Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will lead the U.S. government's delegation to the G-20 Summit of Agricultural Ministers in Paris on June 22 and 23. The focus of the summit is on international efforts to ensure global food security. The G-20 was established in 1999 to bring together major advanced and emerging economies to help bring stability to global markets. France chairs the G-20 in 2011.
"Coming together at the G-20 to focus on the critical issue of food security is a very significant and positive development for all of the countries involved," said Vilsack. "Our goal as an international community is clear: to reduce the number of hungry people by increasing the availability and accessibility of nutritious food around the world. The meetings will establish further cooperation to increase agricultural productivity for a growing global population, as well as priorities for the effectiveness of international agricultural and information systems. It is equally important that we take this opportunity, in light of high energy and commodity prices, to improve market transparency and end market distorting practices."
Vilsack will also speak to aviation representatives participating in the Paris Air Show, the largest gathering of the world aerospace industry, about USDA's commitment to the development of alternative fuels to improve economic opportunities, decrease dependence on oil, and increase environmental benefits of flying. USDA is among the forefront of federal efforts to support the development of bio-based fuels, including aviation fuel. USDA's commitment to the development of alternative fuels will benefit the aerospace industry, both economically and environmentally. Last October, USDA and the Federal Aviation Administration announced a five year agreement to develop aviation fuel from forest and crop residues. In January 2010, USDA and the Department of the Navy announced a partnership to encourage the development of advanced biofuels and other renewable energy systems.
This will be the first meeting of all agricultural ministers in the Group of Twenty (G-20). In addition to the United States, the G-20 includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudia Arabia, South Africa, the Republic of Korea, Turkey and the United Kingdom.