Rome-based food agencies celebrate World Food Day

Day also marks 60th anniversary of FAO in Italy

17 October 2011, Rome - The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Program (WFP) are celebrating World Food Day 2011 today with a series of speeches by visiting guests and performances by celebrity goodwill ambassadors.

FAO will also name British film star Jeremy Irons as its newest celebrity goodwill ambassador.

The theme for World Food Day 2011 is Food prices - from crisis to stability.

Ceremony highlights

A number of high-level dignitaries will make statements during this year's ceremony, which also marks the 60th anniversary of the transfer of FAO to Rome. They include:

  • Michelle Bachelet, former President of the Republic of Chile and current UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN Women
  • Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, Minister of State for Agriculture, Equatorial Guinea 
  • Franco Frattini, Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs
  • Francesco Saverio Romano, Italian Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies
  • Gianni Alemanno, Mayor of Rome
  • Archbishop Luigi Travaglino, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to FAO will read a message from Pope Benedict XVI.

The heads of the three Rome-based UN food agencies will also speak:

  • Jacques Diouf, Director-General, FAO
  • Kanayo F. Nwanze, President, IFAD
  • Josette Sheeran, Executive Director, WFP

U.S. jazz artist Dee Dee Bridgewater, Italian singer and actor Massimo Ranieri, Senegalese griot musician Badara Seck, and Brazilian classical guitarist Marcus Vinicius will perform during the ceremonies.
Watch the World Food Day ceremonies live at:

World Food Day on Twitter
: #worldfoodday and #wfd2011

Additional events

Additional WFD 2011-related events include the 6th edition of the Run for Food on 16 October at the Terme de Caracalla Stadium. A round table "Roma Incontra" will take place at the Ara Pacis on 17 October at 17:00h with the heads of FAO, IFAD and WFP, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini and Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno, with a focus on food security and the Horn of Africa.

Photo: ©FAO/Giulio Napolitano
View of the 2011 World Food Day Ceremony in FAO's Plenary Hall.