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Full Text of Speech by Iran's "First Lady" Azam Farahi at NAM Meeting


TEHRAN (ISNA)-First ladies of Non-Aligned Movement states conferred the ways to annihilate poverty and hunger across the world in Rome. Also, Iran's first lady Azam Farahi, delivered a speech at the meeting held on the sidelines of UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) meeting on food security as below:

I thank the Almighty for having the opportunity to participate in this meeting. I am also grateful to the Director General of FAQ Mr. Jacques Diouf for proposing one day of fasting in solidarity with people and also Mrs. Susan Mobarak for her initiative to organize this meeting with an aim to involve effectively the first ladies of the NAM member states in the struggle against food poverty.

At present, the international community is burdened with one billion hungry and three billion people suffering from poverty across the globe. The imbalance in food production and consumption is mounting. The current irregularity in the food market has denied the needy sufficient access to appropriate nutrition. The continuation of this situation will undoubtedly result in the expansion of poverty and its dire consequences. Food poverty has imposed a double burden on the shoulders of women in the family. Now the question is that what are the root causes of this dilemma?

It is obvious that food stuff in the world is insufficient. Rather, uneven distribution systems, mercantilist attitudes, and exploitation of resources for the purpose of occupation and arms race are responsible for the imposition of poverty on a large section of the world population particularly women and creation of food insecurity.

Today, we are in need of a new consumption pattern; we should promote the pattern of needs-based consumption as well as the spirit of collaboration, benefaction and selflessness.

Promotion of the culture of labor and management of family by men and provision of the basic rights of women such as their food, clothing and housing and attention to clean and healthy food which from a religious viewpoint are among the measures which help reduce such problems. Here I wish to call on the first ladies of the NAM member states to initiate an appropriate food consumption pattern as a first step in this direction.

This will help promote the spirit of solidarity among people and institutionalize such a pattern in the society.

I would now like to refer to a number of the Islamic Republic of Iran's experiments -with a religious learning- that have effectively increased the family's food security.

1- Enrichment of food stuff consumed by girls and women by the Government,

2- Food support for expecting and breast feeding moms, so as to rear a healthy generation,

3- Promotion of interest free loans as a correct solution and the establishment of small family, neighborhood and group interest free loan funds to again promote and fortify the spirit of cooperation and social service, while preserving the dignity human beings.

4. Establishment of local capacity through the selection and training indigenous facilitators.

Now a number of proposals for inclusion in the final statement:

1- Establishment of an independent strong organs to fairly coordinate the food staff market;

2- Establishment of special funds by NAM states to help with the employment and food security of women heads of household;

3- Promotion of international relations and access to the relevant information in the field of agriculture and clear food;

4- Raising public awareness towards further attention and to use clean food and proper consumption;

5- Emphasis on rights of women in the family to the provision of their food, clothing and housing by their husbands;

6- Making every effort in protection of water and ground resources against contaminations.

In conclusion, I wish to stipulate that unfortunately our world is presently witnessing a clear example of food and medicine insecurity in the case of besieged Gazans; the innocent people who have incurred blockade against all international rules and regulations. We expect to see immediate end to this great oppression. I call distinguished Mrs. Mobarak, as representative of this meeting, to follow up this issue and get the voice of our gathering and oppressed women and children in Gaza across the globe.

Wishing for realization of the divine promise for development of justice in the world.

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