On Saturday, 7 February, senior representatives and specialists from the UN agencies involved in Expo Milano 2015 took part in the event “Expo delle Idee”, a series of roundtables hosted by Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and the Minister of Agriculture Maurizio Martina. The aim of the event was to discuss important issues that will be addressed in the first draft of the Carta di Milano or Milan Charter.
Set to become an important part of Expo Milano’s legacy, the Milan Charter will include a number of commitments for countries, organizations, the private sector, citizens and all levels of society based on issues including the right to food, food waste, women’s empowerment and sustainable agriculture and food systems.
“ Expo delle Idee” was one of the first steps of a process that will lead to the official presentation of the signed Carta di Milano to the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, on World Food Day at Expo Milano 2015.
The event also included two plenary sessions with a keynote speech from the Director-General of FAO, José Graziano da Silva. In his address, da Silva underlined that Expo Milano 2015 is a global event and therefore has to deal with universal issues related to food and nutrition. He suggested that the upcoming Expo should focus on three priorities: the right to food for all, reduction of food waste and sustainable food systems. Da Silva closed his remarks urging for a real change by approaching sustainability as a process rather than as a single target.
Among others, Pope Francis contributed to the event with a video message urging business leaders to prioritize human dignity, by tackling the structural causes of inequality, being witnesses of charity and by acting as custodians and not masters of our planet.
His Holiness recalled his visit to the FAO on the occasion of the 2nd International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) and that he stated that while production, availability and access to food, climate change and agricultural trade are crucial issues, the first priority should be the dignity of those persons who lack food and fight on a daily basis for their survival.