12 October 2005
Secretary-General Calls for Partnerships to Build "World without Hunger" in World Food Day Message
NEW YORK, 11 October (UN Headquarters) -- Following is UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's message on World Food Day, observed on 16 October:
The theme of this year's World Food Day, "Agriculture and Inter-cultural Dialogue", celebrates human civilization's triumphs in agriculture since the time some 10,000 years ago when our ancestors learned to plant wild crops and domesticate animals. Since then, history has shown us how agricultural production spurs economic growth. Agriculture, shaped by the contributions of all cultures, has helped societies grow from villages to towns and eventually cities.
Yet, even though there is enough food to feed every man, woman and child on the planet, more than 850 million people currently suffer from chronic hunger and under-nutrition. Clearly, we need to redouble our efforts if we are to meet, by the target year of 2015, the first Millennium Development Goal of reducing by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger and extreme poverty.
We need to mobilize political will and public engagement at the community, national and global levels. We need to share expertise and pool commitment among cultures, communities, countries and continents. On this World Food Day -- and on this sixtieth anniversary of the Food and Agriculture Organization -- I urge individuals and institutions, Governments and international organizations, to build alliances and partnerships for a world without hunger.
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