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Kedgley to attend World Food Security Conference

30 May 2008

Kedgley to attend World Food Security Conference

Green Party Safe Food Spokesperson Sue Kedgley is attending the High Level World Food Security Conference in Rome next week, as a member of the New Zealand delegation.

"This will be a watershed conference, with up to 60 Heads of State and Government and a substantial NGO contingent.

"I expect there will be intense debate between the free trade marketeers and those who believe the free trade agenda is one of the causes of the present crises," Ms Kedgley says.

"As a long time food campaigner I am looking forward to hearing the perspectives of people deeply affected by the world food crisis."

Ms Kedgley says she will bring a different perspective from the standard 'free trade at all costs' policies of many developed countries.

"The conference will seek solutions to the global food crisis and rising food prices which are causing growing anger around the world, as people find themselves unable to afford food to eat. Some are warning that rising food prices pose more of a threat to political and social stability than the current crisis in global markets.

"Many world leaders, including most Latin American presidents, will attend the conference," Ms Kedgley says.

Ms Kedgley says free trade liberalisation would be a contentious subject, and the way food has been transformed from the most basic necessity of life into a commodity to be traded at the highest price.

"By putting the profits of investors before the needs of people, we have created a situation where entire countries have lost that most basic power, the ability to feed themselves, while global corporations become ever more powerful and profitable.

"We need to challenge the doctrine of free trade and accept that people's right to food, to be free from hunger, must have priority over an ideological fixation on allowing market forces to prevail at all costs."

Although an official member of the New Zealand delegation, Ms Kedgley will cover her own costs and will be offsetting her carbon emissions.


ENDS

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