Hunger: curse of the 21st century, says President of Azerbaijan
19 April 2012, Baku, Azerbaijan – Calling hunger unacceptable, the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, urged the international community to join forces to eradicate what he called the curse of the 21st century.
Aliyev opened the Ministerial Session of the 28th Regional Conference for Europe, taking place in Baku, with the participation of over 45 countries from Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus.
Noting the contribution of agricultural and rural development to Azerbaijan’s progress, Aliyev also said he was ready to strengthen its cooperation with FAO assisting countries in the region.
The FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, thanked Azerbaijan for its support and stressed the importance for countries in the region to support each other, and encouraged governments not to cut international aid. “It is in times of crises that the poorest populations need us the most,” said the Director-General.
Graziano da Silva added that ending hunger was “our must urgent challenge” and necessary for sustainable development. “We cannot call development sustainable if we are leaving almost one in every seven people behind, victims of undernourishment,” said Graziano da Silva.