Meeting between President Chirac, President Lula, President Lagos and United Nations Secretary-General Annan

Meeting between President Chirac, President Lula, President Lagos and United Nations Secretary-General Annan

Genève (Suisse) - vendredi 30 janvier 2004

Geneva, January 30, 2004

Joint Declaration

Action against hunger and poverty

1. At the initiative of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, We, President Jacques Chirac of France, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil, President Ricardo Lagos of Chile and the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan met today, January 30th, 2004, in Geneva, to exchange views on world social and economic issues, with special attention to the eradication of poverty and hunger.

2. We stressed the need for an effective multilateralism. In this context, We reaffirmed the central role of the United Nations and confirmed our support for the reform process launched by the Secretary-General.

3. We expressed our deep concern about the human tragedies caused by poverty and hunger in the world. We recalled that 1.1 billion people struggle to survive with less than one dollar a day ; approximately 840 million people are affected by hunger ; an estimated 24.000 people perish every day, 11 children under five every minute as a result of hunger-related causes. We highlighted the negative links between hunger and poverty, health, education and development. Hunger is conducive to the spread of disease, impairs children's ability to learn, diminishes working capacities and disorganizes societies. We underlined the magnifying effect of the spread of HIV/aids on hunger and poverty, particularly in Africa.

4. We underscored our firm determination to work together to promote greater international cooperation and increase the availability of resources to tackle pressing economic and social challenges, particularly that of hunger and poverty. We also supported the work undertaken under the auspices of FAO on the right to adequate food.

5. We emphasized that the time-bound and measurable goals and targets agreed in the Millennium Summit, and in particular the target of reducing the number of the undernourished by half by 2015, remain the backbone of the fight against hunger and poverty. The implementation of the MDGs remains uneven and slow. A large number of nations, particularly in Africa and LDCs, will not reach these development goals, despite domestic efforts, unless they receive substantial external resources and support.

6. While developing countries continue to make important efforts to reduce poverty, We emphasized the relation between development and poverty reduction and the importance of continued improvements in governance. In this context, We identified the need to further address the debt burden, to increase ODA flows, and to reduce the uncertainties in the international trading system in order to facilitate development.

7. We shared the view that the "enlarged dialogue" between the G8 and developing countries is an important initiative in the search for solutions to the present economic and social challenges, in particular the eradication of hunger and poverty.

8. We acknowledged the emergence of the G20 and expect it to play a positive role in the attainment of a multilateral trading system that provides opportunities to all partners.

9. In light of these challenges, We considered it vital to forge a truly global partnership in order to mobilize political will and financial support, engage governments, the UN system and the financial institutions, re-orient development priorities and policies, build capacity, and reach out to partners in civil society and the private sector.
10. We recalled that the Monterrey International Conference on Financing for Development and the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development provided important parameters for building coalition and support towards a global partnership. Such efforts call for a prompt implementation of commitments and actions from both developing and developed countries, including through partnerships with NGOs and private companies. We also highlighted that adequate funding must be provided to the UN agencies. In addition, innovative sources of financing should be explored.

11. With the firm determination to establish strong partnerships and in order to intensify the ongoing efforts towards the implementation of the MDGs, We:
- Support the purpose of a global alliance against hunger and poverty, whereby developing countries will receive continued support to their national efforts in achieving a robust development, efficient social policies and strong democratic institutions through, among others, debt relief, direct investment and other long- term capital flows, increased aid, as well as more equitable trade;
- Invite world Leaders to join this alliance, recalling, in the words of the Secretary- General, that a " world mired in the deprivation of hunger, the prevalence of disease, and the despair of poverty will not be a world of peace ";
- Invite substantial contributions from donor countries and the private sector to the different funds and initiatives to combat hunger and poverty, among which the IFAD, the World Food Program, the FAO Trust Fund for food security and food safety, the World Solidarity Fund, and the trust fund established by Brazil, India and South Africa within the UNDP - "The IBSA Facility for poverty and hunger alleviation";
- Invite also the World Bank and other financial institutions, including regional development banks, to increase their programs in this field;
- Strongly encourage, in this context, these international organizations and initiatives to further coordinate their activities, under the reinforced supervision and monitoring by the Secretary-General.

12. With a view to contributing with concrete steps to the fight against hunger and poverty and to help filling the financial gap that impedes the realization of the Millennium Development Goal to reduce the number of the undernourished by half by 2015, We, President Chirac and President Lula, decide to establish a technical group to pursue the study of different proposals to:
- Promote innovative sources of financing such as an International Finance Facility, as proposed by the British Government, as well as taxation on certain international transactions such as, among others, certain kinds of arms sales and certain financial transactions. Mechanisms for the participation of voluntary private sources of financing should also be considered.
- Examine mechanisms to efficiently channel these possible additional resources to a special fund to combat hunger and poverty, under the supervision of the appropriate multilateral agencies. Such a fund should cope, as a matter of priority, with the most urgent needs in the area of poverty alleviation and fighting hunger.
- Explore ways by which the UN specialized agencies, and UNDP could complement the action of FAO, WFP and IFAD and other UN Programs in identifying, disseminating and promoting best practices for fighting hunger and poverty.

13. This technical group will be composed of experts from Brazil, France and other interested countries, and will prepare a report on the above mentioned topics by September 2004, as a contribution to the ongoing work within the United Nations and other fora on innovative sources of financing.

14. We, President Chirac and President Lula, express our interest for the continuation of the G-8 "enlarged dialogue", so that a discussion on innovative ways to finance actions against hunger and poverty can take place. We also suggest that this issue be discussed by Member States during the next sessions of the governing bodies of IFAD, FAO and WFP, as well as in the framework of the General Assembly during its 59th session and by world leaders when they meet in 2005 to assess progress made in the implementation of the MDGs.

15. The Secretary-General welcomes these proposals.

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