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World Food Day, 16 October

World Food Day at Expo Milano 2015

For the first time in the history of World Food Day celebrations, the official World Food Day ceremony was celebrated outside FAO headquarters at Expo Milan.  The ceremony marked the 70th Anniversary of the founding of FAO and proved to be one of the biggest events at the Milan World Exposition.

World Food Day 2015 took place in an historic moment for food security. It was one of the first international events to follow the launch of  the UN Sustainable Development Agenda and therefore a great opportunity to send a strong message to the world: how we, the Zero Hunger Generation, are the first generation ever to have the potential to end hunger in the next 15 years.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s participation in the official celebration along with the President of the Republic of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, were testament to the importance of the event.  They joined the Director-General of FAO and other speakers including the Italian Ministers for Agriculture and Foreign Affairs, the Heads of IFAD and WFP and the Permanent observer of the Holy See to FAO, Monsignor Fernando Chica Arellano, who read the traditional World Food Day message from Pope Francis.

The ceremony was attended by over 1,300 people including members of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), other high-level delegates and over 300 journalists. Distinguished guests included the Queen of Spain, the President of Slovenia, the First Lady of Cape Verde, the Vice President of Guyana and some 18 Ministers.

Widespread media coverage of the event drew attention to the crucial role that young people will play in ending world hunger and highlighted how the success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will ultimately depend on all people and not just governments.

The entire ceremony was broadcast live by RAI both on the RAI Expo channel and on the news channel RAI News 24. RAI news TG1 also produced a live broadcast of the ceremony including interviews with FAO senior staff.

Live TV show on the Zero Hunger Generation

The UN Secretary-General and FAO Director-General were the special guests for a live TV show on the “Zero Hunger Generation”, La Vita In Diretta recorded in the Rai studio at Expo Milano. By answering a series of questions from a student studio audience, the UN Secretary-General and FAO Director-General underlined the crucial role that young people will play in achieving the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).