17 October 2012 Ahead of a global meeting on world hunger and how to end it, people with access to Facebook and Twitter platforms can post questions for the experts and government officials who will participate in the gathering, taking place at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 1 November.
The aim of the ‘Building a Future Free of Hunger’ campaign is to give the widest possible audience a chance to shape the conversation of the meeting, according to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which is co-hosting the event.
The event’s participants will answer selected questions live on the day it takes place, via UN Webcasts (Note: see side-bar for relevant addresses).
“The event aims to promote coordinated international action to address both the immediate issue of high food prices, and long-term issues of production, trade and consumption of food,” according to the webpage of the event.
The overall campaign is part of the UN’s continuing efforts to build a future free of hunger, address the underlying causes of food insecurity, and build momentum to scale up the global response.
In this regard, the campaign follows up issues discussed at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Brazil in June. It also reinforces the message of September’s ‘Building the Future We Want’ campaign, which looked at steps needed to address sustainable development challenges, and also invited questions from a global audience.
“I wish to emphasize the need to focus global political and policy attention on the plight of the more than one billion of the world’s citizens that struggle with acute hunger and malnutrition,” the Chairperson of the Second Committee, George Wilfred Talbot of Guyana, said during an address before the committee this month.
He also encouraged ministerial level participation in the 1 November event as he added, “It is imperative that the global response to the crisis be scaled up as a matter of urgency.”
The President of ECOSOC, Miloš Koterec, focused on the effect of rising food prices on the prevalence of hunger when he addressed a Special ECOSOC Ministerial Meeting last month.
“Income inequality has been increasing dramatically in much of the rich world,” he said. “Food prices have climbed by tens of percentage points in recent years, after a century of steady decline. For the world’s poorest, this can make the difference between feeding a child or sending her to school.”
ECOSOC is launching the social media forum in collaboration with the Rome-based UN agencies Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the World Food Programme (WFP), as well as the UN Department of Public Information.
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