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Sunday, October 18, 2020

World Food Day 2020:Pope Francis drums support for FAO, UN - NaijaAgroNet: ... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology


The Catholic pontiff, Pope Francis has urged for more support for the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and all UN food agencies' initiatives that promote sustainable and diversified agriculture, and support small farming communities and the rural development of the poorest countries.

He made this known on his message to the occasion of FAO turning 75 and to commemoration of teh World Food Day 2020.

Pope also urgeds UN member states to use the money that buys arms and covers military expenses for defeating hunger and rural development instead would also be a "courageous decision".

"Hunger is not merely a disaster for humanity but also a disgrace... We cannot fail to respond or to act. We all are responsible," said Pope Francis.

His words were echoed by UN's Secretary-General António Guterres who called for intensified efforts to achieve the vision of Sustainable Development Goals - "a future where everyone everywhere has access to the nutrition they need". To inspire action towards this vision, Guterres said, he will convene a Food Systems Summit next year.

Noting that his country was proud to host FAO's headquarters, Italy's President Sergio Mattarella said he welcomed FAO's and its Director-General's "commitment to work with Italy and many other countries in forging a "food coalition" aimed at containing the effects of COVID-19 on food systems".

This is the moment of "crucial choices", and of "a serious global commitment," concluded Mattarella who expressed hope for the international community to rediscover a "profound meaning of the valuable goods the earth offers us" and the "responsibility to share and safeguard them for future generations".

Earlier today, the FAO Director-General, Mr. Qu participated in an online World Food Day event in Brussels hosted by the European Parliamentary Alliance against Hunger and Malnutrition, whose continued efforts to put food and nutrition high on the political agenda, he commended. 

Qu was joined, amongst others, by the Vice-President of the European Parliament, Heidi Hautala, and the European Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski. 

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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