:: WFD 2005 Overview
"Agricultural and intercultural Dialogue" at FAO Headquarters and around the world:
A Summary of Selected WFD Country Observances
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) celebrates World Food Day each year on 16 October, the day on which the Organization was founded in 1945 at Quebec City, Canada. This year commemorates the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the Organization and marks the 25th Anniversary observance of World Food Day.
The World Food Day and TeleFood theme for 2005, “Agriculture and intercultural dialogue”, recalls the contribution of different cultures to world agriculture and argues that sincere intercultural dialogue is a precondition for progress against hunger and environmental degradation.
Reports received from 127 countries indicate that a very large variety of events have been organized by each country with the involvement and mobilization of governments and all sectors of civil society who gave their contribution in the WFD activities. Also, the WFD web site this year, had received over one million hits (compared to 500,000 in 2003) with a daily average of 32,600 for the month of October 2005 only.
Several events on the WFD theme were held at FAO Headquarters. The major event was the World Food Day Ceremony in the Green Room, during which a first Extraordinary FAO Ambassador and two new FAO Goodwill Ambassadors were nominated. Other events included a Civil Society Forum on “Agricultures, our Common Heritage”, the FAO Staff Coop Events at Stadio delle Terme di Caracalla, a documentary screening of "Silent Killer: The Unfinished Campaign Against Hunger" by the U.S. Mission to FAO; a Brazilian Embassy Event on Fighting Hunger: the Brazilian Experience (Fome zero); the UN Women’s Guild of Rome Awards Ceremony for the annual World Food Day Poster Competition; a FAO Staff Coop Piano Concert featuring Maestro Jordan Petalver; India Community Alliance Against Hunger Workshop; and a Ghana Alliance Against Hunger Meeting.
WFD Ceremony at FAO Headquarters
This year’s 25th observance ceremony of World Food Day at FAO Headquarters was held in the Green Room and included a WFD address by FAO Director-General, Dr. Jacques Diouf, who opened the ceremony and a speech by Minister of Agricultural and Forestry Policies of the Italian Republic, His Excellency Giovanni Alemanno. The Permanent Observer of the Holy See, His Eminence Renato Volante read the Papal Message on WFD from His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.
A screening of a video feature on the World Food Day/TeleFood theme was held and the Director-General awarded the World Food Day Year 2005 medals to the first prize winners of the World Food Day poster competition organized by the United Nations Women’s Guild.
The Director-General introduced Paraguay's First Lady, Her Excellency Ms. María Gloria Penayo de Duarte, nominated first Extraordinary Ambassador of FAO for her active role in several agricultural and food security initiatives and the fight against hunger in Paraguay and two newly appointed FAO Goodwill Ambassadors: the world athletics champion, Ms. Beatrice Faumuina, from New Zealand and the Irish singer Mr. Ronan Keating.
The internationally-renowned Albanian violinist Anyla Kraya performed two masterpieces: “Meditation from Thais” by J. Massenet and “Kuiawiak” (mazourka) by H. Wieniawski. Pianist Fabiana Biasini accompanied the violinist. Paraguay harpist, Ismael Ledesma, performed three folkloristic pieces from his country. Mr. Ronan Keating performed "a capella" an Irish folk song.
FAO Staff Coop Event
The FAO Staff Coop organized several activities on Sunday, 16th October 2005 at Stadio delle Terme di Caracalla. This event was attended by about 2000 people. In the morning the FAO Staff Coop Athletics Club in collaboration with Gruppo Sportivo Bancari Romani organized sports/races for children (aged 5 – 13 years).The prizes were presented to the children winners by the newly appointed FAO Goodwill Ambassador, world athletics champion, from New Zealand, Ms. Beatrice Faumuina. Ethnic food, drinks and lunches, in particular Ethiopian/Eritrean, Caribbean, Sri Lankan, Indian, Chinese and Italian were available for lunch. In the afternoon there was an intercultural show. The participants came from Scotland, City of Rome Pipe Band (Scottish music), Sri Lanka, Pratiba Kala Institute (children dancers), Italy, FAO Coop Italian Dance Group, Philippines, Kayumanggi Dance Group, Africa, Wamde (music with drums, percussion, dancers and vocalist), Spain/Latin America: Ñ Chorus, Panama, Ballet Internacional Viva Panama, Gianluca Romanazzo and Rugabira Simbi (duet), Africa/Italy, and a Drums jam session with Wamde.
A Piano Concert was a separate event organized by FAO Staff Coop on 21st October in the Hall of Flags with Maestro Jourdan Petalver from the Philippines who played masterpieces from Bach, Beethoven, Debussy, Molina, Mussorgsky, among others.
Civil Society Forum on “Agricultures, our common heritage”
A Civil Society forum on “Agricultures, our common heritage” was held on Sunday, 16 October at 15:00 hrs in the Green Room after the World Food Day ceremony. The event was opened by Mr. Henri Carsalade, Assistant Director-General, Technical Cooperation Department. The Director-General of FAO, Dr. Jacques Diouf, participated and intervened in this event. Other speakers were Mr. Sergio Marelli, President of the Association of Italian NGOs, Ms. Carol Kalafatic, International NGO/CSO Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty (IPC) / Indigenous Peoples, Mr. Felice Mazza, responsabile dipartimento salute e sicurezza, Federazione Lavoratori Agro Industria, FLAI- CGIL, Mr. Paolo Rozera, Coordinator, Ad-Hoc Group of INGOs, Mr. Alvaro Mendez of the International Youth Forum, Ms. Maschia Volodina representing the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and Mr. Antonio Onorati, IPC international Focal Point. A short film on the food industry “Meatrix” was screened.
Brazilian Embassy Event on Fighting Hunger: the Brazilian Experience (Fome zero)
Mrs. Eva O. Clayton, Assistant Director-General and Special Adviser to the Director-General of FAO opened the event and Ambassador Flávio Perri, Permanent Representative of Brazil to FAO gave an introduction. The speakers were: Minister of Education of Brazil, Mr. Fernando Haddad, Minister of Agrarian Development of Brazil, Mr. Miguel Rossetto, Minister of Social Development and Fight against Hunger of Brazil, Mr. Patrus Ananias, and the Director of the FAO Field Operations Division, Mr. Andrew Macmillan. The event was preceded by a signing ceremony between FAO and Brazil cooperation on a multilateral agreement on school nutrition programmes with Haiti and Angola, Cape Verde and Mozambique.
India Community Alliance Against Hunger Workshop
An India Community Alliance Against Hunger Workshop was held on 24-25 October 2005. Welcoming remarks were made by Ms Eva Clayton, Assistant Director-General, Special Adviser to the FAO Director-General with the following speakers: Mr. Moses Chalai, IFAD Project Director of the North-eastern Region Committee, His Eminence Dominic Jala, Catholic Archbishop of Shillong , Mr William McCulloch, Presbyterian Church of Scotland, Mr Mark Lancaster, Coordinator, Hunger Project, Presbyterian Church of the USA, Mr Phrang Roy, IFAD Assistant President, Dr. Francisco Espejo, WFP School Feeding Program, Mrs Magdalena Kropiwnicka, Action Aid International, Mr Peter Bazeley, Chief Secretary, Government of Meghalaya, Mr. Pariat, Development Commissioner, Government of Meghalaya, Mr. Wahlang, IAS Agriculture Production Commissioner, Government of Meghalaya. Other FAO speakers included Mr Eckhard Hein, Mr Abdul Kobakiwal, Mr Brian Thompson, and Ms Eve Crowley, who also mentioned IPGRI’s mandate and activities.
Ghana Alliance Against Hunger Meeting
A Joint Meeting with International Alliance Against Hunger (IAAH) partners was realized on Friday 28 October 2005. The welcoming remarks were given by Ms Eva Clayton, Assistant Director-General/Special Adviser to the FAO Director-General. The speakers were Mrs Carla Benini, Representative of the US Mission to the UN agencies for Food and Agriculture, Dr Amoako Tuffuor and Mrs Beatrice Serwahbonsu from Ghana. Other FAO speakers were Mr Abdul Kobakiwal, Ms Valeria Menza. Mr Phrang Roy, Assistant President of IFAD also spoke.
WFD Exhibit at the United Nations
The FAO Liaison Office to the United Nations in New York (LONY) organized an Exhibit at the United Nations Headquarters from 10 to 21 October 2005, on the occasion of World Food Day. A short photo-Op was arranged at the Exhibit with special invitations to Canada as the country in which FAO was founded, to New Zealand as the country which currently holds the Presidency of the FAO Conference and to Morocco as the country which holds the Chair of the FAO Council. The Permanent Representatives from these countries participated in this event. As part of the Exhibit the special video produced for World Food Day was played continuously on a large screen and viewed by many. The message of the FAO Director-General was also screened. Many delegations, United Nations Staff, NGOs and others, visited the Exhibit over the period.
A Selection of World Food Day observances around the World
In addition to the celebrations in Rome at FAO Headquarters, some 143 countries around the world have observed World Food Day in some way by organizing a variety of activities. A brief summary below highlights selected countries from the various regions to provide a glimpse of the World Food Day commemoration at the country level.
In Western Europe, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, the Austrian Forum for Ecological and Social Matters and the Austrian Development Agency, co-organized the event “Power, Globalization, Hunger” and attended by the FAO Sub-Regional Representative from Budapest. An annual Seminar by Gorta (Irish Freedom From Hunger) was organized in Ireland in which a panel of top class speakers were involved, including a representative from FAO HQ. In Italy, Ministries, Universities, Research Agencies, International Agencies, NGOs organized many conferences as well as exhibitions, and symposia on the theme. The Italian Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Policies organized a meeting which focussed on women’s rights in rural areas. In Germany, the Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture organized and participated in a press conference. The Spanish television TVE broadcasted the traditional FAO Gala for TeleFood, which had a successful fund-raising component and had been transmitted, also, by International channel of RTVE to Latin America. The soccer star of Real Madrid, Raúl González, Goodwill Ambassador of FAO, participated in this event. The UK Food Group organized a Conference on Food in London, and BBC broadcast a programme for World Food Day.
In the following newly emerging economies of Eastern Europe, i.e., Albania, Armenia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, and Slovak Republic, a variety of activities were organized. For example in Armenia, staff from the Ministry of Agriculture, non-governmental organizations, Armenian State Agriculture University, the donor community, international organizations, and the mass media participated in the World Food Day ceremony. In Hungary, during the World Food Day celebration, Hungarian experts gave presentations in the Hungarian Agricultural Museum and FAO WFD medals were awarded to well known Hungarian experts by the FAO Sub-Regional Representative.
In Africa, Angola celebrated WFD, for example, through the 4th Forum on Rural Women organized by the Ministry of Family and Women. During the field visits for World Food Day, the second Vice-President of Burundi planted potatoes to provide a symbolic example about food production. The Science Agronomic Institute arranged 150.000 planting material while the Ministry for the Territory Management and Environment provided 600.000 plant cuttings. In Central African Republic, the President of the Republic inaugurated a bridge at Boda to make the agricultural production area to become more accessible. In Chad, more than 2.500 visitors were registered during their participation in debates, conferences and several activities such as theatre, films, folkloric dance, visits to project sites and visits by agricultural companies. The Prime Minister and Head of Government of Chad, on behalf of the Head of State launched WFD/TeleFood 2005 in the presence of the Minister of Agriculture by visiting the stands in the Agricultural Fair in Kelo. Four women’s groups were awarded as good producers on the occasion. In Ghana, Ministry of Food and Agriculture organised a discussion on “Agriculture and Intercultural Dialogue – Our Common Heritage: the Ghanian Experience” at the MOFA Information Resource Centre. The College of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences of the University of Ghana hosted a debate between students from the University of Ghana, Legon, Accra and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi. Uganda participated in the World Food Day Teleconference. In Namibia, the main focus on the World Food Day was the awareness campaign which was done through the National Television (NBC) as well as the National Radio which broadcasted and conducted interviews in 7 local languages. The President of the Republic of Namibia delivered a statement on the occasion. In Madagascar, the National celebration was held at Fenerive Est in Analanjirofo region. Also, the official ceremony was organized with the patronage of the President of the Republic and the sponsorship of the Primer Minister. In the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between FAO and AMARC (World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters) , about 20 radio programmes were jointly prepared and broadcast on the occasion of WFD celebration in different African countries.
The Government of Bangladesh organized a National Seminar and a three day food festival. The World Food Day was supported by the media and by producing and distributing information materials: 1500 t-shirts, 20000 posters, 1000 brochures, 10000 folders for publicity, 10000 copies of booklets and 10000 stickers for TeleFood. In China, the celebrations were organized in Qujing City, where numerous ethnical minorities live, by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Government of Qujing City with the participation of a number of senior officials of the Government that delivered statements. Qujing City was selected as the venue site of the celebration to highlight the importance of intercultural dialogue in terms of agriculture development. Many people participated in this event which was covered by national and local media. In the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the FAO National Committee and Academic Institutions organized seminars and visits to the following FAO Project sites: Hongwon Marine Polyculture Hatchery, which was also visited by senior officials of the DPR Cabinet and Ministry and Province as well as to the Ryongchon Farm. In Fiji, 1500 posters and 1000 certificates were printed and distributed to all centers organizing World Food Day programmes. In Micronesia, the “Kaselehlie Press” reported that over 1000 participants took part in the Pohnpei World Food Day Agricultural Show at the Botanical Garden. The Ministry of Agriculture of Indonesia organized a major Food Expo in Bandung, West Java which showcased two booths on FAO and the SPFS while a Farmers and Fishermen’s Workshop of NGOs was held in Bali.
A whole range of diverse World Food Day activities were organized by Government, Ministries, civil society, Institutes, Universities and Organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean. An International Symposium of Food Security and Nutrition was organized in Colombia with the participation of professionals who, for three days, discussed the progress to date and experiences in food security and nutrition. In Chile, exhibitions of indigenous food products prepared by local communities, gastronomic and cultural demonstrations, distribution of food recipes were organized. A gastronomic book containing 57 indigenous recipes was produced. In Argentina, senior officials of the Government, academics, international organizations and the press participated in the main ceremony. In Mexico among the many activities was also realized a National Campaign for a “Mexico without hunger” with the involvement and support of civil society and students. In Ecuador, the Forum on Rural Women Day and the Telemaratón were organized. In Saint Lucia, a large variety of activities for World Food Day were realized in schools with a very active participation of the students, such as a food preparation competition for secondary schools and a technology and crafts contest for primary schools. In Cuba, an agricultural fair was organized in Metropolitano Park where producers engaged in dialogue and exchanged their experiences on seeds and plants. The media strongly supported the awareness campaigns on World Food Day and its theme in the various Latin American countries. For example, in Chile, radio programmes have been produced for a network of 200 radio stations in connection with the Ministry of Agriculture. In Venezuela, national coverage of World Food Day and the participation in the Videoconference were realized. The Ministry of Education planned to extend the information outreach for the duration of the year. In Cuba, radio, TV and the written press covered extensively various WFD activities for a two week period starting from a concert organized by FAO Goodwill Ambassador Miriam Makeba in early October.
In the Near East, the World Food Day celebrations had participants from a wide range of government and civil society organizations. In Afghanistan, some 300 people from different Ministries, embassies, UN agencies, International Financial Organizations, National and International NGOs and FAO staff attended the ceremony. In Turkey, a two-day Symposium was participated by some 450 people from officials of several ministries, academic institutions, civil society and the media. In Egypt, a Forum on Nutrition issues, was organized by the Faculty of Home Economics, University of Helwan which was attended by many professionals and University students. In Morocco, there was a seminar on the World Food Day 2005 theme and this was held at the Ministry of Culture in Rabat. In Tunisia, during the celebration there was a WFD exhibition at the International Book Fair. All secondary and high schools in the country took part in the drawing competition on this year’s World Food Day theme. Journalists, NGOs, senior officials of the Ministry of Education and Formation and UNICEF officers attended the event for the drawing prize winners. In Cyprus, a special message was delivered by the Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment during the World Food Day observance and special ceremonies were organized in primary and secondary schools where teachers explained the significance of World Food Day. With regard to media coverage, the press, TV and radio have been widely involved: in Afghanistan several programmes were produced by national and international media such as Radio Liberty (Azadi), Radio Good Morning Afghanistan, BBC, Inter news, Voice of America, National TV, Ariana Television Network (ATN), Tolo TV. In Egypt, the World Food Day had a very large coverage by national and international radio and television channels and by the press, such as Nile News Channel, BBC Arabic Service, Nile TV International, The Middle East Radio Station, the Youth and Sports Radio Station which included an interview with the Assistant Director-General, FAO in Al-Ahram Newspaper, special coverage in the Agricultural Magazine, and a special feature in the Egyptian Gazette.
From Washington DC, USA, the 22nd Annual World Food Day Teleconference was broadcast on 14 October 2005 with Dr. Frances Moore Lappé as the main speaker. The theme was “Reflections on Fighting Hunger: Roads Not Taken; Goals Not Met; The Journey Ahead”. Also, the annual World Food Day Symposium in Washington, DC was sponsored by the Howard University Law School. “Talk to America” Radio Programme on World Food Day realized a talk show for 50 minutes. An international event “The Consequence of Hunger” was sponsored by Action Against Hunger, which focused on increasing public awareness of hunger. In Canada, The Toronto Food Policy Council, in partnership with Toronto Public Health, the Food Justice Coalition and the Food and Hunger Action Committee invited students and teachers to actively participate in 10 displays featuring agriculture and culture within the City of Toronto, from community gardens and backyard gardens to tasting and experiencing the diversity of foods eaten within the many cultures of city and to meet with local farmers.
Over the last two years, the promotion of the International Alliance Against Hunger has been encouraged on the occasion of the World Food Day. The activities below provide an overview of what has been done this year:
The President of Switzerland pronounced a speech on WFD where he mentioned the constitution of a Swiss Alliance against Hunger with NGOs/CSOs with the secretariat to be provided by the Swiss FAO Committee. In France, the creation of the National Alliance Against Hunger has constituted an important new element for the preparations of World Food Day celebration. The French NAAH ( Alliés contre la faim) organized a general meeting with its partners to co-ordinate their actions.
The Members of the National Alliance Against Hunger (NAAH) in Honduras organized the World Food Day celebrations with FAO and all institutions allied with FAO and NAAH. The First Lady of Nicaragua, as President honoris causa of NAAH, and the President of the Republic participated in the activities. In Nicaragua, the main event was organized with the launching of the Alliance Against Hunger with the participation of the President of the Republic and the First Lady. The National Alliance Against Hunger is being actively prepared in Angola and to be launched in 2006 was mentioned during this year’s World Food Day. Groups of NGOs, Civil Society and Government line Ministries had officially lunched the Sierra Leone Alliance Against Hunger (SLSSH) in Freetown during the opening ceremony of the World Food Day at the Atlantic Hall, National Stadium Hostel in Freetown. The SLAAH organized a march of farmers with a food display of products. In Burkina Faso, the technical coordination of WFD/TeleFood 2005 National Committee was in the hands of the National Alliance Against Hunger with the support to Ministers: Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Arts. The NAAH organized the celebration at Park Bãngr-Weoogo in Ouagadougou in the province of Kadiogo. In Republic of Congo, a Club of Alliance Against Hunger was created. In Gambia, the Alliance Against Hunger participated in the World Food Day celebrations and in Cameroon the responsible of the NAAH attended the WFD ceremony. In Cambodia, 700 people participated in a TeleFood “March for Alliance Against Hunger” on 17 October.
Other examples and more information on World Food Day country activities are provided through the WFD News and Events Management System.