Press Release 97/30

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Press Release 97/30


ROME, July 18 - Over 70 prominent entertainment personalities from across the globe --including film directors Bernardo Bertolucci, Franco Zeffirelli and Wim Wenders, actresses Fran(oise Arnoult, Jeanne Moreau, Isabelle Adjani, Gina Lollobrigida, Gong Li and others such as, Mike Leigh, Youssef Chahine, Adama Drabo-- have signed an “Appeal Against Hunger” launched by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for the realization of “Food for All,” FAO announced today.

Singer Tina Turner, opera tenor Plácido Domingo , dancer Patrick Dupont and writer John Le Carré were among others adhering to the appeal..

“We solemnly undertake to do all we can to end hunger,” the signatories pledged in associating themselves with FAO’s appeal launched at the recent Cannes Film Festival and still in progress.

The appeal states that signatories “find it unacceptable that over 800 million people in the world, including 200 million children under the age of five, should continue to suffer from chronic hunger and malnutrition. These people lead a life of misery and are denied the most basic of human rights: the right to food. This is all the more outrageous in a world of surplus and waste.”

In the appeal, prominent entertainment celebrities noted that at the World Food Summit convened by FAO last November, 112 Heads of State and Government and other representatives of 186 countries declared their political will and determination to halve by the year 2015, as a minimum, the number of people without adequate access to food.

“However, the tragedy of widespread hunger cannot be resolved through government actions alone,” the artists declared. “Such a challenge calls for the broad mobilization of both public and private sectors, involving all of civil society and drawing upon collective and individual resources.”

Meanwhile, in a separate development involving global public awareness and support in the fight on hunger and malnutrition, FAO announced that it will hold a “TeleFood”, from 17 to 19 October in connection with the observance of the annual World Food Day on October 16, the anniversary of FAO’s foundation in 1945. TeleFood would be a global audio-visual programme with the leading role of the Italian RAI, which will organize a worldwide telecast "Food for All, " and participation of other major television networks.

The announcement on TeleFood was made by Dr. Jacques Diouf, Director-General of the Rome-based specialized UN agency, in his statement to FAO's governing Council in June. He told the Council: "A number of parallel initiatives have been launched to rally civil society... and in so doing to build upon the momentum that was generated by the Summit, which saw the active participation of parliamentarians, non-governmental organizations and representatives of the private sector.

"The slogan for this year's World Food Day, "Investing in Food Security," reflects this perspective of mobilization. The celebratory events include the TeleFood operation, a world-wide audio-visual- programme designed, first, to hold the decisions taken at the Summit in the public eye and, second, to invoke the solidarity of all people concerned about the problem of hunger in the world."

Among the many television networks expected to participate in this world-wide initiative, RAI International in particular will be arranging for a ten hour transmission to be broadcast on Mondovision from Rome on October 19, 1997, from 14:00 to 01:00 hours on the 20th.

The programme will be in the following five languages; Italian for the original broadcast version, English, French, Spanish, and Arabic. Languages other than Italian would be in the form of simultaneous oversound. Interpretation will cover appropriate slots of the programme, such as information, features, interviews, presentations of acts etc. RAI International will also make an official offer to Eurovision informing worldwide TV broadcasters of the forthcoming Global Telecast and providing them as soon as possible with the detailed content of the programme

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