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German minister Klöckner: Special concerns of agriculture must be taken into account

Christian Fernsby |
Julia Klöckner, German Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, welcomed 71 colleagues from all over the world and representatives of twelve international organisations to Berlin to the Agriculture Ministers’ Conference during the ministry's Global Forum for Food and Agriculture entitled “Food for all! Trade for Secure, Diverse and Sustainable Nutrition”.

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The ministers adopted a joint communiqué which was presented to Aidarbek Saparov, Vice-Minister of Kazakhstan, who will be hosting the next WTO Ministerial Conference, Alan Wolff, Deputy Director-General of the WTO and Dr Qu Dongyu, Director-General of the FAO.

“International trade fights hunger, protects resources and can play an important role in ensuring stability and peace! Without trade, there will be no global food security as some countries are unable to provide for themselves.

“To this end, we must foster trade und work hand in hand to ensure that the special concerns of agriculture are taken into account.

“This requires fairness and transparency.

“We must ensure that all people benefit from trade, and not just a minority, so that everyone has access to food.

“Global trade requires global rules and reliable, value-based standards.

It is therefore important that we exchange views on these issues at the GFFA.

“Nowhere else do we have so many agriculture ministers from so many states in one place, it is a unique platform,” underlined Federal Minister Julia Klöckner.

And the minister continued by saying that environmental protection and food safety requirements should not be undermined.

She stated that in order to guarantee common standards and continue to reduce market-distorting agricultural subsidies, it was vital to strengthen the role of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

“The resolutions we have adopted today send a strong signal for rule-based free trade!”

The ministers discussed this topic last year and requested the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) to develop a concept for the establishment of an International Digital Council.

The FAO has now been called upon to implement this concept.

The aim is for the Digital Council to advise states on issues of digitalisation and to drive the exchange of ideas and experiences.

“The decision to establish an International Digital Council is a milestone.

“All over the world, digitalisation offers the opportunity to combine the securing of yields with resource conservation, to strengthen rural areas and thus to tackle the root causes of displacement.

“With this council, we want to reduce the so-called digital divide and improve access to digital technologies - for smallholders across the globe as well”.

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