World Agricultural Forum

2003 World Congress Will Convene International Leaders to Address Unprecedented Global Agricultural Issues, Offer Solutions

    ST. LOUIS, MO (ots) - The World Agricultural Forum (WAF), a non-profit organization serving as the only neutral forum for global dialogue on critical issues involving food, fuel, water, health and fiber, will convene several hundred world leaders from developing and developed countries at the 2003 World Congress scheduled for May 18-20 in St. Louis, Mo., at the Hyatt Regency at Union Station.

    Created to uncover solutions to the most pressing problems facing world agriculture, the World Congress is the only forum uniting leaders from disparate organizations -- including government, academia, corporations, foundations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) -- to ensure that all participants have an equal voice to share insights on global agricultural challenges. Participants will include ministers of agriculture, Nobel laureates, university deans, directors of NGOs, corporate CEOs and environmental advocates.

    "Since the 2001 World Congress, the challenges facing global agriculture have reached a feverish pitch," said the Rt. Hon. James Bolger, former prime minister of New Zealand and ambassador to the United States, and current chairman of the World Agricultural Forum Advisory Board. "With the AIDS epidemic in Africa, a humanitarian crisis in Iraq, imminent concerns of water shortages around the world and food safety threats, the importance of the World Congress has never been more clear. Solutions to these critical problems rely on sustained, uninhibited discussions - begun in earlier Congresses."

    At the Congress participants will debate agricultural issues that stifle global economic growth, prevent access to safe food and water, endanger natural resources, and cripple agricultural systems. Interactive workshops and roundtable discussions will permit attendees to expand their knowledge base, understand each others' positions, and initiate dialogue that can lead to better-informed decision making in their respective roles.

    "The 2003 World Congress agenda assembles key international agricultural leaders who understand that global stability hinges on the creation of an agricultural agenda that addresses nations' specific political, economic and social needs with proactive, long-term solutions," said Dr. Leonard Guarraia, chairman and president, World Agricultural Forum. "Providing access to food and water does not merely call for disaster relief and food aid, but for identifying ways to support long-term practices that promote farm profitability, environmental stewardship and quality of life. To ignore the role of agriculture in our international economic and social agendas could breed discontent and heighten tensions everywhere."

    The World Congress agenda covers both current and emerging issues related to global agriculture trends - from trade policy and technology transfer to sustainability and rural development. It calls for a three-day meeting consisting of interactive sessions and workshops designed to: 1) integrate all participants; 2) debate key factors shaping the issues on the business, geopolitical and economic agenda; and 3) share knowledge concerning strategies and solutions.

    The theme of the 2003 Congress, "A New Age in Agriculture: Working Together toCreate the Future and Disabling the Barriers," acknowledges that agriculture barriers include political agendas, trade inequalities, obsolete infrastructure and transportation systems, technology gaps, and environmental problems. This Congress will especially focus on the interrelations among technology acceptance, sustainability and trade.

    For a detailed agenda, registration, media credential forms and additional information, please visit the World Agricultural Forum's Web site at or contact Melissa Lackey at (314) 469-3500 (office), (314) 712-6682 (cell) or

ots Originaltext: World Agricultural Forum

Contact: Cheri Winchester
Company: The Standing Partnership
Phone:    +1/314-469-3500

Contact: Melissa Lackey
Company: The Standing Partnership
Phone:    +1/314-469-3500
Cell:    +1/314-712-6682

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