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Ban Ki-moon to visit Madrid to preside over hunger conference


19:18, April 03, 2013

MADRID, April 3 (Xinhua) -- United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will visit the Spanish capital of Madrid on Thursday where he will preside over a high level meeting on Hunger, Food Safety and Nutrition.

The meeting, which is co-hosted by the Spanish and Colombian governments, will bring together UN member states and non-governmental organizations and will see high-level guests, personalities, academics and also representatives of the food industry and research institutions participate in interactive discussions with the aim of finding an agenda to end hunger and malnutrition within a generation.

It takes place within the framework of the Millennium Development Goals and has the main aim of reducing the number of approximately 868 million people who currently suffer from malnutrition and hunger on the planet.

Spain's Director of the Office of Diplomatic Information Cecilia Rojas gave details of the visit on Tuesday, saying it was an "honor" for the Spanish capital to host such an important event, while Santiago Cabanas, the General Director of Foreign Policy and Multilateral Affairs, said the visit was "a great opportunity to open up a bilateral program to treat the problem of hunger on the planet."

"We want to launch an intense fight against this scourge with the start of this meeting over food safety and nutrition," he added.

The General Director of International Co-operation for Development, Gonzalo Robles, was very positive about the possible outcome of the meeting.

"Out of Madrid we will see a report that will help us draw up aid programs for the coming years and the future will be able to be seen in a more optimistic light," he said.

"Agencies such as the United Nations Food And Agricultural Organization, The United Nations World Food Program and the United Nations Development Program will all be present in order to analyze the situation," he said, delighted that Ban was present, given that he was a man who has done "most to contribute to peace, security, human rights and sustainable development."

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will meet with Ban at his official residence at the Palacio de la Moncloa on Thursday afternoon.

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