The choice to be made today: shift to truly sustainable systems

Photo credit: FAO

Celebrating World Food Day: WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, Slovenian President Borut Pahor, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, his wife Yoo Soon-taek, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze

 

World Food Day: Building a movement to end hunger

Global ceremony at Milan Expo calls for social protection, fairer food systems

Leading figures in the global fight against hunger gathered at the Milan Expo to celebrate World Food Day, marking the 70th anniversary of the foundation of FAO with appeals to speed up efforts to eradicate hunger and improve the way food is produced and consumed.

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva thanked the world’s farmers, fishers, forest workers and other food and agriculture workers for their contribution to the “amazing achievement” of increasing sustenance from all even as the world population tripled since 1945.

With around 800 million people still suffering from undernutrition, two big challenges lie ahead, he told assembled dignitaries, including the President of Italy, the President of Slovenia Borut Pahor, and Queen Letizia of Spain, who is FAO’s special ambassador for nutrition.

“First, we must quickly translate increases in food availability into better nutrition for all. Second, we must accelerate the shift of food production and consumption towards truly sustainable systems,” Graziano said.

“Good nutrition is one of the best sources of economic growth and it contributes to peace and stability,” he added.

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Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.