FAO Director-General urges time frame for hunger, poverty eradication

"Bolder goal" needed for post-2015 period

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva

©Photo: ©FAO/Alessandra Benedetti

14 February 2013, Rome -  FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva today urged the international community to adopt a specific time frame for the eradication of hunger and extreme poverty.

He told a special joint meeting of the UN Economic and Social Council and the Economic and Financial Committee of the General Assembly  in New York:

"We are approaching 2015, the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals.

"Reaching MDG 1 (halving extreme poverty and hunger) is possible. Let's make a final push and let's use this momentum to set a bolder goal moving into the post-2015 period," he said in a videolink address.

"Let us collectively embrace the Zero Hunger Challenge and fix an established time frame to end hunger and extreme poverty."

Ban Ki-moon's challenge

The Zero Hunger challenge launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in June  2012 calls for the eradication of hunger "within our lifetimes".  Graziano da Silva today proposed adding  a more specific objective in time.

"Setting a hunger eradication goal reflects the urgency we need and that needs to be present in post-2015," he declared.

A global, multi-stakeholder consultation  held in Rome on Monday on the world development agenda on hunger beyond 2015 agreed that food security and nutrition should be the central element in future development efforts.

FAO Council

FAO's governing Council agreed last December to make the eradication, rather than the reduction,  of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition its number one objective.

Today's New York meeting, on Food Security and Nutrition: Scaling up the Global Response, was held in collaboration with FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

Christopher Matthews Media Relations (Rome) (+39) 06 570 53762 [email protected]