Syrian Agriculture Needs Transformation Rather Than Rebuilding - UN FAO

Ivan Schwartz
October 17, 2017

Obaseki gave the commendation on Monday in commemoration of the World Food Day, October 16 each year, set aside by the United Nations in honour of the founding of Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) in 1945 and other organisations that are committed to ensuring food security. The FAO was holding a conference on the theme "Changing the future of migration".

"Goodwill and dialogue are needed to stop conflicts", he said, "and it is necessary to fully commit to gradual and systematic disarmament" as well as stop the "terrible plague of arms trafficking".

Each year millions of people leave their homes to escape hunger, poverty and conflict.

As for climate change, he said, scientists know what needs to be done and the global instruments - like the Paris Agreement - are already available.

Among other things, he urged nations to uphold the Paris Agreement on climate change, which he helped inspire with his encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si'. Though Pope Francis mentioned no one specifically, his reference includes the United States, which pulled out of the agreement June 1 as President Donald Trump announced the us would pursue other means of addressing the environmental issue which are more favorable to Americans. "We can not make do by saying 'someone else will do it'". The Argentine pontiff added that the effort should also be "saturated in love and intelligence" as he addressed a ceremony for World Food Day (#WFD2017) at the Rome headquarters of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Pope Francis visited the headquarters and presented the statue as a gift to the organization. Noting how some would say simply "reducing the number of mouths to feed" would be enough to solve the problem of food shortage and global inequality, Francis said this is "a false solution" given current patterns of waste and consumption in some areas of the world.

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"Cutting back is easy", he said, but "sharing requires conversion and this is demanding".

"We can not limit ourselves to pity, because pity stops with emergency aid while love inspires justice and is essential to create a just social order", Francis said.

"For this reason, I ask myself, and also you: Would it be exaggerated to introduce in the language of global cooperation the category of love, conjugated as gratitude, equality of treatment, solidarity, the culture of gift, fraternity, mercy?" he said, adding that these words express the practical meaning of the word "humanitarian", often used in the worldwide community.

Before his speech, Francis unveiled a new statue of Alan Kurdi, the Syrian boy who became a symbol of the refugee crisis created by his country's civil war after his corpse washed up a Turkish beach in 2015.

Other reports by GizPress

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