INTRODUCTION: The 21st Conference of the Food, and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) opened in Rome on Saturday (7 November).
SV Mrs Gandhi greeted by Director General of the FAO Edouard Saouma and entering FAO building.
CU FAO sign on building.
SV INTERIOR Mrs Gandhi receives applause as she walks to her seat. (2 SHOTS)
CU Mrs Gandhi listening to speeches. (2 SHOTS)
GV Delegates seated during speeches.
SV Mrs Gandhi speaking. (2 SHOTS)
GV Foreign delegates listening. (2 SHOTS)
GANDHI: "All creatures that live on earth, afterwards they live on food, and when they die, they return to food. The earliest civilisations arose when hunter turned into farmer - agriculture cradles culture. In my own country, there are areas that have been under the plough continuously for several thousand years. By a strange quirk of fate, this very land where agriculture developed earliest, is now experiencing shortages of food."
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The 21st Conference of the Food, and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) opened in Rome on Saturday (7 November). Indian Prime Minister, Mrs Indira Gandhi, addressed delegates on Monday (10 November). She strongly attacked the growing reluctance of Western governments to finance aid projects to the Third World. She said it was immoral and impractical to apply free market philosophy to humanitarian aid. Mrs Gandhi was reacting to the call by President Reagan for increased private investment and trade to assist developing countries overcome their economic problems.
SYNOPSIS: When she arrived at the FAO Conference Centre in Rome. Mrs Gandhi was met by the organisation's Director General, Mr. Edouard Saouma. She was due to address the Conference on the same day the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced a multi-million dollar loan to India.
The loan is a record 5.8 billion dollars and will help India's balance of payments deficit and bolster the country's declining foreign exchange reserves. The U.S., however, abstained from approving the loan.
It told the IMF it was not convinced India's financial problems could be solved by drawing on the resources of the international bank.
Mrs Gandhi made an emotive plea for compassionate understanding of her country's problems.
Despite the plea, diplomatic sources predict that the U.S., Canada, Britain and West Germany will all vote against a budget increase in aid funds.