26 May 2003,
Rome -- Development cooperation between rich and poor
cities can, and must be, a central element in the fight against
This was the key message delivered
by the Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO), Jacques Diouf at the second
Glocalization Conference in Rome.
"Being closer to citizens' needs and
concerns, local authorities are able to blend institutional
authority with people's solidarity and can be an effective
vehicle for international cooperation," Diouf said.
"Local authorities that wish to
join in the global quest for food security for all will find in
FAO a committed partner," he added.
Diouf took part in the Conference to present an
example of triangular partnership between the City of Rome, the
City of Kigali, Rwanda, and FAO:The Rome-Kigali
The Government of Italy and
FAO have recently signed an agreement for decentralized
cooperation aimed at improving the lives of rural communities in
a number of developing countries.
FAO-City of Rome Municipality team travelled to Kigali last
February to identify areas for improving food security and local
The mission revealed
possibilities for participation of Rome's private sector
in efforts to improve existing waste and sanitation facilities
in the Rwandan capital, and the City of Rome is likely to work
together with the City of Kigali to establish an improved
general food market.
The Glocal Forum is
helping to establish a capacity-building project among local
agricultural NGOs and the Kigali Municipality.
A similar programme has been launched between the
cities of Montreuil in France and Yelimané in Mali and FAO, with
Viet Nam providing low-cost experts under the FAO South-South
partnership builds partly on commitments from different
stakeholders made at the World Food Summit: five years later,
held in June 2002, to work together towards an International
Alliance Against Hunger," Diouf said.
The FAO Director-General reminded the participants
that the World Food Summits 1996 and 2002 had recognized that,
while the responsibility for national food security lies with
the national governments, the battle against hunger and poverty
can only be won in partnership with civil society, NGOs and the
private sector, as well as with decentralized structures.
Thinking Globally, Acting
One year ago, the Glocal
Forum - a non-profit organization set up by a widely-read
newspaper with free distribution - organized the First
Conference on Glocalization, in cooperation
with the Mayor of Rome.
The objective of
the conference was "to balance the global with the
local by strengthening an infrastructure of inter-city relations
that harnesses the global opportunities for local economic,
social and cultural interests. "Mayors and senior
political and business personalities from 20 cities around the
world signed the Rome Declaration of Glocalization.
The Second Annual Glocalization Conference was opened
on the 23 May by World Bank President Mr. James Wolfensohn. More
than 40 mayors from cities all over the world were present over
the weekend at the Campidoglio, the Rome City Hall.
Glocalization policy recommendations will be submitted
to President Jacques Chirac of France, chairman of the
forthcoming G8 Summit in Evian, France in June 2003, to
introduce the role of cities in the agenda.
FAO Information Officer,