UN Chief Ban Ki-moon celebrates World Food Day at Expo Milano

October 19, 2015

The Chief and other prominent figures in the global fight against hunger - such as Queen Letizia of Spain, who is FAO’s special ambassador for nutrition and other participants in the UN Food and Agriculture Organization - reiterated the international commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The occasion was unmissable, since EXPO Milano 2015 also celebrated the FAO 70th anniversary.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella welcomed the world dignitaries for the first celebration of the World Food Day ever held outside the FAO headquarters.

According to President Mattarella, the core theme of the Universal Exposition “reflects a goal the world is aspiring to, and a noble aim that could not be separated from peace. Joint action is the only way to guarantee food security and sustainable use of natural resources”.

Ban Ki-moon explained that global leaders must act collectively on fulfilling the recently adopted Agenda 2030 and the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) to achieve the complete eradication of hunger in the next fifteen years.

“Agenda 2030 is ambitious and achievable. It is integrated and universal. It recognizes that poverty and hunger have complex and interconnected root causes. We made our promise. Now it is time for action,” said the Secretary-General in his address.

The 2015 theme of the World Food Day is centered on the theme “Social Protection - breaking the cycle of rural poverty” and, according to the UN Chief, social protection is a tool to reach the most vulnerable as it prevents people from falling into extreme hardship. At the same time, the same means could lead to nutrition security.

Ban Ki-moon called hunger "a terrible injustice” and called for a pledge "for food security for all the people around the world, to build a global movement to end hunger - this will go hand in hand with greater health, economic development and social inclusion for individuals and societies.”

Pope Francis also called on world leaders to do so much more to fight global inequality: "The creation and the fruits of the Earth are God's gifts for all people, who are also their caretakers and their beneficiaries," the pope wrote in a letter. "Therefore, they must all be justly shared.”

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