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Coordinator of UN high-level task force to open McGill Food Security Conference

Dr. David Nabarro, Assistant Secretary-General at the United Nations and co-ordinator of the Secretary-General's High-Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis, will deliver the keynote address at the opening evening of the Third McGill Conference on Global Food Security on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 5 p.m., at Centre Mont-Royal, 2200 Mansfield St. in Montreal.

Dr. Nabarro will offer a global perspective on prospects for food and nutrition security as he presents the work of the task force, established in 2008 by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to promote a comprehensive and unified response to the challenge of achieving global food security. The task force brings together the heads of the UN specialized agencies, funds and programmes, as well as relevant parts of the UN Secretariat, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization.

The opening evening of the conference will also include the official launch of the McGill Institute on Global Food Security. An initiative of McGill's Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, as is the annual conference, this permanent forum is aimed at raising awareness about the scope of the challenges to food security worldwide, training the next generation of researchers who will tackle these problems and advancing research in areas linked to food security.

Discussions will continue on Oct. 20 and 21 at McGill's New Residence Hall as representatives from developing countries, international research centres, NGOs and government come together to focus this year on two crucial issues: water management and malnutrition.

"There are about 600 million people living in semi-arid regions in sub-Saharan Africa or Asia where restricted access to water limits food production potential. We need to have a dialogue to see the magnitude of the problem and come up with potential solutions," said Prof. Chandra Madramootoo, Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, McGill University. "Similarly, we put a lot of emphasis on grain and cereal production in previous years. We need to have a closer look at the crops that give people the nutritional diversity that will satisfy their nutrient needs."

WHAT: McGill Conference on Global Food Security

WHEN: Oct. 19, 20 and 21, 2010

WHERE: New Residence Hall, McGill University
3625 avenue du Parc, Montreal

Public Lecture (October 19, 5 p.m.)
Symposia Auditorium, Centre Mont-Royal
2200 Mansfield St., Montreal


Contact: Tamarah Feder
McGill University

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