The UN leaders renewed their commitment virtually at the Fourth Informal Joint Meeting of the FAO Council, the IFAD Executive Board and the WFP Executive Board
QU Dongyu, Director-General, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Gilbert Houngbo, President, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and David Beasley, Executive Director, World Food Programme (WFP) pledged to step up their joint efforts to end global hunger, particularly amid the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UN leaders renewed their commitment virtually at the Fourth Informal Joint Meeting of the FAO Council, the IFAD Executive Board and the WFP Executive Board. It was the first time the heads of the three UN Rome-based agencies (RBA) had met since WFP was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2020.
Dongyu congratulated WFP on the award, saying it not only recognised the efforts of generations of UN workers but also drew greater international attention to the importance of food insecurity and its linkages to conflict in the world.
“As we are marking FAO’s 75th anniversary this week, more than ever, we need to continue the partnership the RBAs have forged and renew our energy to fight hunger and build a better world,” Dongyu said, noting that “the challenge to leave no-one behind and no land behind can only be addressed through collective action and partnership.”
Beasley described the Nobel Peace Prize as “a call to action” to make the world aware of what the UN agencies are confronting. He noted that the award had alerted the international community to the link between conflict and food insecurity and emphasised the significance of next year’s Food Systems Summit in effecting change. “Let it inspire us, encourage us, to do more and never give up,” he said.
The sentiment of pride and joy for WFP’s award was shared by all participants, including Khalid Mehboob, President, IFAD, Independent Chairperson of FAO’s Council, (chair of the meeting); Ulrich Seidenberger, President, Executive Board, WFP and Permanent Representative of Germany; Agnes Kalibata, Special Envoy, 2021 Food Systems Summit; Amina Mohammed, Permanent Representatives of Members, UN Deputy Secretary-General, who addressed the meeting through a video message.