XII. Annex F - Message from the Secretary - General of the United Nations
(Delivered by Mr. V. Winspeare Guicciardi, Director-General of the United Nations Office in Geneva)
The Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, which we celebrate today in Rome, complements the Silver Jubilee of the United Nations itself. The hope expressed in the Charter twenty-five years ago to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war was linked to the need to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom. I Freedom from fear was associated with freedom from want. It was also recognized that freedom from the greatest of all wants, freedom from hunger, could be achieved only through a concerted effort, international as well as national, on a scale never before attempted. In this great task, the effort to break the age-old cycle of poverty, disease and ignorance by improving agriculture and raising nutritional and living standards, the Food and Agriculture Organization was to be an integral part of the new world system.
The wisdom of our founders has been demonstrated by the experience of the past twenty-five years. Never has it been more obvious than It Is today that peace is essential to progress in the economic and social field, and that without such progress we cannot hope for lasting peace. This awareness of our common interest will continue to help us meet new challenges together, not least the vital need to narrow the gap between the rich and the poorer countries, which remains perhaps the most critical challenge of our time. The remarkable advances of modern science and technology will help us also to tackle the frightening prospects of a polluted environment in our over-populated globe, provided we have the same wisdom and vision and show the same determination as our founders.
The Food and Agriculture Organization already has remarkable achievements to its credit. We in the United Nations are proud of our close association with you and we are especially proud of our joint undertaking, the World Food Programme, which in the last year alone committed more than $300 million for projects in forty countries. Under this World Food Programme food aid has been used with success for economic and social development and massive assistance has been brought to scores of countries also at times of natural and other disasters. The FAO also deserves congratulations on its contribution to the "green revolution" and on the Indicative World Plan, which provide a very valuable basis for policy in the coming decade and beyond.
I wish above all to emphasize the importance of FAO's role in the Second Development Decade, a worldwide strategy for which has just been adopted by the General Assembly. If this strategy will depend for success primarily on the actions of individual governments, it will also depend on all the United Nations organizations. FAO has already contributed to the preparations for the Decade and will have a crucial role to play in its implementation. Plans for the Second Development Decade illustrate perfectly the need for ever closer integration of efforts and creative cooperation between members of the United Nations family. This should not be hard to achieve, given the experience and good will amassed during twenty-five years and exemplified in relations between the FAO and the United Nations system.
Before concluding I should like to pay tribute to you, Mr. Chairman, to whose constructive vision the United Nations system is indebted, and to my colleague Mr. Boerma, your Director-General, whose qualities and constant help I value very deeply.
I do hope that this anniversary will prove a landmark on the way toward peace, justice and social and economic progress and that it will inspire our two organizations to greater achievements, for without the success of our efforts there may be no future for mankind.