French President Jacques Chirac awarded the Agricola medal, FAO's highest distinction

President Jacques Chirac of France was awarded the Agricola medal, FAO's highest distinction, by the Organization's Director-General Jacques Diouf in Paris on Wednesday 11 March. The medal presentation, which took place at the French presidential palace, was a token of gratitude for the personal involvement of Chirac in food and agriculture issues. The French President was the first Head of State to lend his support to the World Food Summit initiative and, both as Minister for Agriculture and Prime Minister, showed constant commitment to agriculture. Following tradition, the engraving on the medal was chosen by Chirac himself. It reads: "Eradicating hunger, eradicating poverty".

Dr Diouf noted that "France is the largest food producing and exporting country in Europe and the first agro-industrial products exporting country in the world". The Director-General expressed his appreciation for France's strong commitment to FAO since its very beginning, when it contributed to the creation of the Organization in 1945.

Prior to Jacques Chirac, several Heads of State have been awarded the Agricola medal, including: King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, King of Thailand Bhumidol Adulyadej, Senagalese President Abdou Diouf, and President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro of Italy.

To order the Agricola medal honouring President Jacques Chirac, contact Francesco Sponzilli, FAO Money & Medals Programme, General Affairs and Information Department (GI).

21 April 1998

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