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FAO Director-General takes anti-hunger message to World Economic Forum

From Porto Alegre to Davos: Graziano da Silva also attended Thematic Social Forum
©World Economic Forum/swiss-image.ch/Photo by Remy Steinegger

In just two days, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva has gone from reaching out to members of social movements in South America to meeting in Europe with some of the globe’s most influential business figures and decision-makers.

Graziano da Silva is in Davos, Switzerland, to take part in the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. He arrived in Davos immediately after attending the 2012 Thematic Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, the annual gathering of non-governmental organizations and social movements.

The FAO chief took the unusual step of participating in both meetings, calling on all actors to contribute to the fight against hunger.

"Civil society and the private sector are equally important and we need them both onboard to advance food security. That is why I was in Porto Alegre and am now in Davos," said Graziano da Silva.

In Davos, the Director-General is participating in a series of meetings with key figures from the economic development and private arenas; UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and heads of other UN agencies; and in discussions on ending hunger, investing in African agriculture, and sustainability.

The  World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

"FAO is open to all those willing to join forces in a spirit of true partnership and alliance to contribute to a more responsible and fair management of food, to eradicate hunger and to promote more sustainable food production and consumption patterns," said the Director-General.

Graziano da Silva added that the private sector plays a fundamental role in the production, trade, processing and distribution of food and pointed out that their collaboration is essential if significant progress is to be made towards hunger reduction and sustainable development.

In Porto Alegre, the Director-General took part in a conference on civil society and food security, and a meeting on cooperatives, agriculture and food security in the context of the International Year of Cooperatives (IYC).

He also visited the exhibit area of Via Campesina, the international peasant and farmer movement that defends sustainable agriculture as a pathway to social justice and dignity.

In line with this intention to work more closely with different partners, Graziano da Silva has also announced that FAO is planning to open liaison office spaces for the private sector and civil society and cooperatives – 2012 is the IYC - at the organization's headquarters.

26 January 2012