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Director-General  José Graziano da Silva

FAO DG and UN Secretary General meet; sustaining peace is a cornerstone for zero hunger

Graziano da Silva welcomes UN chief Antonio Guterres to FAO and hails his commitment to zero hunger and focus on conflict prevention and climate change

15 March 2018, Rome – FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva today thanked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for his commitment to the goal of eradicating hunger and focus on the challenges caused by civil conflict and climate change.

In a bilateral meeting during the Secretary General’s first visit to FAO Headquarters since he took office in January 2017, Graziano da Silva informed Guterres that conflict and insecurity continue to be the primary drivers of food insecurity in 18 countries, where almost 74 million food-insecure people remain in need of urgent assistance.  Half of these people were in Africa and more than a third in the Middle East.

FAO will launch a major Global Food Crisis Report next week in Rome, and the UN Secretary General will address the event through a video message.

In Rome Graziano da Silva shared with Guterres the newest FAO’s corporate framework that set the priorities of the Organization to support sustainable peace in the context of Agenda 2030.

With this document, FAO is the first UN agency to launch a peace framework which is aligned with the Secretary-General’s latest report on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace report, published in January this year.  

Following the April 2016 Security Council and General Assembly resolutions on peacebuilding, the concept “sustaining peace” encompasses activities aimed at preventing the outbreak, escalation, continuation and recurrence of conflict, including addressing root causes and moving towards recovery, reconstruction and development.

World Food Day and UN Reform

Also during the meeting, FAO Director-General updated Guterres on the upcoming World Food Day (16 October) which will focus on SDG-2 and Zero Hunger. FAO will host its annual ceremony for which the King of Lesotho and the Queen of Spain are confirmed participants.

Graziano da Silva also conveyed FAO’s full support to the UN Development System reform promoted by the Secretary-General, who was very committed to supporting the uniqueness of the specialized agencies and the independence of their governing bodies.

Their bilateral meeting took place on the sidelines of a donors’ conference organized by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to cover an estimated $446 million budget shortfall to enable it to keep working to aid Palestine refugees. The conference drew pledges from countries around the world of additional funds of some $100 million to support continuity of the core education, healthcare and food security services the agency delivers.