Watch Mary Robinson's speech at Gorta's recent World Food Day 2008 Conference, which aimed to encourage the private sector in Ireland to partner with gorta in tackling the root causes of hunger.

Mary Robinson was the guest speaker and encouraged the business leaders present to question how they could contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

"The private sector has a crucial role to play in eradicating world poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals", she said.

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World Food Day 2008

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Over 100 Irish business leaders attended Gorta's World Food Day Conference 2008 on October 16th in Dublin.

The event, which aimed to encourage the private sector in Ireland to partner with Gorta in tackling the root causes of hunger, was launched by…


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Over 100 Irish business leaders attended Gorta's World Food Day Conference 2008 on October 16th in Dublin.

The event, which aimed to encourage the private sector in Ireland to partner with Gorta in tackling the root causes of hunger, was launched by Peter Power, T.D., Minister of State for Overseas Development.

Proceedings commenced with participation by the audience in a record-breaking global mobilisation of more than one percent of the world’s entire population - 67 million people: the 'Stand up against Poverty Pledge'. The main objectives of this campaign are to push for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and to take action towards the complete eradication of poverty and hunger.

Against a backdrop of a desperate situation of food insecurity globally, Gorta Chairman Deirdre Fox noted how “With much of the world’s attention currently directed at the current instabilities in global financial systems and credit markets, it is important to note that the economic costs of rising mass global hunger are also enormous. Economists are warning us that losses from hunger can be up to 10% of GDP.”

Partly due to a slowing world economy, global food prices have begun declining in recent months, falling to a nine-month low in September. However, they are still 51 percent higher than two years ago, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, which is pushing millions more into hunger and reversing previous progress towards the MDGs, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.

“In 2000, world leaders came together at United Nations Headquarters in New York and committed to halving the proportion of people suffering from extreme poverty and hunger worldwide.”, Fox said, “Not a single country in sub-Saharan Africa is on track to achieve this goal on time.

Former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson was the guest speaker and encouraged the business leaders present to question how they could contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

"The private sector has a crucial role to play in eradicating world poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals", she said.

Economist and Author David McWilliams, and Edward Millard of the Rainforest Alliance delivered the keynote speeches.

The conference also saw Gorta launch its Corporate Social Responsibility Guidelines for Business: “Eliminating Hunger is Everyone’s Business". Gorta chairman Deirdre Fox invited the Irish business community to join Gorta in seeking common ground for collaboration between business and Gorta’s important work overseas.

Other speakers included:

Alexander Müller, Assistant Director General, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations

Senator Dan Boyle, Green Party, Deputy Leader of Seanad Éireann

Conor Kilduff, Marketing Director, Unilever Ireland

Kevin Smyth, Chief Economist, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

 

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