FAO Director-General underlines link between peace and food security
11 April 2014, Rome – FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva reiterated today the close link between peace and food security at the opening of the ‘Contemporary Angolan Art’ exhibition at FAO headquarters in Rome.
“This art exhibit is a symbol of the peace scenario in Angola and an opportunity to highlight the importance of peace and the absence of conflict for achieving food security,” Graziano da Silva said, as the country celebrates its 12th anniversary of peace and national reconciliation.
He noted that in little over a decade Angola has taken important steps in rebuilding, is playing an important role in providing support to other countries in the region, and is an active member within the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP).
“Angola’s commitment to food security goes beyond its borders,” the FAO chief said.
“President Eduardo dos Santos affirmed Angola’s commitment to end hunger. With a 10 million dollar donation, Angola is one of the main contributors to the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund,” he added.
“Angola now provides both technical expertise and financial resources to other countries in the region,” he also noted.
Angola is also one of the countries that reached the First Millennium Development Goal hunger target of halving the proportion of its undernourished population ahead of the 2015 deadline.
“These works aim to represent the new dynamics of Angolan art in time of peace, while inscribing our voice in the universe of globalization,” said Angola’s Permanent Representative to FAO, Ambassador Florêncio Mariano da Conceição e Almeida during his remarks at the ceremony.
The exhibit presents some of the emerging works from the 55th Venice Biennial Art Exhibition, where Angola was awarded the ‘Leone d’Oro’ for best national representation.
Peace promotion and conflict resolution
“This year we celebrate 12 years since we reached a definitive peace and embraced the hard task of rebuildingd our country after a long and atrocious civil war,” Mariano da Conceição e Almeida said.
The ambassador explained that “the condition of peace and stability that Angola came to experience in the last decade allowed for significant steps in the economic domain,” turning the country into one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa.
He also underscored the country’s role in promoting a culture of peace and safeguarding democratic values, as essential requisites for the prosperity of nations: “From its own experience in finding solutions to internal problems and the successful management of national reconciliation, Angola is one of those countries that can really make a difference in conflict resolution and peace promotion,” he said.
Mariano da Conceição e Almeida stressed the importance of development and the integration of family farming into the national economy as a priority for his government's efforts to eradicate hunger and poverty.
He reiterated his country’s request for FAO technical support for the implementation of a workshop on family farming and its contributions to sustainable food security, noting that the celebration of the International Year of Family Farming in 2014 coincides with the Year of Food Security and Agriculture in Africa, which was adopted by the African Union Summit in January.