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A statement by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva
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21 May 2014                                                                    

67th World Health Assembly

World Health Organization


Mr Chairperson,

Ms Margaret Chan,

Distinguished ministers,


Thank you very much for this opportunity. I would like to start by informing you that His Holiness, the Pope Francis has just confirmed his participation in the Second International Conference on Nutrition. We are honoured by his presence and welcome his commitment to food security and nutrition.

Food security and nutrition are central to the mandates of FAO and WHO. That is why we have a longstanding partnership and are co-organizing this Conference. Preparations are progressing very well, in our opinion. A member-led FAO-WHO working group is preparing the outcome documents. We need your help for the political declaration to be ready by the end of June, and its complementary draft framework for action by the end of July.


The ICN2 is a government-led effort. We welcome your leadership. And we call on you to ensure that different voices are heard in this process, as already happens within the UN system. This includes the parliamentarians in our national delegations as well as the participation of non-state actors at different stages of the process.

FAO Member States, most of which are also Member States of WHO, have stressed the importance of non-state actors and I am now conveying this to you. We believe that this contributes to the debate, strengthens our decisions, and helps generate the political consensus needed to push the nutrition agenda forward, including for the implementation of the Framework for Action we wish to be adopted also in the same Conference.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me change to Spanish to emphasize this point in the last minute that I now have.

Dar la voz a los actores no gubernamentales no significa darles el mismo rol o protagonismo de los gobiernos. Los actores gubernamentales no votan, en ninguna parte del sistema de las Naciones Unidas, ni tampoco en el Comité de seguridad alimentaria, CFS por sus siglas en inglés, donde tienen asiento lado a lado de los miembros.

Lo que queremos es que esos actores no gubernamentales puedan expresar sus opiniones, dar su contribución a los documentos y apoyarnos en la implementación de sus resultados. Ya acordamos que ellos participen a través de las consultas, a través de la web.

En la FAO tanto el secretariado, como la gran mayoría de los países miembros creemos que debemos de invitarlos también a que tengan presencia en nuestras reuniones. Antes de las conferencias, en sus reuniones propias preparatorias, y después que puedan reportar de alguna manera en las sesiones de la Conferencia sus resultados.

Señoras y Señores,

Quiero terminar reafirmando que la Conferencia internacional sobre nutrición es una gran oportunidad para poner la nutrición en la agenda internacional y en la agenda de los gobiernos en el más alto nivel.

No vamos a perder esa oportunidad.

Muchas gracias.