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Director-General  José Graziano da Silva

José Graziano da Silva awarded “Honoris Causa” degree from a top Latin American university

University of Chile recognizes FAO Director-General’s work in the fight against hunger, eradication of rural poverty and transformation of agricultural systems

Ennio Vivaldi, Rector of the University of Chile, awarding Graziano da Silva the honoris causa title.

8 January 2019, Santiago, Chile – FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva was awarded today with an honorary doctorate degree by the University of Chile for his achievements and distinct commitment in food security, rural development and agriculture issues.

"It is a great honor for me to receive this recognition from one of our continent’s most prestigious universities, recognized for its academic excellence and research quality," said Graziano da Silva.

"This award recognizes the importance of rural development and the fight against hunger and all forms of malnutrition. However, we must continue working harder because there are still 821 million people in the World suffering from hunger," FAO Director General stressed.

“We warmly welcome the role Graziano da Silva has fulfilled as FAO Director-General, his example conducting public policies and the enormous impact he made including the contribution of universities in the organization," said Ennio Vivaldi, Rector of the University of Chile, while awarding the honoris causa title.

"The impacts of climate change, especially prolonged droughts, constitute a key force behind the increase in malnutrition and other global phenomena such as forced migration," Graziano da Silva said in a keynote address on food sysgtem challenges in the 21st century and the the key factors driving recent increase in the number of the world’s hungry. 

“Climatic effects are also making food less healthy and less nutritious, affecting the most vulnerable people, such as family farmers, fishermen and forest-dependent communities. Today, two billion people are affected by natural disasters," FAO’s Director-General said.

Graziano da Silva stressed that achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires partnerships and alliances with governments, local communities, civil society organizations, the private sector and the academic world.

"Universities play a fundamental role in these alliances and pacts. We need your knowledge, your discernment, your intellectual authority, your ability to identify problems and ways to overcome them. It is also essential to connect academic work to the real world," he added.