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More than 150 countries mark World Food Day

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Hundreds of millions of people still do not enjoy the right to food.Special events scheduled for 16 October on “The Right to Food”

16 October 2007, Rome – More than 150 countries around the world observed World Food Day this year, organizing special events, conferences, contests, sports activities and a global candlelight vigil on “The Right to Food”.

FAO celebrates World Food Day each year on 16 October, the day the Organization was founded in 1945 in Quebec City, Canada. This year’s World Food Day theme is “The Right to Food.”

This year’s World Food Day theme, "The Right to Food,” highlights a basic human right that is often ignored as severe food insecurity continues to afflict more than 850 million people.

The right to food, according to international law, is the right of every person to have regular access to sufficient, nutritionally adequate and culturally acceptable food for an active, healthy life. It is the right to feed oneself in dignity, rather than the right to be fed.

Since the 1996 World Food Summit, FAO has worked with governments and communities worldwide to gain recognition for this basic human right.

Events around the world

World Food Day activities included the main ceremony at FAO headquarters. Speakers were the Presidents of Germany, Horst Köhler, and Tanzania, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, as well as FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf.

A number of civil society organizations held a round-table discussion on “The Right Way to Fight Hunger” at FAO Headquarters. A Run-for-Food race will take place in Rome on 21 October as well as in Guinea and Nigeria, among others.

A global candlelight vigil will begin the evening of 22 October in Samoa and move across the world’s time zones through various cities including Yokohama, Japan, Yrevan, Armenia, Lusaka, Zambia, Bratislava, Slovakia, Quito, Ecuador and Rome, Italy where the Municipality will organize a vigil at the Colosseum.

A special World Food Day event will be held at UN Headquarters in New York on 18 October. A monologue by actress Gabriele Loneck will reflect on the speeches and writings of Eleanor Roosevelt on Human Rights and the Right to Food.

In Geneva, Jean Ziegler, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, will attend an event on humanitarian assistance and the Right to Food (17 October).

Various debates and symposia in Austria, Finland, Ireland and Sweden as well as over 100 activities was scheduled in Italy and a week-long programme in Hungary.

Spain kicked off a month of events to observe World Food Day and hosted a fund-raising television gala. The Spanish soccer league will dedicate two weeks of games with the participation of FAO Goodwill Ambassador and Real Madrid captain, Raúl.

In Egypt, a 10-day Arab Music Festival dedicated to FAO and its fight against hunger, a fund-raising gala dinner, seminars and major exhibits is taking place in Cairo.

Mali organized a week long awareness and fund-raising campaign, including a mega concert featuring African FAO Goodwill Ambassadors in Bamako on 26 October.

Colombia marked World Food Day with a concert by singer Fanny Lu, while in El Salvador, First Lady Ana Ligia Mixco de Saca delivered a speech at the Summit of First Ladies in El Salvador on the Right to Food.

Thailand celebrated World Food Day this year with a regional symposium attended by Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn while Japan organized a TeleFood concert in Yokohama.

Contact Information

FAO Media Office
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(+39) 06 570 53625

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