C 2001/INF/7


Thirty-first Session

Rome, 2 - 13 November 2001



1. The Eighteenth Session of the FAO Conference in November 1975 adopted Resolution 1/75 as a "vote of thanks" to former Director-General Addeke H. Boerma, and decided to institute a new permanent activity in FAO as a continuing tribute to Dr. Boerma for his services to the Organization, in various capacities, for nearly three decades. The Conference requested the Council to choose and initiate such an activity.

2. At its Seventy-first Session in June 1977, the Council welcomed the proposal of the Director-General that an A.H. Boerma Award be presented biennially to a journalist, or other persons, whose writing on development questions had helped to focus public attention at the international or regional levels on important aspects of the world food problem, particularly related to agricultural and rural development in developing countries, with the likely result of having increased public support of measures leading to its solution. The Council recommended that a prize of US$10 000 be awarded to one person, or shared between several winners. It further recommended that the Award need not necessarily be confined to the written word, but within constraints of a practical nature, could be extended to productions in all the information media, including particularly television and radio.

3. The Nineteenth Session of the Conference in 1977 adopted the following paragraph in its Report:

"The Conference noted the decision of the Council at its Seventy-first Session that the A.H. Boerma Award should consist of one biennial US$10 000 prize for one or more writers whose work was likely to have increased international public awareness of the world food problem and of measures leading to its solution. The recipient or recipients would be selected by the Director-General, bearing in mind the relevant recommendations made by the Council, and the presentation would take place during the Conference sessions".

4. The Award consists of:

  1. A scroll describing the recipient's achievements
  2. A cash prize of US$ 10 000
  3. An all-expenses-paid visit to Rome to receive the Award for the Award winner and spouse.

Selection of Award winners

5. The Award winner (or winners) is selected by the Director-General in consultation with the Independent Chairman of the Council and the Chairmen of the Programme and Finance Committees, after earlier review of all nominations carried out by the Information Division, and of selected entries by the A.H. Boerma Award Review Committee.

6. Regional Representatives are encouraged to make use of their Regional Information Officers in the search for and evaluation of potential nominees. FAO Representatives in member countries are asked to keep watch for potential entries of sufficient merit and, where appropriate, may obtain suggestions from the United Nations Information Centres in their respective countries of assignment. The Assistant Director-General, Department of General Affairs and Information, acting through the Chairman of the Joint United Nations Information Committee (JUNIC) may, as appropriate, seek suggestions from other organizations of the United Nations system..

7. The materials upon which nominations are based must have been published or publicly presented during the four-year period ending on 31 March of the Conference year in which the Award is presented.

8. The deadline for submission of nominations to FAO Headquarters is 30 April of the Conference year in which the Award is presented.

9. The Award is presented by the Director-General at a special ceremony held during the first week of each regular session of the Conference. The Award for the 2000-2001 biennium will be presented at the Thirty-first Session of the FAO Conference, at a ceremony to be held on Friday, 2 November 2001.

10. This year the Award is being granted jointly to Mr. Jim Clancy, Anchor and Reporter for CNN International (U.S.A.) for his contribution in increasing public awareness on the diverse problems facing the African continent, and to Mr. Palagummi Sainath, a freelance journalist (India) for his contribution in changing the nature of the development debate on food, hunger and rural development in the Indian media.

11. Mr. Clancy is an Anchor and Reporter for CNN International (U.S.A.). He is a field reporter who has served from Beirut, through Africa to Rome, covering some of the most memorable news stories of recent decades. Mr. Clancy's vast international knowledge and understanding of the problems faced by developing societies has served him well in his capacity as CNN International News Anchor. That field background has helped him expand CNN's coverage. His programme, "Inside Africa", is the only international television news programme focusing on the issues that confront that enormous and culturally varied continent. Over the years, he has covered just about every aspect of African life, showing people the depth of Africa's problems and the tenacity with which many struggle for a better life.

12. Mr. Sainath is a freelance journalist, photographer and writer. His great achievement is to look at food and agriculture not just as a matter of output but as a matter of livelihood linked to the very complicated socio-political structure. He was the first journalist in India to fight the idea that poverty was only due to poor food production or natural calamity, thus breaking existing stereotypes and restoring hope for development in the region. Through his work, Mr. Sainath has changed the nature of the development debate in the Indian media and has helped focus public attention on important aspects of the world food problem. In addition, the unique photo archive on rural people built up by him has sensitized students all over the country. Mr. Sainath is described as "one of the world's great experts on famine and hunger".

13. In a wider sense, the dedicated work of both of the A.H. Boerma winners has contributed greatly to enhancing public awareness and understanding of important aspects of the world food problem.