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Updated On: Monday, 16 September 2019

“Zero Hunger” Panel at the 71st UN General Assembly

Content by: South-South News

23 September 2016, New York, USA | South-South News — A panel on September 22 during the 71st session of the UN General Assembly examined the progress that has been made in the “Zero Hunger” campaign.

The initiative – launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2012 – aims to free the world from hunger and malnutrition within a generation.

He noted that the promise behind the Sustainable Development Goals is “to leave no one behind: the hungry; the children whose future depends on safe and nutritious food for their bodies and brains to develop; the small family farmers forced to migrate from impoverished lands. Our goal is to transform agriculture and food systems to drive rural prosperity and end poverty; to put agriculture at the heart of the solution to climate change; to build peaceful societies through food security.”

The presidents of Ghana and Togo participated in the seminar. David Nabarro, the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, praised both countries for their leadership in the “Zero Hunger” campaign.

President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana told the gathering, “One of the major programs we used to reduce malnutrition, especially in the rural areas, is the Ghana School Feeding Program. This is a program that feeds 1.7 million children in Ghana one meal a day and we are looking to expand that. It is a wholly Ghana-funded program and it has been highly successful in terms of reducing malnutrition.”

Other innovations have expanded rice farming and aqua-culture designed to provide fish because the ocean stock are being depleted. “In the agricultural sector, the main thing we continue to do is increase the amount of land under irrigation.,” he said, “Because of the effects of climate change, the overall rainfall pattern in terms of density has been reduced, in terms of frequency has become more erratic and so it has become difficult for our farmers to get their full yields.”

The session also heard from the leaders of UN food agencies: the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Program.

“What are the pathways to zero hunger? How do we make food accessible?” asked Ertharin Cousin, the Executive Director of the World Food Program. “Well, you heard from the secretary-general the commitment of our agencies to not just save lives, yes, we will perform the work that is necessary to save the lives of the 600,000 people who affected by El Nino, the upcoming La Nina, and three previous years of drought. But we are also working to change lives and that’s how we achieve zero hunger by ensuring that work we are performing is not just the work that leaves people how we found them, but positions them to be able to feed their own children in the future.”

Drawing cheers from the audience, Cousin concluded saying, “I can’t finish without talking about – as the only woman sitting up here – that we must also remind ourselves that we must provide equal access to opportunity for women if we expect to achieve zero hunger.”


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