FAO Conference set to kick off

High level attendance expected – Election of Director-General, new budget on the agenda

Photo: ©FAO/Giulio Napolitano

FAO Headquarters, Plenary Hall.

1 June 2015, Rome – Some 130 ministers, 12 heads of state or government, and numerous other high-level government representatives will be converging on Rome next week for the 39th session of the Organization’s governing Conference (6-13 June).

During the week-long event, countries that have achieved international hunger targets will be recognized for their efforts, and the Conference will elect the new Director-General and approve the Organization’s program of work and budget for the next two years.

Sergio Mattarella, President of Italy will give the Conference opening address on 6 June, followed by a speech by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.

Also on Saturday, Former Brazilian President Inácio Lula da Silva will deliver the McDougall memorial lecture, addressing food and nutrition security issues.

Other world leaders scheduled to participate include the Presidents of Argentina, Fiji, Gabon, Myanmar, Togo and Venezuela.

Election of FAO’s Director-General

At this session the Conference — the Organizations highest governing body — will cast ballots to select the next FAO director general for a four-year term.

The current incumbent, José Graziano d Silva, is standing unopposed for re-election.

On Monday 8 June Graziano da Silva will deliver his biennial “state of FAO” address.

Recognition of progress in hunger fight

On Sunday 7 June a special Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Awards ceremony will be held to recognize 15 countries that have demonstrated extraordinary progress in eradicating extreme hunger.

Angola, Bolivia, China, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Gabon, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mali, Myanmar, Mozambique, Nepal, Oman, Solomon Island, Suriname, and Uzbekistan will be recognized for having now achieved the Millennium Development Goal 1c of halving the proportion of people in their countries experiencing chronic hunger, or the stricter World Food Summit (WFS) target of halving the total number of hungry people.

Overall, a majority – 72 out of 129 – of countries monitored by FAO have achieved the MDG hunger target, with developing regions as a whole nearly reaching the target. In addition, 29 countries have met the more ambitious WFS goal.


A series of side events will run throughout the week. These include a high level panel discussion of the special food security challenges faced by Small Island Developing States (SIDS) with Prime-Ministers of SIDS countries participating.

Other side-events will address specific development challenges as experienced in different regions. These include water scarcity in North and North East Africa, family farming and rural territorial development in Latin America and Caribbean, and regional rice initiatives in Asia and the Pacific.

For a full list of side events during the week of 8 June, click here

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