U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke to world delegates at the U.N. headquarters to mark World Food Day. He noted in his statement that while the number of hungry people in the world fell from 1 billion last year to 925 million, it was "not nearly enough" to remedy undernourishment.
He complained that the world's hungry were being denied a basic and fundamental human right, calling on the international community to develop strategies to mount a global fight against hunger.
Jacques Diouf, the director general of the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization, said that hunger was a deep and profound problem that was complicated by recent economic trends.
"The planet could feed itself, provided concrete action was taken, moving past the global need and supply to focus on small farmers," he added.
Small farms account for 80 percent of the food produced in developing countries, the United Nations said, prompting delegates at the World Food Day meeting to describe chronic hunger as "unacceptable."