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November 29, 1996     The Message
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November 29, 1996
 

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0 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Thanksgiving reminder: Millions remain without adequate By LYNNE WElL Catholic News Service ROME (CNS) -- The delega- tions have dispersed and the phones in the press room are silent, but the work of the U.N. World Food Summit, which ended Nov. 17, is meant to go on. Malnutrition still contributes to the deaths of 11,000 children per day -- one every eight sec- onds. More than 800 million people in the world, one-fourth of them under age 5, remain without adequate food. To help reduce that number by half within 20 years, the sum- mit&apos;s final document set goals for the 186 governments that took part: Find ways to ensure a social and economic environ- ment that allows for land reform; implement policies to eradicate poverty and inequali- . ty; pursue, sustainable agricul- tural &)elopment; foster a fair and market-oriented world trade system; and encourage public and private investment so that food security can be guaranteed. But these commitments are nonbinding, and participants agreed that if action is not taken, their promises may mean no more than the pledge taken at the World Food Conference of 1974 to "eradicate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition within a decade." European delegations to the food summit were among the first to take steps to honor their commitments. Before leaving Rome, Dutch Development Min- i,, ill i, ,,i [ i i I ii , , , t YOU SHOULD HEAR WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT US. "To have someone you can depend on really means a lot. ! don't know what we would have done without her." -- Gilbcrl hmilt, Oakland C|I,/N "My whole life l' felt that I have been drawn to do this Wpe of work. And, if you like something, you will excel at it. It's vet? rewarding to be a VNP Care, giver. You must have love in your heart; people matter ... I love workin& for VNP." -- ]an Hodlkin$, VIVP Cartliwr of tht Ytor, tgfl VIS/TINC NURSE l[Xou or a loved one needs the specialized home health care we can provide, please call Visiting Nurse Plus today. 421-0153 (Evansville) 311.3717 (Princeton) Custom Made On Your Lot Thousands of References POST BUILDING PKGS. Complete pre-engineered packages for you to build. Very Low PriCes. TRUSS RAFTERS Excellent Prices-Any Size to 1 DO' OVERHEAD DOORS Hundreds in Stock Nobody Beatm Our PHceB METAL ROOFING Over 20,000 Sq. In Stock. Any Length Cut To Inch. Best Prices Around. DAVIESS CO. METAL Hwy. 50 E., Cannelburg. 4 mi. E. Montgomery 812-295-4299 ister Jan Pronk arranged a Feb- ruary 1997 meeting with his European Union counterparts as a follow-up conference onthe summit. i But despite participants' statements of good intentions, some critics said the food sum- mit was flawed or worse. Protesters from a group known as the Hunger Project called the gathering "an empty gesture" because it excluded par- ticipation by farmers, favored the riews of larger industrialized nations and was financed -- and therefore influenced -- by multi- natioral companies that trade in agriculture. Participants in a forum for 1,000 nongovernmental organi- zations, which ran parallel to the summit, said in a statement that the gathering failed to cre- ate methods to make govern- ments accountable for food secu- rity. The statement said the world has to make a choice: prof- it for a few or food for all. Caritas Internationalis, the Vatican's umbrella aid organi- zation, was one of the partici- pants in the NGO forum. In a statement, Caritas said food security cannot be guaranteed without redistribution of land ownership and tighter control on market forces -- neither of which were among the goals set by the summit. The United States led the call among industrialized nations taking part in the summit tbr more open markets, not tighter control. As the World's largest agriculture export< the United States places value on liberaliz- ing trade. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman argued that open markets benefit farmers in the long run and promol/e invest- ment in the developing world. This view was backed by World Bank President James Wolfensohn, who said, "If you allow farmers to compete and have cash crops, in fact the food production has gone up -- not down, but up." But there was disagreement from representatives of some developing countries, who said their farmers could not compete on equal terms with larger pro- ducers. This was also the argu- ment of independent farmers from around the world who met in Rome as the summit con- vened. "We cannot support every principle presented in the final summit declaration because we do believe that some of them will have an adverse effect on inde- pendent farmers," said Leland Swenson, president of the U.S. National Farmers' Union. "But on the other hand, that is no reason to give up on the goal of food security as a whole. There's no reason to throw the baby out with the bath water." For its own part, the Vatican tried to place these questions in a wider perspective. The Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Ange- lo Sodano, said in his address to the summit that "to give food security to all the people on every continent is not only an econom- ic and technical challenge, but in the first [ itual one." Cardil the principles of respect pel the mote peace, poverty and world. Jacques U.N. Food and Organization the soring the ' final news confer event that and the responsibility for the religious. 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