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World Food Day, 16 October 2016

Asia-Pacific Regional Observance of World Food Day

Thailand - 17/10/2016

This year's World Food Day observance in the Asia-Pacific region had the presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, who personally requested that the event go ahead despite it being only 3 days after the demise of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.   Since the Palace confirmed that we could proceed with the full programme, we were able to start the ceremony with the announcement of Her Royal Highness the Princess as the FAO Special Ambassador for Zero Hunger. After being presented with the official scroll, Her Royal Highness addressed the guests, “I would like to thank FAO’s Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, for inviting me to be an FAO Special Ambassador for Zero Hunger. Combating hunger and improving nutrition are important areas of work to ensure sustainable development of the region.” 

 

Despite the backdrop of a nation in mourning for the grave loss of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the Princess was clearly energized by the ceremony and the challenge of her new role. We will now work closely with the Palace and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in assessing how we can best capitalize on Her Royal Highness’s enthusiasm, perhaps by taking advantage of her state visits to countries in the region by adding visits to FAO projects and delivering FAO’s key messages in her speeches, during her visit. I also feel that it would be a further boost if Her Royal Highness could be invited to Rome to participate in a zero-hunger related event, perhaps some time in the next 6 months, so as not to lose momentum.   We would be pleased to pursue this with Mario/ODG with a view to finding a firm date that can be communicated to the Palace well in advance, given Her Royal Highness’s very tight schedule.

 

The WFD event attracted considerable interest from the local and foreign news media. This was partially because of the announcement of Her Royal Highness the Princess as the FAO Special Ambassador for Zero Hunger, and partly because it was the first public event she agreed to attend, that was not associated with mourning, following the passing of His Majesty the late King. It can be considered a major feather in FAO’s cap that this event went ahead and many of the Ambassadors who attended the WFD event spoke positively and highly of the strong relationship FAO has built with the Royal family in Thailand and for inviting the Princess to be the FAO Ambassador for Zero Hunger.

 

I am confident that Her Royal Highness the Princess will attach great importance to her role as FAO Special Ambassador for Zero Hunger and will be an excellent advocate for our work, in Thailand – she already instructed the Permanent Secretaries of the Ministries of Agriculture and the Interior to work closely with FAO, during the event yesterday, - across the region and beyond. I wish to thank you for making the appointment and for your support in allowing the announcement to be made here in Bangkok during WFD.  

 

Best, kk

 

 

Locally, the event appears on the front page of Bangkok’s main newspaper, The Bangkok Post. The Web articles in the local press in English are as follows:

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/1112953/hrh-goes-back-to-work-in-un-role (Thailand - Bangkok Post)

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/business/macroeconomics/30297846 (Thailand - The Nation)

 

 

The links below show how the event is being reported in Europe, Asia and the USA:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-3843244/Despite-grief-Thai-commuters--princess--head-work.html (UK - Daily Mail from AFP Wires)

http://www.leparisien.fr/flash-actualite-monde/a-bangkok-princesse-et-travailleurs-en-noir-reprennent-le-travail-17-10-2016-6218784.php (leParisien - en francais)

http://www.nzz.ch/wirtschaft/nach-dem-tod-von-koenig-bhumibol-unsicherheit-zeigt-sich-bei-waehrung-und-aktien-ld.122466 (Switzerland)

http://www.sinchew.com.my/node/1577942/%E8%A1%8C%E6%94%BF%E7%AE%A1%E7%90%86%E5%B7%A5%E4%BD%9C%E7%85%A7%E5%B8%B8%EF%BC%8E%E6%B3%B0%E5%A4%A7%E9%80%89%E6%8C%89%E8%AE%A1%E5%88%92%E4%B8%BE%E8%A1%8C (Malaysia – Chinese)

http://en.tempo.co/read/news/2016/10/17/074812856/FAO-Appoints-Thai-Royalty-as-Zero-Hunger-Special-Ambassador (Indonesia)

http://www.spotlightnepal.com/News/Article/Thai-Princess-agrees-to-represent-UN-FAO-Special (Nepal)

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/10/17/world/asia/ap-as-thailand-king-anger.html?_r=0 (Published across the USA)

 

There is also a very good AP global video feed:

http://www.gettyimages.ie/detail/video/thai-princess-maha-chakri-sirindhorn-whose-father-king-news-footage/615460202 (AP TV Global News Feed – NatSound)