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UN agency to name new ambassadors on World Food Day

UN agency to name new ambassadors on World Food Day

Singers Magida Al Roumi of Lebanon, Gilberto Gil of Brazil, Mory Kanté of Guinea, and Al Bano Carrisi of Italy will be nominated as Ambassadors of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the agency announced today.

The singers will participate in the 2001 World Food Day Ceremony on Tuesday, 16 October, at FAO Headquarters in Rome. The event marks the anniversary of the organization's founding in Quebec City, Canada, in 1945.

FAO Ambassadors express support for the agency's fight against hunger in the world and call upon the public to help poor people around the world "break out of the vicious circle of chronic hunger and undernourishment."

The German President Johannes Rau, Italian Minister of Agriculture Gianni Alemanno and FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf will address the 16 October ceremony. The Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to FAO, Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, will deliver a message from Pope John Paul II. Queen Fabiola of Belgium will be awarded the FAO Ceres Medal.

This year marks the launch of the first North American World Food Day/TeleFood campaign to heighten awareness about the plight of some 800 million hungry people in developing countries. Known as Groundwork 2001, the campaign consists of a week-long series of concerts and community events in Seattle, from 14 to 22 October. Renowned musicians R.E.M., Michael Franti & Spearhead, Pearl Jam, Alanis Morissette, Dave Mathews, Femi Kuti, Emmylou Harris, Mana, Blind Boys of Alabama, Daniel Lanois, Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, Artis the Spoonman and many others are scheduled to perform.

This year's World Food Day theme, "Fight Hunger to Reduce Poverty," gives voice to increasing economic evidence contained in recent FAO studies that the single most effective way to reduce poverty is to end hunger.