By: Mark Leon Goldberg on June 03, 2008 From the UN News Center: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on world leaders gathered at a United Nations summit in Rome to take “bold and urgent” steps to tackle the global food crisis, including boosting food production and revitalizing agriculture to ensure long-term food security. Addressing the High-level Conference on World Food Security, Mr. Ban said that over 850 million people around the globe were short of food before the current crisis began. That number is estimated to rise by a further 100 million, and the poorest of the poor will be the hardest hit. “The threats are obvious to us all. Yet this crisis also presents us with an opportunity,” Mr. Ban told the gathering, which is being hosted by the Rome-based UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). “It is a chance to revisit past policies. While we must respond immediately to high food prices, it is important that our longer term focus is on improving world food security — and remains so for some years.” Read more.