The World Food Summit, which was held in Rome from 10 to 13 June, provided an opportunity to review the progress made since the first world food summit in 1996, when the international community pledged to halve the number of people suffering from hunger by 2015. The Irish delegation to the summit was led by Mr. John Malone, Secretary General of the Department of Agriculture and Food. Ireland played a central role at the summit in its capacity as co-chair for the negotiation of the summit declaration. In its submission, Ireland focused on poverty reduction and stressed the importance of food security as a means of combating hunger. We made it clear that rapid and targeted responses to food shortages, together with supporting programmes which address future food security needs, would continue to be important priorities for Ireland's development assistance programme. We referred to the support which Ireland Aid was providing to a range of activities in the agriculture sector in sub-Saharan Africa, where subsistence agriculture is the main source of income for the rural poor and helps to ensure food security.