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Food crisis continues to dominate UNGA debate
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The food crisis remained a key topic as world leaders addressed the second day of the general debate during the 63rd session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Pointing out the link between climate change and the food crisis, Polish President Lech Kaczynski highlighted the impact of high food prices on the most vulnerable members of the society.

"While analyzing reasons behind the food crisis and trying to find effective recipes for combating poverty and hunger, we have taken notice of an immense impact of the aggravating climate change upon these phenomena," he said.

"Although consequences of the climate change will be felt globally, it is the poorest who will bear the brunt."

He called for solidarity, responsibility and enhanced mutual cooperation among countries to fulfill their commitments as regards cutting greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change.

Poland is scheduled to host the 14th session of the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 4th session of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol.

Mongolian Prime Minister Sanjaa Bayar, for his part, said in the face of a global food crisis amid steep increase in staple food prices, millions of vulnerable people in poor countries who were barely making their ends meet face even greater challenges.

"It is a tragic setback that more than 75 million additional people have been driven into hunger and poverty because of the food crisis," Bayar said.

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias Sanchez spoke of pessimism and hopelessness.

"Millions of people who used to be able to cover their basic needs have seen the face of poverty once again," Sanchez said, "Hunger, that abominable monster that we had escaped for so many years, has returned to chase away the dreams of humanity."

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet Jeria urged the world community to work together to support the emergency measures to deal with the food crisis.

Suriname President Runaldo Ronald Venetiaan also called for global cooperation to tackle problems such as climate change and rising prices of food and energy.

"These tribulations are intertwined and universal, and thus beyond the control of any single nation. Millions of vulnerable people are, therefore, looking forward to the international community - with the United Nations at the helm - for effective measures to bring some kind of relief," he said.

"If we do not find lasting solutions now, the costs of our inaction will be unacceptably high and the threats that we will most likely pass on to the next generation will be devastating," Venetiaan warned.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa also underlined the urgency for the world to address the crisis.

"The global food crisis has become a frightening actuality and has the potential to assume even more dangerous proportions if we fail to take urgent and collective action," Rajapaksa said.

(Xinhua News Agency September 25, 2008)

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