Press Releases

    DSG/SM/172
    OBV/300
    17 October 2002

    TO FEED WORLD’S POPULATION, FRESHWATER RESOURCES NEED
    TO BE BETTER MANAGED, DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS

    NEW YORK, 16 October (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of remarks by Deputy Secretary-General, Louise Fréchette, at the opening of the Exhibition by the Food and Agriculture Organization on World Food Day, in New York (16 October):

    It is a pleasure to join you today for the opening of this exhibition, which has been beautifully prepared by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

    Today is World Food Day -- the day on which, every year, we seek to raise public awareness of the world food problem and strengthen global solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty.

    This year’s observance is being used to draw attention to the crucial role of water resources in sustainable food production. FAO estimates that some three decades from now, feeding the world’s population will require 60 per cent more food. To grow this food, we need to better harness and manage the world’s precious freshwater resources. Only then will we achieve food security for all.

    The colourful panels in this exhibition convey a number of messages.

    They remind us of the connections between food production and the environment.

    They stress the importance of biodiversity, land management, sustainable agriculture and combating deforestation and desertification.

    And they warn about the potential harm caused by human activities and by neglecting the terrible poverty that afflicts so much of humankind.

    The exhibition also illuminates many of the issues discussed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development and that are at the heart of efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by half, by the year 2015, the proportion of our fellow human beings who suffer from hunger.

    I congratulate FAO, its Director-General, and its New York and Washington Offices on mounting this timely and thought-provoking exhibition.

    * *** *