ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE PARTICIPANTS AT THE 41st SESSION
FROM THE FAO CONFERENCE (Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN)
Thursday, June 27, 2019
I greet the President, Mr. Enzo Benech, the honorable delegates of the various nations and entities, and all present at this forty-first session of the FAO Conference. In particular, I would like to address my greetings and my gratitude to the Director General, Professor José Graziano da Silva, who will finish his service at the head of this Organization within a few weeks. Thank you from the heart for your work. And I express my congratulations on the election of the Director General of FAO, His Excellency Mr. Qu Dongyu. I hope that with the help of all we can continue to work together to deepen and increase, with responsibility and determination, the efforts aimed at achieving objectives 1 and 2 of the 2030 Agenda and thus eradicate complex, serious and unacceptable more quickly and forcefully. scourges of hunger and food insecurity.
The objective of "Zero Hunger" in the world is still a great challenge, even though it must be recognized that a great advance has been made in recent decades. To combat the lack of food and access to drinking water, it is necessary to act on the causes that cause them. At the origin of this drama is above all the lack of compassion, the disinterest of many and a weak social and political will to respond to international obligations.
The lack of food and water is not an internal and exclusive issue of the poorest and most fragile countries, but it concerns each one of us, because everyone with our attitude participates in one way or another, favoring or restraining the suffering of many brothers and sisters. Ours (Address to members of the European Federation of Food Banks, May 18, 2019). We are all called to listen to the desperate cry of our brothers and to put the means so that they can live, seeing their most basic rights respected.
FULL TEXT + Image shared from Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation
The connection between environmental fragility, food insecurity and migratory movements is evident. The increase in the number of refugees in the world over the last few years -the last statistic of the United Nations is impressive- has shown us that the problem of a country is the problem of the entire human family. For this, it is necessary to promote agricultural development in the most vulnerable regions, strengthening the resilience and sustainability of the territory. And this will only be achieved, on the one hand, by investing and developing technologies, and on the other, by devising innovative and supportive policies for development.
FAO, as well as other international organizations, are suitable actors to coordinate urgent and incisive measures that ensure access to basic goods for all, particularly the poorest. These multilateral entities must be accompanied by the commitment of governments, companies, academia, civil society institutions and individuals. The joint effort of all will achieve the goals and commitments assumed through programs and policies that help the local population to acquire responsibilities with their own country, with their communities and, finally, with their own lives.
I would like to conclude by reaffirming the commitment of the Holy See to cooperate with FAO, supporting the international effort towards the elimination of hunger in the world and guaranteeing a better future for our planet and for all humanity. May God bless you in your work, in your sleepless hours in favor of a true progress of our great human family. Thank you.