A conference aimed at drafting a programme of food security and rural development for Haiti will be held in Spain in July, an initiative The Bahamas says would be a significant step toward addressing Haiti’s long unmet needs for development assistance.

Acknowledging the need for “urgent and effective continued action” by the international community on behalf of rehabilitation and development in Haiti, Heads of State and Government of the European Union, Latin America and Caribbean (EU-LAC) welcomed the organization of the conference to be presided by France and Argentina as EU-LAC co-presidencies.

Heads met in Lima, Peru last week for the Fifth Summit of the EU-LAC, where matters of poverty, food security and rising food costs, as well as climate change and sustainable development were focal issues of dialog and debate.

Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham was among government leaders from the Caribbean taking part in the Summit between the two regions.

The July 2008 conference in Spain will seek to draw up a programme of food security and rural development in alignment with Haiti’s own plan and consistent with the ongoing efforts of the international community.

During the Lima Summit, government leaders reaffirmed their support for Haiti in its efforts to address emergency and long term needs in food security, and welcomed the efforts by the Haitian Government and people “to revitalise the State institutions and combat poverty, inequality and social injustices.”

In this context, Heads expressed support to MINUSTAH (United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti) and the OAS Group of Friends of Haiti; a grouping comprised of OAS member states and international organizations.