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World Food Day: Rome’s Colosseum illuminated to mark FAO’s 75th anniversary

ROME, OCTOBER 16 – The Director-General QU Dongyu today was joined by Italian authorities for the presentation of two video mapping shows in Rome (one at FAO’s headquarters and the other at the Colosseum) to celebrate FAO’s 75th anniversary on World Food Day .

In a stirring tribute to the UN agency and its work, the video mapping show celebrated food heroes and encouraged global solidarity efforts for the transformation of food systems. Until Sunday October 18, the show will continue to be screened on the facade of FAO’s global headquarters in Viale Aventino.

“Today, at this special moment, we celebrate FAO’s 75th anniversary and commemorate the 40th anniversary of the World Food Day in a very special way,” the Director-General said through a high-tech application in his cell phone that translated his words from Chinese into Italian: “With the new era, new missions and new tasks before us, we will never give up until we reach our goals. Let us forge ahead hand-in-hand”.

The Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation of Italy, Emanuela Del Re (speaking on behalf of Minister Luigi Di Maio); the Minister for Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, Teresa Bellanova; and the Mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, participated in the event with Khalid Mehboob, the Chairman of the Independent Council of FAO.

They congratulated the Director-General on FAO’s 75th anniversary and the contribution the Organization had made to fighting hunger, in particular with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vice-Minister Del Re noted there was “a piece of Italy” in the three UN organizations based in Rome and Italy stood with FAO in meeting its objectives to eradicate hunger. She stressed that today’s event was being celebrated by Italians as well as the UN agency and drew attention to the recently-launched Food Coalition, an Italian proposed initiative led by FAO which aims to tackle the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on food and agriculture.

Minister Bellanova highlighted that food security is an absolute priority, as well as the importance that Italy gives to the right to food. She said the Italian Government was working with its European partners for the promotion of sustainable agri-food systems and intended to include this subject on the agenda of the G20 when Italy assume its Presidency in 2021.

Mayor Raggi said she was proud that Rome hosted the UN’s three food agencies. She spoke of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on public health and food systems around the world, emphasizing the importance of solidarity among people to face this challenging situation.

The video mapping show has been made possible with the support and collaboration of the Italian government and the Rome Municipality. A video of the event can be accessed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFGtpPpZylA (@OnuItalia)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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