Dr. Christine K. Durbak, Founder and Chair of WIT, Opening Statement

Your Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Colleagues and Students, 

Good morning and welcome to this Conference on Food Insecurity: Role of Media and NGO’s co-sponsored by the Government of Ukraine and H.E. Ambassador Yuriy Sergeyev and supported by the Government of Kenya.

Food is the core of culture and civilization according to Margaret Mead, the famous anthropologist who is quoted for the past 22 years on every issue of the World Ecology Report published by World Information Transfer. 

When food is politically used to starve people, it oversteps the boundaries of civilization and destroys the culture and that is one of the reasons that the UN Millennium Goal #1 emphasizes the need to prevent and avert starvation regardless of the cause or purpose. 

As we know, famine can also be the result of natural disasters, as we witness in the Horn of Africa today.  The same social factors giving rise to hunger also aid and abet population growth rates and overpopulation.   Lester Brown, founder of the WorldWatch Institute in Washington, DC, said that food shortages will continue due to eroding soil and depleting groundwater and family planning should be the most urgent item on the global agenda in those parts of the world suffering from resource depletion, overpopulation and lack of access to birth control.   Unfortunately, between the religious denial of scientific findings and weak governments, the issue of over-population is not seen as a threat to the evolution of civilization or sustainability.
The foremost question is whether we can ensure that all children born are nourished well enough to go to school and become educated enough to solve the problems they will face as adults?   That is Millennium Goal #1.

Today, we will begin by focusing on the historical perspectives of what has caused the starvation of millions of people by their own governments who used man-made famines as a weapon of genocidal warfare. As we listen to our experts, we need to remember that if we do not learn from the past, we WILL repeat it. Thank you for your attention.