The Brazilian José Graziano da Silva was re-elected this Saturday (6th) as Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The only candidate for the post, he was reappointed with the vote of 177 of 182 countries attending the 39th conference of the entity, in Rome.
First elected in June 2011, Graziano will be in Office for four more years, until July 2019. Next Monday (8th), he shall submit a report of the last two years at the head of the Agency.
Agronomist, teacher and writer, José Graziano was extraordinary Minister of food security and hunger alleviation while the Ministry existed, between 2003 and 2004, in the first term of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as President. He coordinated the drafting of the Fome Zero program, giving also beginning to its implementation.
After the vote, Graziano made a brief speech of thanks for reelection. “I can say that I will try to do the best for the next four years, better than I’ve done. There are always opportunities to improve. I count on your support for this. Thank you”, said to the representatives of the Member countries.
The official statement on the re-election says, in its management, that Graziano became FAO more sensitive to the needs of member countries and elected as goal to eradicate completely the hunger and malnutrition in the world. Among its strategies, highlighted the increasing cooperation with other bodies and greater support for the cooperation between countries in the southern hemisphere.
In the morning, before the election, the former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva opened the Conference chronicling the experience of Brazil in the fight against hunger. Then told that world hunger is not the consequence of environmental conditions, but of “inequality”. He says it is role of the State to face the problem.
“Non-governmental organizations meet, without doubt, a very important role in the action against hunger and poverty in the world. But I want to emphasize that this fight requires permanent sources of financing; it must be a State policy”, he said.
He said that a country’s miserable people “hardly” organize themselves in political parties, or have unions, “lobbying” in the legislature. “They do not organize protest marches, nor have access to the media, whether it be in the traditional way or through social networks”.
“It’s the State obligation to look permanently for them, putting resources to the poor in national, regional and local budgets. Continuing resources, not subordinated to changes of Government”, he added then.
President Dilma Rousseff said, by way of note, that she received with great satisfaction the decision of the Member countries of FAO to bring Graziano for the post of Director-General. She greeted Graziano, who called him a friend, and reaffirmed the support of the Brazilian Government to the initiatives of the organization.
“Graziano’s election proves his strong credentials and important contribution to the policies to combat poverty, in particular the Family allowance program, which makes Brazil international reference”, reports on the note.
Itamaraty (the Ministry of International Relations) announced on Saturday a note in which it thanks the members of the FAO “for the size of support for the Brazilian candidate”. The text says that the 177 votes received by Graziano represent the largest vote in the history of FAO.
“The Brazilian Government will continue defending the goal of deepening the reform and strengthening of the Organization, in order to make it even more relevant contribution to the eradication of hunger and the world social and economic development”, reported the Agency.