Press Release
Note No. 5897

Note to Correspondents



Theme is “Biodiversity for Food Security”

The fifty-ninth annual World Food Day with the theme “Biodiversity for Food Security”, will be commemorated at United Nations Headquarters in New York on Monday, 18 October, in a special ceremony in Conference Room 4 at 3 p.m., to be followed by the opening of an exhibit in the public lobby.  A reception at
5:15 p.m. will conclude the event.

World Food Day messages will be presented starting at the 3 p.m. by:  Louise Fréchette, Deputy Secretary-General; Jean Ping, General Assembly President; and Marjatta Rasi, President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).  FAO’s guest of honour will be Steven C. Rockefeller, Jr., in recognition of the Rockefeller family’s historic commitment to sustainable agriculture. 

Other special guests will include directors-general of a number of organizations from the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), which, together with the FAO, will sponsor the exhibit.  They include Dr. Kanavo F. Nwanze, West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA); Dr. Emile Frison, International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI); and Dr. Carlos Sere, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).

FAO Ambassador, Mana -- a musical group -- will participate live via video conferencing from Guadalajara, Mexico.  Mana will introduce school children in Mexico and the United States who are active in “The Growing Connection”, a pilot project linking school gardens in Africa, Latin America and the United States

The ceremony is being organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).  Achieving food security for all is at the heart of FAO’s effort, whose mandate is to raise nutrition levels, improve agricultural productivity, better the lives of rural populations and contribute to world economic growth.  The FAO was founded at a conference Quebec City on 16 October 1945, a date observed annually as World Food Day. 

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