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Hunger: Mary Robinson calls for action

Former president of Ireland and United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Mary Robinson, led a hunger lecture and panel discussion in Belfast on 8 October. 

Concern Worldwide’s CEO, Tom Arnold, was one of the guest speakers at this event.

Global food crisis

Mary, who now who now serves as President of the Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice, highlighted the ongoing challenges in the fight against global hunger. Almost one billion people – one in every seven – go hungry every day. She explained:

"It is clear that solving the world food crisis is getting more difficult – the reality is complex and the causes of hunger are multiple."

Golden opportunity

She called on world leaders to place hunger at the centre of their agendas, particularly in view of Ireland’s upcoming presidency of the EU and the UK presidency of the G8 in January 2013. She said:

The next 18 months provide us with a real window of opportunity to provide leadership and to catalyse action. Ireland will hold the Presidency of the EU in the first half of 2013; this coincidence of Irish and UK leadership in the EU and the G8 respectively provides an opportunity to… [drive] a more ambitious agenda to eradicate hunger and undernutrition.

Eliminating global hunger

The lecture was followed by a panel discussion on the issues influencing the current food crises in several parts of the developing world. The event was successful in building a consensus for action about the best ways to tackle the issue of global hunger. Peter Anderson, head of our Northern Ireland office, said:

The sheer size of the audience and their participation show that the people of Northern Ireland remain committed to helping the poorest people in the world to improve their lives.

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