How can the UN get its act together on food and agriculture?

January 7th, 2012

Published on From Poverty To Power, by blog owner Duncan Green, Head of Research for Oxfam GB, January 6, 2012.

On Tuesday incoming FAO boss José Graziano da Silva gave his first press conference (3 January 2012, Rome), so I did one of those rabbit in the headlights FAO da silvainterviews down the line for Al Jazeera on the role of the FAO … //  

… Anyway, back to Graziano. He reiterated the five priorities he has set out for his leadership of the FAO: end hunger; move towards more sustainable systems of food production and consumption; achieve greater fairness in the global management of food; complete the FAO’s reform and decentralization; and expand South-South cooperation and other partnerships.

All good stuff (although the FAO also needs to do much more on gender, as I say in the interview), and everyone wants him to succeed – as we grapple with the ‘perfect storm’ of high/volatile food prices, resource constraints and climate change over the next few decades, we really need a fully functioning, effective, non-sclerotic FAO leading the way. One ground for optimism is that Graziano was in charge of implementing Brazil’s hugely impressive zero hunger campaign, and at the press conference he stressed the importance of that kind of top level political backing to getting things done. He also emphasized the need for the FAO to get out of its bunker and talk to governments, civil society organizations, farmers and others. Fingers crossed … (full text and video: Inside story – Feeding global hunger, 24.35 min).


More from Lawrence Haddad;

Hunger Can’t Wait, on The Huffington Post, January 5, 2012;

The Financial Crisis Was Entirely Foreseeable.

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