Conference Theme

Widespread food insecurity remains entrenched. About 800 million people, one-eighth of humanity, lack the food they need to lead healthy, productive lives. Around 170 million children suffer from malnutrition serious enough to jeopardize their chances to become healthy adults. Why does hunger persist? Are we committed to ending it? Which forces will influence the prospects for food security in the next two decades? Have we set the right priorities for eradicating hunger? Who is responsible for acting on these priorities? These questions form the core motivation behind this conference organized by IFPRI's 2020 Vision Initiative with cosponsors from the public sector, civil society, and private sector.

Six years ago, the 2020 Vision Initiative held its first international conference, which articulated a global vision for eliminating food insecurity. Since then, rapid and pressing changes have taken place: globalization and trade liberalization have accelerated, technological breakthroughs have swept the world, societies are in greater flux, and the environment is more fragile. In providing a forum for discussing food security in this new context, the conference will help an increasingly fluid body of stakeholders examine how best to cope with emerging developments, assess what progress has been made in alleviating food insecurity, and forge a consensus on how best to realign local and global priorities for eliminating hunger once and for all. This conference will bring together key movers, shakers, and thinkers from government, nongovernmental organizations, the private sector, academia, the media, and other stakeholder groups to share their knowledge, exchange information and ideas, and move toward a consensus on what must be done. The ultimate objective of this dialog is to catalyze the action that will assure food security for all by 2020.

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) was established in 1975 to conduct research on meeting the food needs of the developing world in a sustainable way. IFPRI is one of 16 Future HarvestSM research centers and receives its principal funding from governments, private foundations, and international organizations, most of whom are members of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). IFPRI's 2020 Vision for Food, Agriculture, and the Environment Initiative, launched in 1993, seeks to stimulate a global dialog about the challenges and opportunities related to feeding the world while protecting the earth. The Initiative is guided by an International Advisory Committee of distinguished scientists, policymakers, and civil society leaders. It works with many partners in the public sector, civil society, and the private sector to develop a shared vision and consensus for action on how to meet future world food needs while reducing poverty and protecting the environment.

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