United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon signed the Zero Hunger Declaration Thursday night. The Secretary-General was joined by UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, Unilever Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Paul Polman, DSM CEO Feike Sijbesma and others at an event hosted by the UN World Food Programme (WFP).
“We are here to make a commitment to action. I have seen such progress with my own eyes, in my own country, in my own lifetime. And we have evidence of success in many other places,” said Secretary-General Ban.
The declaration calls for leaders to take action against hunger, get others to join, and hold themselves accountable to deliver results. Globally there are 842 million people who suffer from hunger. The crisis needs the action of all sectors of society.
The Secretary-General encourages everyone to take part, stating, "It has been a joint effort – involving governments, farmers, civil society, academia and the private sector. From small-scale farmers who trade their surplus at the village market to billion-dollar multinational corporations, business has played a vital role. This is needed now more than ever."
WFP director Etharin Cousin adds, “Eliminating hunger is a moral imperative that the world cannot afford to ignore. It’s not just the right thing to do; it is the smart thing to do. Global stability, economic growth and human development will only be achieved when we secure food and nutrition for everyone around the world."
At the event WFP also honored three individuals for their work fighting hunger: Sam Dryden, Senior Fellow at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Marc Van Ameringen, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN); and Dr. Shenggen Fan, Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
For more information visit the Zero Hunger Challenge.