Mary Robinson delivered a keynote speech at The Madrid High Level Consultation on Hunger, Food Security and Nutrition in the Post-2015 Development Framework
Mary Robinson addresses the Madrid High Level Consultation on Hunger, Food Security and Nutrition in the Post-2015 Development Framework
Mary Robinson delivered a key note speech at The Madrid High Level Consultation on Hunger, Food Security and Nutrition in the Post-2015 Development Framework today, April 4.
Hosted by the Governments of Spain and Colombia, the consultation brought together government leaders, development decision-makers and academics for a day of discussion about the process of implementing a Post 2015 Development Framework, which will arise as the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are due to be completed.
Speaking to delegates at the conference, which included UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Columbian Vice Minister of Multilateral Affairs Patti Londoño, Mary Robinson said:
“Let’s make the vision presented to this meeting a reality – ‘We can end hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition within a generation’. But this will mean acknowledging that we need to do things differently. It will mean doing what we say, and it will mean a serious ratcheting up of leadership and commitment.”
Mrs. Robinson added: “As we aren’t succeeding, despite decades of trying, we need to understand why. So we should start with a genuine exercise in listening to those we seek to help, before we design a new version of the solution to their problems as we see it. The consultations the UN is leading for the post 2015 development agenda are part of this – but each one of us also has a personal obligation to listen.”
The Madrid High Level Consultation is the third and final phase of the Global Thematic Consultation on Hunger, Food Security and Nutrition. This overall process takes place in the context of a series of eleven Global Thematic Consultations facilitated by the UN and complemented by close to 100 national-level consultations. The event will also highlight the 1,000-day mark to the 2015 deadline for completion of the MDGs, which officially occurs tomorrow, on April 5.
“People are hungry for many reasons, including lack of access to resources, the absence of rights, conflict, natural disasters and climate change. It is clear to me, when I visit families and communities living with the daily reality of poverty, that they see no divisions between the environment, economics, and social development: all of these issues are linked, closely-related, part of the reason why they are poor, powerless, in ill-health or hungry.
“Our challenge is to understand these linkages in the same way that those experiencing them do, and to design responses that solve the closely related problems. So although the post 2015 consultation process has eleven themes, and structuring the consultation in such a way is practical, we must avoid the temptation to look at the issues in isolation. To be effective the post 2015 development agenda will have to make the links between hunger, under nutrition and climate change, as well as the links to water, health and equity.”
Mrs. Robinson concluded by inviting assembled delegates to make a personal commitment to deal with the issue of hunger, food security and nutrition in a more pro-active manner than in the past.
“I ask you in your role as ministers and leaders, to approach these issues as a person, as a parent and a member of a family. Let us bring to the post 2015 discussions a sense of empathy, a commitment to do things differently and a pledge that we will make our grandchildren proud of the leadership we gave at a moment of real opportunity.”