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    INTRODUCTION: The newly re-elected Director General of the FAO, Mr.

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    SV TILT UP Mr. Saouma speaking


    REPORTER (SEQ. 1): "Do you have any new proposals for world food distribution?"

    SAOUMA: We don't need new proposals -- we need programme and action. I am relatively pursuing the goal of greater food security. As you known, the international grain arrangements have failed. They have to include an international food security system. This is why I have proposed a five-point action plan of food security. This plan has been accepted by FAO Assembly and the United Nations General Assembly. However, it's not binding. I have also to recall that the international food reserve of 500,00 tonnes of cereals a year which was supposed, to provide food aid to countries who are facing difficult situation like earthquake, floods, typhoon, refugees, is not also bind. We have not been able to reach this target. In the last resort, what is needed is to increase production, is not to rely on food aid and charity, and this is why we do hope that the Cancun Summit will have given the necessary impetus to the donor countries an to the wealthiest countries to put all their energy to increase food production. And we feel that we a very important and essential role, through our big experience, knowledge since 35 years now, in this vital field which is food production.

    Initials BB

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: INTRODUCTION: The newly re-elected Director General of the FAO, Mr. Edouard Saouma, defended the organisation's programme at a news conference in Rome on Tuesday (10 November). The UN-backed agency has faced increasing criticism in recent years, and, this year, several donor nations have expressed concern about the way the agency is run and its deployment of funds. The United States is among those voicing criticism. Washington, the largest donor, contributes some 25 percent of the FAO budget.

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