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UN Across AmericaThe Humpty Dumpty Institute Visits
Des Moines, IA

October, 2007

The Humpty Dumpty Institute invited four senior U.N. diplomats on a U.N. Across America program to Des Moines, Iowa. The trip featured a visit to the Meswkaki Native American community, a 4000 acre family farm, dinner with Drake University, and the Iowa Hunger Summit. Jorge Skinner-Klee, the Permanent Representative of Guatemala, Augustine Mahiga, the Permanent Representative of Tanzania, Sylvester Rowe the Deputy Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone, and Irene Tembo, the Counselor of the Mission of Zambia met with Iowans who were anxious to learn about these representatives' countries and their work at the United Nations.

Executive Summary

Food security has been a growing focus of the Humpty Dumpty Institute. Humpty Dumpty currently incorporates food security issues in its demining programs in Laos and Sri Lanka and we have decided to add this element to our United Nations related programs as well. Humpty Dumpty invited four senior U.N. diplomats on a U.N. Across America program to Des Moines, Iowa. On the trip the Ambassadors visited an area of the country most diplomats would not see and partook in the Iowa Hunger Summit. Jorge Skinner-Klee, the Permanent Representative of Guatemala, Augustine Mahiga, the Permanent Representative of Tanzania, Sylvester Rowe the Deputy Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone, and Irene Tembo, the Counselor of the Mission of Zambia met with Iowans who were anxious to learn about these representatives' countries and their work at the United Nations. The Meskwaki American Indian community, located 50 miles from the city of Des Moines, gave the diplomats an enthusiastic welcome. Tribal leaders explained the history of the Meskwaki people, their relation with the U.S. federal government, and their current economic development plans. A highlight of the Meskwaki program was the U.N. diplomats meeting and talking with young Meskwaki school children.

No visit to Iowa would be complete without a tour of a working farm. The group is greatly appreciative to the Kimberley family who opened their 4,000 acre soybean and corn farm and allowed the visitors to learn the philosophy behind American farming techniques. Mr. and Mrs. Kimberly also hosted an all American lunch for the diplomats and were joined by their son Grant Kimberley of the Iowa Soybean Association who discussed U.S. soybean production and international trade. A dinner the evening of Oct 15 hosted by Pioneer greatly complimented the program with active discussion on the benefits of GMOs in the worldwide fight against hunger. The contribution by Pioneer, a leader in advanced plant genetics, contributed to improving the image of American agribusiness worldwide.

The U.N. diplomats had the opportunity to address the Iowa Hunger Summit on October 16 and discuss specific issues impacting their individual countries. The audience expressed great interest and asked insightful questions. The U.N. diplomats' stay in Iowa ended with two important meetings. Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack discussed issues of significance with the U.N. representatives including farm subsidies, immigration, and aid to Africa. Current Governor Chet Culver met with the group at the end of the session, thanked the group for visiting Iowa, and reiterated the importance that Iowa farmers place on alleviating worldwide hunger with their products.

Schedule

Sunday, October 14

5:55 pm - Depart New York
8:10 pm - Arrive in Des Moines, IA
9 pm - Informal Dinner

Monday, October 15
9 am - Depart for Meskwaki Native American Reservation
10 am - Meskwaki Native American Tribe Program
11:15 am - Depart for Working Farm
12:30 - 1:30 pm - Working Farm Program
1:30 - 2:30 pm - Lunch at the Working Farm
2:30 - 4 pm - Return to Des Moines
7 pm - Dinner with Drake University Professors

Tuesday, October 16
10 am - Panel Presentation by Ambassadors at the Iowa Hunger Summit
11:15 -12 pm - Meeting with Former Governor Tom Vilsack
12 pm - Meeting with Governor Chet Culver
2:15 pm - Depart for New York
8 pm - Arrive, La Guardia Airport

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Participants List

Ambassador Augustine P. Mahiga - Tanzania

Ambassador Dr. Silvester Rowe - Sierra Leone

Ambassador Jorge Skinner-Klee - Guatemala

Counsellor Irene Tembo - Zambia

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