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Director General  José Graziano da Silva

Graziano da Silva awarded “Honoris Causa” degree by University of Liège

FAO Director General stresses peace and food security links

14 June 2016, Rome - Hunger and conflict are inextricably linked, with levels of food insecurity starting to rise even before outbreaks armed violent and and continuing to intensify until some form of truce is reached, FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva said today, warning that in conflict situations food security only starts to improve some time after the post-conflict period begins.  

“Peace is impossible without food security, and there will be no food security without peace,” Graziano da Silva stressed in remarks at the Belgian University of Liège, where he was awarded a “Honoris Causa” degree for his achievements and commitment in the fight against hunger. 

Da Silva highlighted FAO’s long-lasting relationship with University of Liège and the value of scientific research and education as essential elements for progress. “It is truly a great honour for me to be graced with the title of Doctor Honoris Causa by this prestigious and become part of this academic family,” he said.

He also explained FAO’s partnerships strategy to strengthen the engagement of the Organization with the academic sector: “We need the knowledge, insights and intellectual authority that universities can produce,” he added.

Quoting former Belgian Prime Minister Paul-Henri Spaak, who was elected first president of the UN General-Assembly in 1945, Graziano da Silva said sustaining peace and security can only be achieved through “world unity”, a vision of multilateralism and international cooperation.

The Director-General remarked how the strong relationship between peace and food security has guided FAO since the Organization was found 70 years ago as the world emerged from the devastation of the Second World War.

“At that time, our founders envisaged that FAO should play a vital role in the quest for peace,” Graziano da Silva said, noting that “the need for peace and the need for freedom for want are interdependent.”

The Director-General highlighted that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls for partnerships and recognizes that there is no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development.

“This is why eradicating extreme poverty and hunger have been chosen as the two first Global Goals. It is a unanimous recognition that only by getting rid of these two scourges, the international community will be able to achieve a sustainable and more peaceful world,” he added.