Rome, 29 November – 10 December 2003
PRESENTATION OF THE A.H. BOERMA
1. The Eighteenth Session of the FAO Conference in November 1975 adopted Resolution 1/75 as a "vote of thanks" to former Director-General Addeke H. Boerma, and decided to institute a new permanent activity in FAO as a continuing tribute to Dr. Boerma for his services to the Organization, in various capacities, for nearly three decades. The Conference requested the Council to choose and initiate such an activity.
2. At its Seventy-first Session in June 1977, the Council welcomed the proposal of the Director-General that an A.H. Boerma Award be presented biennially to a journalist, or other persons, whose writing on development questions had helped to focus public attention at the international or regional levels on important aspects of the world food problem, particularly related to agricultural and rural development in developing countries, with the likely result of having increased public support of measures leading to its solution. The Council recommended that a prize of US$10 000 be awarded to one person, or shared between several winners. It further recommended that the Award need not necessarily be confined to the written word, but within constraints of a practical nature, could be extended to productions in all the information media, including particularly television and radio.
3. The Nineteenth Session of the Conference in 1977 adopted the following paragraph in its Report:
"The Conference noted the decision of the Council at its Seventy-first Session that the A.H. Boerma Award should consist of one biennial US$10 000 prize for one or more writers whose work was likely to have increased international public awareness of the world food problem and of measures leading to its solution. The recipient or recipients would be selected by the Director-General, bearing in mind the relevant recommendations made by the Council, and the presentation would take place during the Conference sessions".
4. The Award consists of:
Selection of Award winners
5. The Award winner (or winners) is selected by the Director-General in consultation with the Independent Chairman of the Council and the Chairmen of the Programme and Finance Committees, after earlier review of all nominations carried out by the Information Division, and of selected entries by the A.H. Boerma Award Review Committee.
6. Regional Representatives are encouraged to make use of their Regional Information Officers in the search for and evaluation of potential nominees. FAO Representatives in member countries are asked to keep watch for potential entries of sufficient merit and, where appropriate, may obtain suggestions from the United Nations Information Centres in their respective countries of assignment. The Assistant Director-General, Department of General Affairs and Information, acting through the Chairperson (man) of the United Nations Communications Group, UNCG, formerly the Joint United Nations Information Committee (JUNIC) may, as appropriate, seek suggestions from other organizations of the United Nations system.
7. The materials upon which nominations are based must have been published or publicly presented during the four-year period ending on 31 March of the Conference year in which the Award is presented.
8. The deadline for submission of nominations to FAO Headquarters is 30 April of the Conference year in which the Award is presented.
9. The Award is presented by the Director-General at a special ceremony held during the first week of each regular session of the Conference. The Award for the 2002-2003 biennium will be presented at the Thirty-Second Session of the FAO Conference, at a ceremony to be held on Saturday, 29 November 2003.
10. This year the Award is being granted jointly to Mr. Marcelo Canellas, one of Brazil’s leading documentary film makers and journalists, for his work in documenting the problems of hunger and poverty in Brazil, and to Mr. David Brough, correspondent and commodity reporter for Reuters News Service, (UK) for his contribution towards raising global public awareness about food and development related issues.
11. Mr. Canellas is a journalist and documentary film-maker for Brazil’s largest television network, Rede Globo TV. Specializing in topics related to human and social rights, he has succeeded in bringing difficult issues to prime-time television with the result that his work has frequently provoked strong reactions from both the public and from decision-makers. In June 2001 a series of five documentaries were broadcast on the causes and effects of hunger in Brazil. The series was watched by an estimated 35 million people and has led to many positive results, among them the establishment of a ministerial commission to study the compulsory addition of iron into basic food products. In January 2003, Rede Globo TV entrusted Mr. Canellas with the production of a 30-minute documentary on hunger in Brazil and the initiatives that are being taken to tackle the problem. By using the technique of including a variety of human interest stories into his documentaries he has achieved wide audience appeal.
12. Mr. David Brough is a correspondent for Reuters News Service, UK. Since 1999, he has been working as a commodity reporter emphasizing the work of the Rome-based United Nations food agencies, and has significantly increased the coverage of their work. In so doing, he has facilitated public understanding of the important and distinct roles that these agencies play in the struggle to build a world without hunger and of the distinct problems faced by many developing countries in confronting the problems of food insecurity and poverty. This very commitment to the food story in developing countries, particularly by a news agency more traditionally focused on the developed world and its markets, is almost unique among the Rome-based foreign press corps.
13. The winners of the Boerma Award in 2002-2003 highlight the vital role that the press, and film-makers can play in raising public awareness and harnessing public opinion in support of issues related to national and world hunger.