ROME - The three Rome-based UN agencies - the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and WFP - were made honorary citizens of Rome today.
The Mayor of the City of Rome, Gianni Alemanno, presented the award at a ceremony held in the City Hall on the occasion of the 2766th anniversary of Rome's founding. He cited the City's "appreciation for the three agencies' consistent commitment to the fight against hunger and poverty, in support of food security and sustainable development and for the improvement of the living conditions of rural populations".
FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva,speaking on behalf of the three Rome-based agencies, said the City's support to them has been crucial.
An inspiration and pleasure
"Your rich traditions, including the value you place on local food and agriculture, have been an inspiration to us. And also a pleasure," he declared.
"I am convinced that one day, FAO, IFAD and WFP will add another footnote to Rome's great history. One that says that, together, we helped to eliminate chronic hunger, malnutrition and extreme poverty," Graziano da Silva continued.
"Thank you, Rome, for being a friend to us all," he added.
The three agencies have different mandates but collaborate to improve food security and alleviate hunger worldwide. FAO moved its headquarters to Rome from the U.S. in 1951; ten years later, FAO gave birth to the World Food Programme, which has kept its headquarters in Rome. And IFAD, which funds agricultural development projects primarily for food production in developing countries, has been based in Rome since its inception in 1977.
Lakshmi Menon, Associate Vice President, Corporate Services Department, represented IFAD while Deputy Executive Director for Resource Management and Accountability Manoj Juneja represented WFP.