Senior officials of small islands call for economic revitalization as sugar prices

After a one-day Summit meeting at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Rome headquarters yesterday, seven Heads of State and Government and some 60 Agriculture Ministers and government officials representing 30 SIDS countries emphasized that the small countries have a right to receive “special and differential treatment.”There must be a lower cut in the price of sugar than the European Commission has proposed under trade rules and that the overall cut must be phased in over a longer period of time, they said. In addition, recognizing the support extended to European Union (EU) farmers and processors, they called for comparable funding to help SIDS adjust to the new challenges.The Rome Declaration also called for increased coherence between trade policy and national development policies. The leaders called for the revitalization of traditional and indigenous food systems, as well as responsible fisheries and sustainable forest management so as to increase their economic, social and environmental resilience.

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