Following the announcement that the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the United Nations (UN) World Food Programme (WFP) on account of its efforts to combat hunger and improve conditions for peace, SI UN Representative, Liliana Mosca, blogs about the theme for this year’s World Food Day: ‘Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together. Our Actions are Our Future’.
“World Food Day and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) 75th anniversary will be celebrated on Friday 16 October. Every year, over 150 countries around the world organise initiatives to celebrate World Food Day and this year’s World Food Day is an absolutely exceptional event. Indeed, it falls at a time when people are still struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has disclosed the fragility of the agri-food systems, which threatens to expose millions of people around the world to hunger with consequences for health and nutrition. The pandemic, however, can serve as a turning point to reorganise agri-food systems, making them more inclusive, sustainable and resilient.
This year, World Food Day also coincides with the 75th anniversary of the creation of the FAO, which was founded on October 16, 1945, a few days before the birth of the United Nations itself, with the aim of promoting agricultural knowledge and improving nutritional well-being. ‘Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together. Our Actions are Our Future’. This year’s theme is ‘Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together. Our Actions are Our Future’; the initiative is an opportunity to reflect on food systems and the aspects connected to them, such as hunger, malnutrition, food security, environmental degradation, the loss of aerobiological diversity, the distribution and waste of food and the inefficiencies of the food supply chains.
World Food Day 2020 calls for the creation of more resilient action and the spread of a spirit of global solidarity. The day will be an opportunity to thank the heroes of food, that is the farmers and workers active throughout the food chain, who despite the circumstances, guarantee the supply of food to their communities and to the whole world.
An exceptional event, which is open for virtual attendance, is scheduled for 16 October 2020: a ceremony with live speeches from FAO Director-General QU Dongyu; Special Goodwill Ambassadors for Nutrition, including His Majesty King Letsie III of Lesotho and Her Majesty Queen Letizia of Spain and video messages from His Excellency Sergio Mattarella, President of the Republic of Italy, UN Secretary-General António Guterres and His Holiness Pope Francis. The ceremony will close with speeches from the president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Gilbert F. Houngbo and David Beasley, the executive director of the World Food Program (WFP), that has won the 2020 Nobel peace prize for its “efforts for combating hunger” and its “contribution to creating peace in conflicted-affected areas”. The agency acted “as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict”. At the end of the ceremony, a lecture will be hosted by Professor Joachim von Braun from Germany on the “Role of Policy, Innovation, Bio-economy and SDGs in Agri-Food System Transformation” which will be followed by an interactive Q&A session. Click HEREto find out how to register and virtually attend the FAO World Food Day Ceremony.“