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UN agency to carry out major review to help slash hunger in half by 2015

UN agency to carry out major review to help slash hunger in half by 2015

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is to carry out a major review of its activities to help ensure achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which include halving chronic hunger around the world within a decade.

"We need to be sure that the different activities of FAO, spread across the Organization, are fully integrated and that member countries are able to see what FAO's role is and understand its contribution to realization of each of the eight Millennium Development Goals," Director-General Jacques Diouf told the agency’s Governing Council in Rome this week.

The MDGs, adopted by the UN Millennium Summit of 2000, seek to halve some of the world’s most significant ills such as poverty, hunger and lack of access to health care by 2015.

Mr. Diouf said the changes would aim to ensure FAO's full involvement in the reforms taking place across the UN system, as well as within multilateral development banks and bilateral organizations.

Earlier this week the Council adopted a series of voluntary guidelines deemed vital to achieving the MDGs, taking into account a wide range of human rights principles such as equality and non-discrimination, inclusion, accountability and the rule of law as well as the principle that all human rights are universal, indivisible and inter-linked.

In a related development FAO and the United States Peace Corps signed an agreement on Wednesday to enhance collaboration to improve the lot of rural populations around the world in areas such as food production, distribution and access, small-scale irrigation, animal and plant protection and the role of women in rural development.

"FAO and the Peace Corps have a history of working together at country level," Mr. Diouf said. "Increased collaboration will enhance our understanding of each other's work and allow us to share our respective skills and experience."