QUITO – The third Zero Hunger Summit, which began on Friday in the southern Ecuadorian city of Cuenca, will hear from nine former heads of government.
“The world has three fundamental problems,” Paul Carrasco, the governor of Azuay province, of which Cuenca is the capital, told a press conference ahead of the conference.
“The first is global warming, the second is wealth concentration and corruption, and, finally, the third is hunger,” he said.
Carrasco said that the goal of the event is to “agree upon and design concrete proposals to present to the United Nations,” adding that hunger is not caused by food shortages, but by global society’s failure “to develop processes of equality and social justice, but above all, of inclusion.”
The summit – which was organized by Ecuador and the United Regions Organization/Forum of Regional Governments and Global Associations of Regions (ORU Fogar) – is the third event of its kind after Dakar (2014) and Medellin (2016).
A total of 117 experts from 35 countries will analyze topics including agricultural production, consumption and nutrition, and food sovereignty.
The Friday session will feature speeches by former presidents Oscar Arias of Costa Rica, Felipe Calderon of Mexico and Cesar Gaviria of Colombia, along with former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
Laura Chinchilla of Costa Rica, Eduardo Frei of Chile, Eduardo Duhalde of Argentina, Hipolito Mejia of the Dominican Republic and Rosalia Arteaga of Ecuador will speak on Saturday.