(fa fede solo il discorso effettivamente pronunciato)
The New Alliance for food security and nutrition is another important step for building a partnership between G8 countries, African countries, the private sector and the international organizations to lift out of poverty 50 million people in the African continent within ten years.
This is a strategy Italy deeply shares, as we have shown with the global strategy for food security launched at the Aquila Summit some years ago.
Let me emphasize, however, three key conditions for success.
First, African ownership is key. The primary goal of our work is, and remains, that of capacity building and strengthening of African governments and institutions. In this context, we are particularly focused on reinforcing local entrepreneurship.
Second, the New Alliance has to conceived as an open and inclusive process. We are glad that in a few days’ time, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Mozambique will join Ethiopia, Ghana and Tanzania in the initiative. We are confident that this will pave the way for many other African countries to join the New Alliance.
Third, the New Alliance must be open to all interested development partners, and relevant International organisations. We think that the contribution of FAO, WFP and IFAD to the “New Alliance” will be crucial, and we are confident that their impact will increase also thanks to new efforts for coordination among the agencies and programmes based in Rome.
We agree that the Leadership Council can serve as a powerful advocacy and accountability tool for the New Alliance. In our opinion, this role can be achieved only if participation of our African partners is as wide and active as possible. We are aware of the enormous steps that have been made in recent years in Africa.
International support and local ownership must complement each other.
And yet, precisely because we look at the principle of ownership as a key factor, we have some doubts about the use of mechanisms elaborated in the context of AFSI such as the ‘Food Security and Nutrition Scorecard’ and ‘Management for Development Results’. These mechanisms were developed with the aim of measuring aid effectiveness of donor engagements.
Since the New Alliance gives a prominent role to the private sector, it is important that indicators capture the beneficial role of smallholders and women. Responsible agricultural investment is equally important as an indicator.
National statistical services are not always reliable. This is why we think that New Alliance partners should support the United Nations Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics to develop a common core of essential statistics and quality data standards.
Let me add a general but crucial remark.
While agricultural commodity prices continue to experience very high volatility, the causes of the food crisis of 2007-08 are still there. We must not forget it. The long term forecast still gives cause for concern. The world will need to feed a fast rising population over the next decades and that is why food security will remain a priority issue for the international community.
Against this background, Italy will make every effort to give its contribution to this new initiative.
I would like to announce today that Italy puts at the disposal of the New Alliance the opportunity by the Expo 2015, which will be indeed focused on “Feeding the Planet”. I am sure that within three years from now we will be able to present in Milan the progress already made by the initiative we are launching together today.