SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES REDEDICATION TO WAR
NEW YORK, 12 October (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the message of Secretary-General Kofi Annan on World Food Day, observed 16 October:
Every year, World Food Day provides us with an occasion to renew our commitment to the fight against world hunger. This year, the theme "Fight Hunger to Reduce Poverty" highlights the need to address hunger both in itself and as a way to alleviate poverty worldwide.
Today, 1.2 billion people live in abject poverty. More than 800 million of them are chronically undernourished. Hunger is not only a consequence of poverty in its most extreme manifestation; it also serves to perpetuate and deepen poverty itself. Hungry people's capacity for productivity and growth is stunted. They cannot fulfil their potential as individuals, nor as a society. This has devastating consequences for economic and social development as a whole.
We must end this cycle of misery. We must combine concerted political will and innovative policies with investment in agriculture and rural development, as well as social safety nets.
Five years ago, governments pledged at the World Food Summit in Rome to halve, by 2015, the number of hungry people in the world. Today, I urge Member States to mobilize renewed political and financial commitment to meeting that goal. In the light of recent global events and the current economic climate, that commitment is more important than ever.
And I urge all our partners in the international community to rededicate themselves on this World Food Day to the fight on both fronts -- the war against hunger and the war against poverty.
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