Message by H.E. Mr. Jan Kavan
President of the 57th session of the United Nations General
16 October 2002
1945, 18 October has been observed as World Food Day to commemorate
the founding of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
World Food Day gives us the opportunity to recall the fact that
in this 21st. century there are still nearly a billion people
suffering from hunger and malnutrition.
is a basic human necessity. The Universal Declaration of Human
Rights recognizes that everyone has the right to a standard
of living adequate for their heath and well- being. The International
Covenant on Ecomonic, Social and Cultural Rights states that
everyone has a right to adequate food and freedom from hunger.
However, the number of people suffering from hunger today remains
human society considers fighting hunger, malnutrition and poverty
as the most fundamental challenge, eradication of extreme poverty
and hunger was recongnized as one of the main Millenium Development
Goals. The Monterrey Declaration and the World Summit on Sustainable
Development in Johannesburg took further steps forward by specifying
resources and setting specific targets, timetables and commitments.
Extreme poverty is one of the important ingredients that, combined
with some others such as unresolved long term-political conflicts,
have lead and will continue to lead to a feeling of powerlessness,
frustration and anger which offers fertile ground for fundamentalist,
radical or even terrorist behavior. We therefore have to implement
the Millennium Development Goals and fight poverty not only
for moral and humanitarian reasons but also as an integral part
of the fight against terrorism and extreme intolerance of all
kinds. This must be part of our ongoing struggle for a stable,
secure and more just world. There is no option of doing less
than our utmost.
theme for this year's observance of World Food Day is "Water:
source of Food Security." Unfortunately, the lack of access
to water is expected, in the coming decades, to be one of the
key constraints to achieving food security for all. But it is
not because the world lacks water. The world water crisis is
a crisis of governance - not one of scarcity. At the global
scale, there is enough water to provide water security for all,
but only if we change the way we manage and develop it. Improvement
of policies and strategies to guide agricultural water use are
needed at the international, national and local levels.
I should like to take this opportunity to extend my warm congratulations
to the Food and Agriculture Organization for their persistent
and tireless efforts to promote and bring awareness to the problem
of hunger, to call attention to the humiliation and indignity
endured by destitute persons, and to attain long-term answers
to guarantee adequate water and food for all. I hope that World
Food Day activities around the world will help deliver this