Launching of the International Year

New York
18 October 2007

The International Year of the Potato was officially launched at United Nations headquarters in New York on 18 October 2007. The day's celebrations included the official launching ceremony, held in the ECOSOC Chamber, a special supporting event for IYP partners, and an exhibit on potato and IYP for the general public.

Official launch

The official launching ceremony was held in conjunction with observation of World Food Day 2007, with the theme "Right to food". It was attended by high-ranking United Nations officials, representatives of country missions to the UN, members of the IYP Informal International Steering Committee, representatives of the US "potato community", and 300 schoolchildren from the Washington DC area. Proceedings included:

  1. Statement by Srgjan Kerim, President of the United Nations General Assembly [PDF]
  2. Statement of the President of ECOSOC, delivered by Léo Mérorès, Vice-President [PDF]
  3. Statement by Ismael Benavides, Minister of Agriculture, Peru [PDF]
  4. Statement of Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, delivered by Rachel Mayanja, Assistant Secretary-General, Department of Economic and Social Affairs [PDF]
  5. Statement by James Godfrey, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Potato Centre [PDF]
  6. Address by Jacques Diouf, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization [PDF, 26K]

IYP special event

Following the official launch, a special event was held in the ECOSOC Chamber for IYP partners, including governments and major international organizations, public and private sector organizations, NGOs and civil society. The special event included:

  1. The IYP video, by FAO's Public Relations and Promotions Branch [Flash, 9.7MB]
  2. Presentation by Eric Kueneman, IYP Task Manager, FAO [PDF]
  3. Presentation by Mario Tapia, Representative of the National Potato Commission of Peru [PDF, 1MB]
  4. Remarks by Kevin Dowling, Counsellor, Mission of Ireland on behalf of the Missions of Ireland, Italy and Spain to the United Nations [PDF]
  5. Presentation by James Godfrey, Chairman of Board of Trustees, CIP [PDF, 1.5MB]
  6. Presentation by McCain Foods Limited, Canada [PDF, 1.5MB]
  7. Remarks by Larry Alsum, Chairman, U.S. Potato Board [PDF, 103K]
  8. Remarks by Janet Godfrey, Women's Food and Farming Union, UK, representing the British potato industry [PDF]
  9. Remarks by Romain Cools, European Union of the Potato Trade [PDF]

The IYP exhibit

The IYP exhibit, above,was held from 16 to 19 October. It included IYP information materials, potato plants provided by Cornell University, plastic replicas of tuber biodiversity from CIP, information on nutritional aspects of potato, and a video and photographs on potato from Peru.

Media coverage

International news media coverage of the IYP launch included: