ActionAid: José Graziano da Silva is the new Director General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Rome, 26 June 2011 – 191 Member Nations have elected José Graziano da Silva as the new Director General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). José Graziano da Silva will replace Jacques Diouf who has led the organization for the past 18 years.

"Graziano comes from a country which is successfully fighting hunger through support to smallholder farmers, social protection and food security policies. This is the comprehensive respond to food crisis which we expect Graziano to bring to FAO, and not the unregulated expansion of biofuels in Brazil that can contribute to food prices volatility," says Adriano Campolina, Director of ActionAid Brazil.

 “We hope the new Director General will lead the organization to ensure that it continues to be the space for not only policy advice and technical support, but also for democratic decision making amongst stakeholders on food and agriculture,” says Ruchi Tripathi, Head of Right to Food at ActionAid International.

“In particular, we hope that the new DG will put interests of women producers and a gender analysis at the heart of everything FAO does. This will not only contribute to reducing the gender gap in agriculture, but also empowering women and changing unequal gender norms.”



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Election of new FAO Director General. Video message of Anngun: Rural women must lead the fight against hunger

Investing in women farmers is the way forward in the fight against hunger.  On the day of the election of the new FAO Director General, Action Aid, Oxfam and Wocan together with many other civil society organizations urge FAO and its member States to put women at the center of FAO activities. In a video released today, FAO Goodwill Ambassador Anggun Cipta Sasmi  explains that women farmers can save up to 100-150 more million people from hunger if they are provided with adequate resources. The three organizations call on the new Director General to promote women’s leadership and expertise to ensure everyone has always enough to eat.

Anggun (Anggun Cipta Sasmi), after a tremendous success in her homeland, started an amazing international career. She made history for being the first Asian artist to break into the international music scene by releasing her first international album "Snow on the Sahara" in Europe, Asia and America.

Editors' notes

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