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Director General  José Graziano da Silva

FAO, UN 70th Anniversary celebrated in New York

At South-South Awards, FAO Director-General welcomes progress against hunger but recalls immense challenges persist

FAO headquarters in Rome (Italy)

26 September 2015, New York –The United Nations and its Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) were founded in 1945 as part of the global effort to rebuild the world destruction caused by World War II. Their 70th anniversary was celebrated during the South-South Awards Ceremony, in the margins of the UN Sustainable Development Summit 2015.

“This event happens at a historic moment. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development defines the future we want. It begins with ending poverty and hunger. And experience shows we can do it. But a lot still needs to be done: 800 million people still suffer from hunger in a world that has plenty of food at the aggregate level,” said the FAO Director-General.

 The FAO Director-General also noted that while FAO’s mission of contributing towards “ensuring humanity’s freedom from hunger” was as relevant today as ever before, meeting the hunger challenge required a more comprehensive approach than simply increasing agricultural production.

“Seven decades ago, in a world devastated by war, increasing food production was the center of our effort. Today, we must ensure our food systems are sustainable, including by reducing food loss and waste, and that everyone has access to the food they need,” explained Graziano da Silva.

In a message to the ceremony, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we enter a new era of efforts to eradicate poverty, foster human well-being and protect our planet. This is a universal agenda for all people in all countries that pledges to leave no one behind”.

At the event which was also attended by the President of the General Assembly and national leaders, the South-South Awards recognized Ethiopia, Azerbaijan, Fiji and Ecuador as President Pro Tempore of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) for their progress towards food and nutrition security.