"The international community is gathering in Italy for World Food Day on Tuesday with a round of U.N.-hosted talks on how to keep global food prices in check and help prevent future commodity market crises," the Bangkok Post reports. "The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations is holding a week-long meeting of the Committee on World Food Security, which is made up of U.N. officials, farming experts, and civil society representatives," the newspaper notes (10/16). The theme of this year's World Food Day is "Agricultural Cooperatives -- Key to Feeding the World" to coincide with the International Year of Cooperatives, according to an FAO press release.
"FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva emphasized the need to work for the total eradication of hunger, adding that many countries, in South America, Africa and Asia, are proving that it is possible," the press release states. "U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message to World Food Day that agricultural cooperatives would be crucial in meeting the Zero Hunger Challenge that he launched at the Rio+20 U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development in June," the press release notes, adding World Food Programme Executive Director Ertharin Cousin said, "In our world, too many still struggle to find their next meal. Social protection and safety net programs enable the most vulnerable, particularly women and children, to lift themselves out of hunger and poverty. ... These programs provide a cushion that is otherwise unavailable and build resilience against economic and environmental shocks" (10/16).