GENERAL COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS INCLUSION OF ADDITIONAL ITEM – ‘INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF RICE, 2004’ –
NEW YORK, 4 December (UN Headquarters) -- The General Committee this morning recommended to the General Assembly that it include an additional item on the agenda of its fifty-seventh session, entitled "International Year of Rice, 2004", and that it consider the item directly in plenary meeting.
With more than 800 million people suffering from chronic hunger, the declaration of 2004 as the International Year of Rice would heighten awareness of the important role of rice in ensuring food security, poverty alleviation and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, it was stated in the request made by the Permanent Representative of the Philippines, contained in document A/57/234.
The challenges of maintaining the productivity of rice production systems, it went on to say, were too large for any single country, institution or organization to manage. A major international effort was therefore required that could be stimulated by the proclamation of 2004 as the International Year of Rice by the United Nations.
The representative of the Philippines noted that the request reflected the desire of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to request the Assembly to declare 2004 as the International Year of Rice. A resolution to that effect would highlight the importance of rice as a staple crop, as well as an important political and cultural feature of many societies. Rice was not only a staple crop for more than half of the world’s population but was also a major source of income for rural populations.
The next meeting of the Committee will be announced.
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