Rusutsu (Japan): French President Nicolas Sarkozy says he has received international support for his idea of creating an experts group to tackle the global food crisis, similar to the Noble Prize-winning panel on climate change.
“In the 21st century, we must be able to feed the planet,” Sarkozy said in an interview published in Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper on 7 July, as the Group of Eight summit of major economic powers was opening on the Japanese island of Hokkaido.
Early last month, Sarkozy proposed creating a panel of top experts on food issues, similar to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to diagnose problems and help world leaders make the best possible decisions.
Sarkozy told the newspaper that the world needs the panel “to improve our way of approaching and understanding food problems.”
“This idea seems to have been received favourably by our G-8 partners, and I am delighted,” Sarkozy told the newspaper. A transcript of his remarks was also provided by his office.
The president’s office has said it expects the G-8 to endorse much of his thinking on the subject during the Monday-Wednesday summit.
Food prices have risen worldwide in recent months because of high oil prices, growing demand, extreme weather, higher biofuel production and market speculation. The crisis has triggered protests in parts of Africa and Asia, while raising fears of widespread malnutrition and economic instability.
The food crisis was high on the agenda, along with climate change, soaring oil prices and possible steps against Zimbabwe, at the G-8 summit, which brings together France, the US, Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia.