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Director General  José Graziano da Silva

Pope urges international community’s commitment on behalf of the poor

Pope Francis thanks FAO Director-General for well wishes sent upon his inauguration

29 April 2013, Rome, Italy - In a letter to FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, Pope Francis has urged the international community’s commitment to help the poorest.

“I encourage the determined and effective commitment of the international community to help the poorest,” the Pope wrote, saying that he would pray for the successful work of the United Nations and the FAO.

“I ask the Lord to give you clarity and to support you in the important task that you have assumed in the service of mankind and to provide positive and just solutions to the numerous serious forms of suffering that dramatically affect many people, and in particular children,” Pope Francis said in his message.

On behalf of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Graziano da Silva attended the inaugural Mass of Pope Francis on 19 March, during which the two met for the first time. On that occasion, Graziano da Silva noted: “The support of the Vatican and other religions is indispensable in our bid to eradicate hunger, build a sustainable future, and improve the lives of the most vulnerable among us. These efforts not only make political and economic sense, but morally they are also the right thing to do.”