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Thousands visit the FAO exhibit at Geneva’s central station


FAO Geneva, in partnerships with the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Partage Foundation (Geneva Food Bank) hosted a World Food Day exhibition stand at Geneva’s central train station of Cornavin.

Dozens of Geneva VIPs took turns to visit the stand and serve the “Partage soup”, made with unsold donated vegetables. The exhibition brought the Zero Hunger message to some of the 115 000 people who travel through Geneva’s central station every day and highlighted FAO’s actions towards sustainable agriculture, nutrition and wood waste and loss, which are critical issues for Switzerland. At the end of the day, around 200 litres of soup were served.  

Throughout the day, public figures from Geneva including the Mayor of the city, prominent Swiss journalists and media figures, three ice-hockey players from the Geneva Servette Hockey Club, Jean Ziegler, the first UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, and many others politicians and artists visited the stand and helped to distribute the Partage soup.

Engaging with the public

FAO Geneva staff engaged with the Swiss public, raising awareness on the 2018 WFD theme “Our actions are our future. A Zero Hunger world by 2030 is possible”. WFD promotional materials and publications were distributed to the many visitors, including school children, who showed great interest in the issue and were keen to discuss with FAO staff.

Representatives of FAO Geneva together with FOAG, SDC and Partage participated to a joint media point to convey the WFD message, insisting on the need for the world to be united in facing the challenges of food insecurity and malnutrition and on achieving Zero Hunger by 2030. Various medias visited the stand and carried out interviews with FAO, FOAG, DDC, Partage, public figures and the public. The resulting media coverage included TV and radio reports, newspaper articles and website blogs among others.

SDG Studio Geneva

In addition, to mark this very special day for FAO, a video interview of Ms Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Director of the FAO Liaison Office in Geneva, on SDG 2 was released as part of the SDG Studio Geneva serie, a collaboration between the UN Information Service (UNIS) in Geneva, the Perception Change Project (PCP), and the recently-established SDG Lab at UNOG. The video had over 1000 viewers on social media just 24 hours after its release.

In the Palais des Nations, Geneva’s home to many of the United Nations Agencies, FAO organized a conference and interactive discussion with Member States, UN agencies and NGOs. The event was organized in partnership with WFP and the Representatives of Guyana, The Maldives, Trinidad and Tobago and Singapore. Participants exchanged on the great challenges faced by Small States to achieve the objective of Zero Hunger.

A celebration of food

Over 60 people participated in the event, many of which members of Permanent Missions, and debates were lively, with well-informed interventions from the attendees. Immediately following the discussion, all participants were invited to view the corporate World Food Day exhibit displayed outside the room while enjoying a light buffet lunch offered by the partnering Permanent Missions with specialty dishes from the four countries. The WFD exhibit will be displayed in the Palais des Nations throughout World Food Week.

The crowning moment of the WFD 2018 in Geneva was reached when shortly after dusk, the Geneva Jet d’Eau, the large trademark fountain in the middle of the lake, turned blue to mark the celebration of WFD 2018.

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