International AIDS Conference, Mexico, Day 2

The second day of the International AIDS Conference saw what was possibly the shortest side session in its history. Entitled ‘Sex workers are everywhere’ Andrew Hunter of the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers addressed the delegates and explained that due to the political opportunity afforded elsewhere in the conference there was a change to…

International AIDS Conference, Mexico City

The role of pleasure in encouraging safer sex With over 20,000 participants and a plethora of formal abstract driven sessions and cultural events the International AIDS Conference, currently taking place in Mexico City, offers a bamboozling array of learning from the response to the epidemic. The first day opened with a range of satellite sessions…

THE BIG BIOFUEL DEBATE RUMBLES ON

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member Biofuels have little impact in cutting greenhouse gas emissions so governments should concentrate instead on lowering energy consumption to fight climate change, according to an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report published today. Governments should boost the so-called second generation biofuels that do not use food crops,…

FIDDLING IN ROME WHILE THE WORLD BURNS? REFLECTIONS ON THE UN WORLD FOOD SUMMIT

By JOHN THOMPSON, STEPS Centre member When the Chief Executives Board of the United Nations met in Bern, Switzerland, in late April 2008 to assess how the international community could best contribute to combating the global food crisis, they agreed to set up a High Level Task Force, chaired by the UN Secretary General, with…

UN FOOD SUMMIT: “ENOUGH RHETORIC, MORE ACTION”

By JULIA DAY STEPS Centre member News agency Reuters has put together a package of the lastest updates coming out of Rome this morning, including work on an emergency plan to ease hunger; UN agencies signing an agreement on Africa food output; and wide consensus on need to reduce trade barriers. By Stephen Brown and…

Food Crisis, Lawrence Haddad on BBC News

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member Lawrence Haddad, Director of IDS, was interviewed about the food crisis for the BBC 10 O’clock News. Watch a video of the news item and read about what Mr Haddad said on the IDS website.

UN WORLD FOOD SUMMIT: KOFI ANNAN ARRIVES WITH AGRA MESSAGE

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member Ban Ki-moon’s predecessor at the head of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, was due to arrive in Rome this morning to sign an agreement with UN food agencies for a new drive to increase farm production in Africa. Photo: Kofi Annan / Julia Day “We hope to spur a…

UN FOOD SUMMIT: BACKGROUNDER

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation called the emergency meetingafter soaring commodity prices threatened to add as many as 100 million more people to the 850 million already going hungry, destabilising governments in the process. Photo: Guilio Napolitano / FAO The FAO said the meeting would discuss ways…

UN FOOD SUMMIT: US$20BN NEEDED, SAYS BAN KI-MOON

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member Day two of the UN World Food Summit has commenced with UN chief Ban Ki-moon’s declaration that US$15 billion to US$20 billion is needed each year to boost food production to combat hunger. Most of the money would have to come from concerned countries, say the UN secretary general….

UN FOOD SUMMIT: WILL FARMERS’ VOICES BE HEARD?

By DAN SMITH, Future Agricultures Consortium member In his opening speech for the UN World Food Summit, Jacques Diouf, the FAO Director General, stated that “the world only needs US$30 billion a year to eradicate the scourge of hunger”. This may sound like a large amount but if compared to the fact that “the world…