Emerging issues on the Chief Executives Board agenda
The Board reviewed the emerging global food price challenge and agreed on a common strategy in support of developing country governance to confront the crisis. CEB was of the view that the multifaceted challenge needed to be addressed in the short, medium and long term. The United Nations system would, in the short to medium term, cooperate in crisis response, development of emergency safety nets and social protection for the most vulnerable, and on rapid employment and income-generation programmes. The United Nations system would further fully deploy its capacity in the monitoring, quick assessment and analysis of the rapidly evolving food price trends and their impact on vulnerability to support the response of affected national Governments. In the medium to long term the United Nations system would bring together its technical and analytical capabilities to fill in research and knowledge gaps in order to support Governments with the best information for agricultural decision-making to boost production and productivity.
The Board further underscored the urgent necessity to address the structural and policy issues that have substantially contributed to the crisis and the challenge posed by climate change to productive systems.
In a statement released following its April 2008 meeting, the Board called upon the international community to urgently and fully fund the emergency requirements of 755 million dollars for the World Food Programme (WFP) and to deliver on its pledges and provide maximum flexibility to target the most urgent needs. The Board also called for countries that have imposed export restrictions on food, reducing supplies and contributing to price hikes, to urgently reconsider those policies. CEB also urged that the Doha Development Round reach a rapid conclusion, resulting in a scaling-down of trade-distorting subsidies that have damaged the production capacity of developing countries.
To create a prioritized plan of action and coordinate its implementation, the Board further decided to establish a task force on the global food crisis under the leadership of the Secretary-General that would bring together the heads of the specialized agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations system and the Bretton Woods institutions, as well as relevant parts of the Secretariat.