Famine in Africa, mirrored by overproduction in the West, was set to dominate the agenda of the World Food Council (WFC), meeting in Addis Ababa.
GV Africa Hall in Addis Ababa
SV INTERIOR Chairman Mengistu Haile Mariam walking with Canadian Minister of Agriculture Eugene Whelam, the World Food Council President, and other ministers into conference hall
CU United Arab Emirates' delegate
CU PAN OVER Delegates
CU Mengistu speaking (AMHARIC SOT)
SV PAN Delegates applaud
CU Whelam speaking (ENGLISH SOT)
SPEECH TRANSCRIPT (SEQUENCE SEVEN):
WHELAM: "Over the next few days we will be re-evaluating how the world food problem has changed over the past decade, and how individual nations and the international community have responded to the problem. We'll also be examining the conditions of the spirit of reform which is really the well-spring of food aid in our agricultural development. Once again, I want to thank his Excellency Chairman Mengistu Haile Mariam and his government and the people of Ethiopia for inviting the World Food Council to hold this meeting here."
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Background: Famine in Africa, mirrored by overproduction in the West, was set to dominate the agenda of the World Food Council (WFC), meeting in Addis Ababa. Thirty-six nations were represented at the session, opened on June 11 by Ethiopian head of state. Chairman Mengistu Haile Mariam. In this speech, he appealed for increased international cooperation to alleviate the worsening food crisis in developing countries. In Africa, he emphasised, consumption of food per hed has decreased dramatically in the last two decades, and millions now faced starvation. The meeting marked the tenth anniversary of the WFC, and Mengistu suggested this was an opportunity to evaluate the work of numerous conferences which had met in ten years. These, he said, had adopted much-needed policies and strategies, but their aim of averting famine had manifestly not been achieved. In a report put before ministers attending the session, independent food experts noted that food scarcity had been seen as the main problem when the WFC was founded. Now, they said, North America and Europe continually produced unmarketable food surpluses while developing countries faced severe famine. The President of the WFC, Canadian Agriculture Minister Eugene Whelam, thanked Ethiopia for hosting the meeting, and promised a re-evaluation of international food aid.