WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will lead the US government's delegation to the G-20 Summit of Agricultural Ministers in Paris on June 22-23. The summit’s focus will be on international efforts to ensure global food security.

Established in 1999, the G-20 was created to bring together major advanced and emerging economies to help bring stability to global markets. France chairs the G-20 this year.

"Coming together at the G-20 to focus on the critical issue of food security is a very significant and positive development for all of the countries involved," Vilsack said. "Our goal as an international community is clear: to reduce the number of hungry people by increasing the availability and accessibility of nutritious food around the world. The meetings will establish further cooperation to increase agricultural productivity for a growing global population, as well as priorities for the effectiveness of international agricultural and information systems. It is equally important that we take this opportunity, in light of high energy and commodity prices, to improve market transparency and end market distorting practices."

This marks the first meeting of all agricultural ministers in the G-20. The G-20 includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudia Arabia, South Africa, the Republic of Korea, Turkey and the United Kingdom and the US.