2008 Declaration of the High-Level Conference on World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy

Sectors : Employment and Training, Energy, climate change and technology, Quality of aid, Economic governance and public finance management, Disaster risk reduction and reconstruction, Humanitarian assistance, Food security, Agricultural investment and production, Climate change - general, Sustainable development, Agriculture, Gender and social development
Date made: 


Commitments in: Private Sector development and financial services for the poor - Employment and Training

“10. Last month the IMF estimated that world growth in real terms would resume and rise to over 2 percent by the end of 2010. We are confident that the actions we have agreed today, and our unshakeable commitment to work together to restore growth and jobs, while preserving long-term fiscal sustainability, will accelerate the return to trend growth. We commit today to taking whatever action is necessary to secure that outcome, and we call on the IMF to assess regularly the actions taken and the global actions required.”


Commitments in: Technology - Energy, climate change and technology

“...(d) Enhanced action on technology development and transfer to support action on mitigation and adaptation, including, inter alia, consideration of:

(i) Effective mechanisms and enhanced means for the removal of obstacles to, and provision of financial and other incentives for, scaling up of the development and transfer of technology to developing country Parties in order to promote access to affordable environmentally sound technologies;

(ii) Ways to accelerate deployment, diffusion and transfer of affordable environmentally sound technologies;

(iii) Cooperation on research and development of current, new and innovative technology, including win-win solutions;

(iv) The effectiveness of mechanisms and tools for technology cooperation in specific sectors;

(e) Enhanced action on the provision of financial resources and investment to support action on mitigation and adaptation and technology cooperation, including, inter alia, consideration of:

(i) Improved access to adequate, predictable and sustainable financial resources and financial and technical support, and the provision of new and additional resources, including official and concessional funding for developing country Parties;

(ii) Positive incentives for developing country Parties for the enhanced implementation of national mitigation strategies and adaptation action;

(iii) Innovative means of funding to assist developing country Parties that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change in meeting the cost of adaptation;...”

Commitments in: Financing for Development - Quality of aid

“We, representatives of developed countries responsible for promoting development and Heads of multilateral and bilateral development institutions, and representatives of philanthropic foundations, meeting in Accra on 4 September 2008:

• Welcome the commitments in the draft Accra Agenda for Action by all donors to “publicly disclose regular, detailed and timely information on volume, allocation and when, available, results of development expenditure to enable more accurate budget, accounting and audit by developing countries”, “support information systems for managing aid”; and “provide full and timely information on annual commitments and actual disbursements’
• Recognise that transparency of aid information promotes more effective partnerships, and accelerates development and poverty reduction by increasing accountability and ownership, reducing corruption, and improving service delivery;
• Welcome the additional scrutiny and increased effectiveness that transparency can bring to donor organisations and other development institutions;
• Emphasize the role that transparency plays in promoting mutual accountability;
• Respect the right of taxpayers and their representatives, and of citizens in developing countries, to information about how foreign aid is spent; and
• Affirm that information about aid should be easily accessible to support local accountability and efficient public administration.

We therefore resolve that:
• We will give strong political direction, and our agencies will invest the necessary resources, to meet in full existing nationally and internationally-agreed reporting standards and to accelerate availability of aid information.
• We will share more detailed and more up-to-date information about aid in a form that makes information more accessible to all relevant stakeholders.
• We will, to the extent possible, provide more reliable and detailed information about intended future aid.
• We will be transparent about conditions attached to aid and expected project outputs and outcomes.
• We will build on and extend existing standards and reporting systems, consulting partner governments, civil society organisations, parliamentarians and other users of aid information, in order to agree, by end 2009, common definitions and a format to facilitate sharing of aid information.
• We will urge all public and private aid donors, including bilateral and multilateral organisations, and philanthropic foundations, and those who deliver aid on our behalf, to work with us to agree and then implement these common standards and format.
• We will give priority within our organisations to implementing and adhering to these standards and format when they have been agreed.
• To the extent possible we expect that organisations that deliver aid on behalf of our respective organisations should adhere to the same standards of transparency.”



“Leaders focussed their discussion on the effects of the crisis on the most vulnerable. They decided to act resolutely to implement decisions to eradicate poverty and hunger. Acknowledging that the crisis is jeopardising progress towards the MDGs, they asked for an international assessment in 2010 on what is needed to achieve these Goals.”


Commitments in: Governance - Economic governance and public finance management

“28. The European Council looked forward to the steps needed to secure a strong, and sustainable economic recovery. It agreed on the need for coordinated action, within Europe and internationally, to generate new sources of growth and higher employment in the future. It stressed the importance of reforms to strengthen the internal market, deliver investment in the industries and jobs of the future, promote increased trade and strengthen the financial sector. The European Council looks forward to discussing a new European strategy for jobs and growth as part of the upcoming review of the Lisbon Strategy.”


“11. Since the onset of the global crisis, we have developed and begun implementing sweeping reforms to tackle the root causes of the crisis and transform the system for global financial regulation. Substantial progress has been made in strengthening prudential oversight, improving risk management, strengthening transparency, promoting market integrity, establishing supervisory colleges, and reinforcing international cooperation. We have enhanced and expanded the scope of regulation and oversight, with tougher regulation of over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives, securitization markets, credit rating agencies, and hedge funds. We endorse the institutional strengthening of the FSB through its Charter, following its establishment in London, and welcome its reports to Leaders and Ministers. The FSB’s ongoing efforts to monitor progress will be essential to the full and consistent implementation of needed reforms. We call on the FSB to report on progress to the G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in advance of the next Leaders summit.

12. Yet our work is not done. Far more needs to be done to protect consumers, depositors, and investors against abusive market practices, promote high quality standards, and help ensure the world does not face a crisis of the scope we have seen. We are committed to take action at the national and international level to raise standards together so that our national authorities implement global standards consistently in a way that ensures a level playing field and avoids fragmentation of markets, protectionism, and regulatory arbitrage. Our efforts to deal with impaired assets and to encourage the raising of additional capital must continue, where needed. We commit to conduct robust, transparent stress tests as needed. We call on banks to retain a greater proportion of current profits to build capital, where needed, to support lending. Securitization sponsors or originators should retain a part of the risk of the underlying assets, thus encouraging them to act prudently. It is important to ensure an adequate balance between macroprudential and microprudential regulation to control risks, and to develop the tools necessary to monitor and assess the buildup of macroprudential risks in the financial system. In addition, we have agreed to improve

13....Building on their Declaration on Further Steps to Strengthen the International Financial System, we call on our Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to reach agreement on an international framework of reform in the following critical areas:
Building high quality capital and mitigating pro-cyclicality: We commit to developing by end-2010 internationally agreed rules to improve both the quantity and quality of bank capital and to discourage excessive leverage. These rules will be phased in as financial conditions improve and economic recovery is assured, with the aim of implementation by end-2012. The national implementation of higher level and better quality capital requirements, counter-cyclical capital buffers, higher capital requirements for risky products and off-balance sheet activities, as elements of the Basel II Capital Framework, together with strengthened liquidity risk requirements and forward-looking provisioning, will reduce incentives for banks to take excessive risks and create a financial system better prepared to withstand adverse shocks. We welcome the key measures recently agreed by the oversight body of the Basel Committee to strengthen the supervision and regulation of the banking sector. We support the introduction of a leverage ratio as a supplementary measure to the Basel II risk-based framework with a view to migrating to a Pillar 1 treatment based on appropriate review and calibration. To ensure comparability, the details of the leverage ratio will be harmonized internationally, fully adjusting for differences in accounting. All major G-20 financial centers commit to have adopted the Basel II Capital Framework by 2011.
Reforming compensation practices to support financial stability: Excessive compensation in the financial sector has both reflected and encouraged excessive risk taking. Reforming compensation policies and practices is an essential part of our effort to increase financial stability. We fully endorse the implementation standards of the FSB aimed at aligning compensation with long-term value creation, not excessive risk-taking, including by

(i) avoiding multi-year guaranteed bonuses;

(ii) requiring a significant portion of variable compensation to be deferred, tied to performance and subject to appropriate clawback and to be vested in the form of stock or stock-like instruments, as long as these create incentives aligned with long-term value creation and the time horizon of risk;

(iii) ensuring that compensation for senior executives and other employees having a material impact on the firm’s risk exposure align with performance and risk;

(iv) making firms’ compensation policies and structures transparent through disclosure requirements;

(v) limiting variable compensation as a percentage of total net revenues when it is inconsistent with the maintenance of a sound capital base; and

(vi) ensuring that compensation committees overseeing compensation policies are able to act independently. Supervisors should have the responsibility to review firms’ compensation policies and structures with institutional and systemic risk in mind and, if necessary to offset additional risks, apply corrective measures, such as higher capital requirements, to those firms that fail to implement sound compensation policies and practices. Supervisors should have the ability to modify compensation structures in the case of firms that fail or require extraordinary public intervention. We call on firms to implement these sound compensation practices immediately. We task the FSB to monitor the implementation of FSB standards and propose additional measures as required by March 2010.”


Commitments in: Agriculture - Food security

“In adopting this Declaration, we pledge to embrace food security as a matter of permanent national policy, renew our commitment to achieving the World Food Summit objectives and the Millennium Development Goals, and commit ourselves to the following measures. Immediate and Short-Term Measures...

...4. The global food situation calls for a strong commitment from governments as well as from all other stakeholders. We call upon all donors and the United Nations System to increase their assistance for developing countries, in particular least developed countries and those that are most negatively affected by high food prices. In the immediate future it is essential to proceed along two main lines.

5. The first line of action is to respond urgently to requests for assistance from affected countries.
a) The relevant United Nations agencies should be assured the resources to expand and enhance their food assistance and support safety net programmes to address hunger and malnutrition, when appropriate, through the use of local or regional purchase.
b) The appropriate regional organizations which have emergency food security arrangements should enhance their cooperation with a view to effectively cope with soaring food prices.
c) All efforts by governmental and non-governmental organizations to strengthen immediate humanitarian and development assistance should be synergized with those of the multilateral organizations, and made coherent, to deal with the continuum from urgent to longer term assistance.
d) All national and international efforts should be made to ensure that international emergency food assistance is delivered as quickly and efficiently as possible to populations in distress.
e) To facilitate adjustment to higher food prices, donors and international financial institutions, in accordance with their mandates and in consultation with recipient countries, should provide in a timely manner, balance of payments support and /or budget support to food-importing, low-income countries. Other measures should be considered as necessary to improve the financial situation of the countries in need, including reviewing debt servicing as necessary. We also call on the relevant international institutions to simplify the eligibility procedures of existing financial mechanisms to support agriculture and environment.”


“We firmly resolve to use all means to alleviate the suffering caused by the current crisis, to stimulate food production and to increase investment in agriculture, to address obstacles to food access and to use the planet’s resources sustainably, for present and future generations.

We commit to eliminating hunger and to securing food for all today and tomorrow.”


Commitments in: Agriculture - Agricultural investment and production

“6. The second line of action is immediate support for agricultural production and trade...

...d) Members of WTO reaffirm their commitment to the rapid and successful conclusion of the WTO Doha Development Agenda and reiterate their willingness to reach comprehensive and ambitious results that would be conducive to improving food security in developing countries. Implementing an aid for trade package should be a valuable complement to the Doha Development Agenda to build and improve the trading capacity of the developing countries.

e) We will strive to ensure that food, agricultural trade and overall trade policies are conducive to fostering food security for all. For this purpose we reaffirm the need to minimise the use of restrictive measures that could increase volatility of international prices.”


“Medium and Long-Term Measures

...7b) We support the establishment of agriculture systems and the sustainable forest management practices that positively contribute to the mitigation of climate change and ecological balance.”


Commitments in: Agriculture

“Article 4...

...3. The developed country Parties and other developed Parties included in Annex II shall provide new and additional financial resources to meet the agreed full costs incurred by developing country Parties in complying with their obligations under Article 12, paragraph 1.

They shall also provide such financial resources, including for the transfer of technology, needed by the developing country Parties to meet the agreed full incremental costs of implementing measures that are covered by paragraph 1 of this Article and that are agreed between a developing country Party and the international entity or entities referred to in Article 11, in accordance with that Article. The implementation of these commitments shall take into account the need for adequacy and predictability in the flow of funds and the importance of appropriate burden sharing among the developed country Parties.


4. The developed country Parties and other developed Parties included in Annex II shall also assist the developing country Parties that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change in meeting costs of adaptation to those adverse effects.


5. The developed country Parties and other developed Parties included in Annex II shall take all practicable steps to promote, facilitate and finance, as appropriate, the transfer of, or access to, environmentally sound technologies and know-how to other Parties, particularly developing country Parties, to enable them to implement the provisions of the Convention. In this process, the developed country Parties shall support the development and enhancement of endogenous capacities and technologies of developing country Parties. Other Parties and organizations in a position to do so may also assist in facilitating the transfer of such technologies...


... 8. In the implementation of the commitments in this Article, the Parties shall give full consideration to what actions are necessary under the Convention, including actions related to funding, insurance and the transfer of technology, to meet the specific needs and concerns of developing country Parties arising from the adverse effects of climate change and/or the impact of the implementation of response measures, especially on:

(a) Small island countries;

(b) Countries with low-lying coastal areas;

(c) Countries with arid and semi-arid areas, forested areas and areas liable to forest decay;

(d) Countries with areas prone to natural disasters;

(e) Countries with areas liable to drought and desertification;

(f) Countries with areas of high urban atmospheric pollution;

(g) Countries with areas with fragile ecosystems, including mountainous ecosystems;

(h) Countries whose economies are highly dependent on income generated from the production, processing and export, and/or on consumption of fossil fuels and associated energy-intensive products; and

(i)                 Landlocked and transit countries


9. The Parties shall take full account of the specific needs and special situations of the least developed countries in their actions with regard to funding and transfer of technology.


10. The Parties shall, in accordance with Article 10, take into consideration in the implementation of the commitments of the Convention the situation of Parties, particularly developing country Parties, with economies that are vulnerable to the adverse effects of the implementation of measures to respond to climate change. This applies notably to Parties with economies that are highly dependent on income generated from the production, processing and export, and/or consumption of fossil fuels and associated energy-intensive products and/or the use of fossil fuels for which such Parties have serious difficulties in switching to alternatives.


Article 5



In carrying out their commitments under Article 4, paragraph 1 (g), the Parties shall:

(a) Support and further develop, as appropriate, international and intergovernmental programmes and networks or organizations aimed at defining, conducting, assessing and financing research, data collection and systematic observation, taking into account the need to minimize duplication of effort;


(b) Support international and intergovernmental efforts to strengthen systematic observation and national scientific and technical research capacities and capabilities, particularly in developing countries, and to promote access to, and the exchange of, data and analyses thereof obtained from areas beyond national jurisdiction; and


(c) Take into account the particular concerns and needs of developing countries and cooperate in improving their endogenous capacities and capabilities to participate in the efforts referred to in subparagraphs (a) and (b) above.”


Commitments in: Climate Change - Climate change - general

"Article 4


1. All Parties, taking into account their common but differentiated responsibilities and their specific national and regional development priorities, objectives and circumstances, shall:

(a) Develop, periodically update, publish and make available to the Conference of the Parties, in accordance with Article 12, national inventories of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of all greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol, using comparable methodologies to be agreed upon by the Conference of the Parties;

(b) Formulate, implement, publish and regularly update national and, where appropriate, regional programmes containing measures to mitigate climate change by addressing anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of all greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol, and measures to facilitate adequate adaptation to climate change...”


Commitments in: Gender - Gender and social development

“20. We are committed to ensuring that women’s empowerment, emancipation and gender equality are integrated in all the activities encompassed within Agenda 21, the Millennium development goals and the Plan of Implementation of the Summit.”