C 2005/INF/7


Thirty-third Session

Rome, 19 – 26 November 2005


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:

  1. A scroll describing the recipient's achievements
  2. An engraved FAO medal
  3. A cash prize of US$ 10 000
  4. An all-expenses-paid visit to Rome to receive the Award for the Award winner and spouse.

Selection of Award winners

5. The Award winner (or winners) is selected by the Director-General in consultation with the Independent Chair of the Council and the Chairpersons 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 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 2004 -2005 biennium will be presented at the Thirty-third Session of the FAO Conference, at a ceremony to be held on
19 November 2005.

10. This year the Award is granted jointly to Mr. Giampaolo Cadalanu, foreign reporter for the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica, for his work in documenting the problems of hunger and poverty in the world, and to two reporters of the mainsteam American daily newspaper Wall Street Journal, Mr. Roger Thurow and Mr. Scott Kilman, for their contribution towards raising public awareness regarding food and development-related issues.

11. Mr. Giampaolo Cadalanu is a journalist and field reporter for the one of the largest selling daily newspapers in Italy. La Repubblica is an authoritative source of information in this country and is very influential among policy makers. A native of Nuoro, in Sardinia, Giampaolo Cadalanu studied law and political science before deciding to dedicate himself to giving a voice to the silent and forgotten people of the earth. For the past 10 years, he has reported regularly on development issues, as can be seen from his impressive portfolio of articles written from all over the world. His interest in development issues has taken him to several African countries as well as to Afghanistan, Iraq and Croatia. On many occasions he has drawn attention to issues that do not usually find space in major daily newspapers, including the right to food. His accurate, well documentated in-depth articles, his good faith and intellectual honesty, as well as his sensitivity towards developing issues, underline his standing as one of the country’s leading journalists. His reporting on a range of complex topics has played an important part in making FAO’s scope and activities a great deal better known in Italy.

12. Mr. Roger Thurow and Mr. Scott Kilman are correspondents of one of the premier business newspapers in the world, and as such their reports are regularly clipped and read by decision-makers in government and major corporations. They are two of the most active and influential correspondents covering agricultural trade and food issues in both developed and developing countries. Through their reports, readers gain information and insights into issues related to agriculture, agricultural economics, food security, hunger and poverty. It is rare for writers to succeed in achieving a balance between positive human interest stories and factual commodity/economics-based reports. Mr. Thurow and Kilman achieve such a balance and prove that writing about development and agricultural issues need not be dull and negative, but can be positive, entertaining and, most importantly, thought-provoking. The perspectives they bring to their journalism are original and well researched. They make an important contribution to development-related reporting in the North and the South and have raised the level of media coverage of issues of concern to FAO and other humanitarian agencies dealing with sustainable development and hunger.

13. The joint winners of the A.H. Boerma Award 2004-2005 highlight the vital role that the media can play in raising public awareness and harnessing public opinion in support of issues related to world hunger. In granting the Award to these outspoken journalists we hope to encourage others in their profession to appreciate the value of increased reporting on agricultural, food and development issues.