerable that more than 800 million people throughout the world, and particularly in developing countries, do not have enough food to meet their basic nutritional needs. This situation is unaccept­able. Food supplies have increased substan­tially, but constraints on access to food and continuing inadequacy of household and national incomes to purchase food, insta­bility of supply and demand, as well as natural and man-made disasters, prevent basic food needs from being fulfilled. The problems of hunger and food insecurity have global dimensions and are likely to persist, and even increase dramatically in some regions, unless urgent, determined and concerted action is taken, given the anticipated increase in the world's popula­tion and the stress on natural resources.

We reaffirm that a peaceful, stable and enabling political, social and economic environment is the essential foundation which will enable States to give adequate priority to food security and poverty eradi­cation. Democracy, promotion and protec­tion of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to develop­ment, and the full and equal participation of men and women are essential for achieving sustainable food security for all.

Poverty is a major cause of food insecurity and sustainable progress in poverty eradi­cation is critical to improve access to food. Conflict, terrorism, corruption and environ­mental degradation also contribute signifi­cantly to food insecurity. Increased food production, including staple food, must be undertaken. This should happen within the framework of sustainable management of natural resources, elimination of unsustain­able patterns of consumption and produc­tion, particularly in industrialized countries, and early stabilization of the world popu­lation. We acknowledge the fundamental contribution to food security by women, particularly in rural areas of developing countries, and the need to ensure equal­ity between men and women. Revitalization of rural areas must also be a priority to enhance social stability and help redress the excessive rate of rural-urban migration confronting many countries.

We emphasize the urgency of taking ac­tion now to fulfill our responsibility to achieve food security for present and fu­ture generations. Attaining food security is a complex task for which the primary responsibility rests with individual govern­ments. They have to develop an enabling environment and have policies that ensure peace, as well as social, political and eco­nomic stability and equity and gender equality. We express our deep concern over the persistence of hunger which, on such a scale, constitutes a threat both to national societies and, through a variety of ways, to the stability of the international com­munity itself. Within the global framework, governments should also cooperate ac­tively with one another and with United Nations organizations, financial institutions, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and public and private sec­tors, on programmes directed toward the achievement of food security for all.

Food should not be used as an instrument for political and economic pressure. We reaffirm the importance of international cooperation and solidarity as well as the necessity of refraining from unilateral measures not in accordance with the inter­national law and the Charter of the United Nations and that endanger food security.

We recognize the need to adopt policies conducive to investment in human re­source development, research and infra­structure for achieving food security. We must encourage generation of employ­ment and incomes, and promote equita­ble access to productive and financial re­sources. We agree that trade is a key ele­ment in achieving food security. We agree to pursue food trade and overall trade policies that will encourage our producers and consumers to utilize available re­sources in an economically sound and sus­tainable manner. We recognize the impor­tance for food security of sustainable agri­culture, fisheries, forestry and rural devel­opment in low as well as high potential areas. We acknowledge the fundamental role of farmers, fishers, foresters, indig­enous people and their communities, and all other people involved in the food sec­tor, and of their organizations, supported by effective research and extension, in at­taining food security. Our sustainable de­velopment policies will promote full par­ticipation and empowerment of people, especially women, an equitable distribu­tion of income, access to health care and education, and opportunities for youth. Particular attention should be given to those who cannot produce or procure enough food for an adequate diet, includ­ing those affected by war, civil strife, natu­ral disaster or climate related ecological changes. We are conscious of the need for urgent action to combat pests, drought, and natural resource degradation includ­ing desertification, over fishing and erosion of biological diversity.

We are determined to make efforts to mobilize, and optimize the allocation and utilization of, technical and financial re­sources from all sources, including exter­nal debt relief for developing countries, to reinforce national actions to implement sustainable food security policies.

Convinced that the multifaceted character of food security necessitates concerted na­tional action, and effective international efforts to supplement and reinforce na­tional action, we make the following com­mitments:

    we will ensure an enabling political, so­cial, and economic environment de­signed to create the best conditions for the eradication of poverty and for du­rable peace, based on full and equal participation of women and men, which is most conducive to achieving sustainable food security for all;

    we will implement policies aimed at eradicating poverty and inequality and improving physical and economic ac­cess by all, at all times, to sufficient, nutritionally adequate and safe food and its effective utilization;

    we will pursue participatory and sus­tainable food, agriculture, fisheries, for­estry and rural development policies and practices in high and low poten­tial areas, which are essential to ad­equate and reliable food supplies at the household, national, regional and glo­bal levels, and combat pests, drought and desertification, considering the multifunctional character of agriculture;

    we will strive to ensure that food, agri­cultural trade and overall trade poli­cies are conducive to fostering food security for all through a fair and mar­ket-oriented world trade system;

    we will endeavor to prevent and be prepared for natural disasters and man-made emergencies and to meet transi­tory and emergency food requirements in ways that encourage recovery, reha­bilitation, development and a capacity to satisfy future needs;

    we will promote optimal allocation and use of public and private investments to foster human resources, sustainable food, agriculture, fisheries and forestry systems, and rural development, in high and low potential areas;

    we will implement, monitor, and fol­low-up this Plan of Action at all levels in cooperation with the international community.

We pledge our actions and support to im­plement the World Food Summit Plan of Action.