27 May 2003, Rome/Berlin -- Johannes Rau, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, today received the Agricola Medal, struck in his honour by FAO for his longstanding commitment to support efforts to banish hunger from the world.

FAO Director-General Dr Jacques Diouf presented the medal to President Rau at a ceremony in Berlin.

FAO conferred the medal "as a token of its esteem and respect for President Rau's tireless efforts to promote a global alliance against hunger and poverty, thereby also strengthening the awareness that, in our world of today, we are more than ever dependent and reliant on each other," Dr Diouf said.

Germany supports emergency projects

Dr Diouf underlined that Germany had generously offered its experience and knowledge as well as its financial resources to support progress in agriculture and food security in developing countries.

Most recently, Germany had supported FAO emergency activities in Afghanistan and the development of international guidelines on the right to food.

In his keynote speech on World Food Day 2001 in Rome, President Rau drew attention to the need for global security, a fair system of world trade and technological progress, and called for the establishment of a global alliance against hunger and poverty, with a view to realizing the vision of a peaceful world free from hunger.
The 'International Alliance against Hunger' is the theme of World Food Day 2003 (16 October).

The Agricola Medal honours distinguished personalities for their commitment and support to the promotion of sustainable food production, world food security and international cooperation.

Prior to President Rau, several world leaders have received the award, including: President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar, President Jacques Chirac of France, King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, President Jiang Zemin of China and President Jerry Rawlings of Ghana.

Erwin Northoff
Information Officer, FAO
(+39) 06 570 53105