The United Nations will be a participant in the 2015 Milan EXPO, thanks to the contract signed today at FAO by EXPO Commissioner Giuseppe Slala and Deputy Director of FAO Eduardo Rojas Briales. “Truly a major step”, Minister for Foreign Affair Emma Bonino called it. The UN system’s participation in the EXPO was “an absolutely indispensable prerequisite”, since the agencies headquartered in Rome are “a much sought-after partnership and I am very happy that they have all responded”.
EXPO in a female key
The 2015 EXPO will be “in a female key”, the minister then underscored, explaining that “there is no one model”, but that it was important to “make the most of diversity” in order to be sure the 2015 event will be a “place of synergies”. Bonino pointed out the “terrible paradox” of a billion people suffering from hunger and another billion overfed, and the need to reset the balance in which the function of women is absolutely fundamental. “The solutions are multiple”, the minister explained, “and we are going to have to achieve them step by step, sector by sector”. And, even though “ideas on development differ”, agreement can be found “by considering all the possibilities” and involving “civil society, governments, NGOs, institutions and international organisations”. This EXPO, she stressed, “will not be remembered for its skyscrapers and architecture, but for its ideas”.
Women’s role in food security
Present at the ceremony also were FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva, IFAD President Kanayo F.Nwanze and Director of the Partnerships with Governments Division of WFP. Previous to today’s event, FAO had hosted the “Women and Nutrition: ideas for a sustainable future” seminar, organised by the Expo and the foreign ministry, whose participants included Minister Bonino and the UN S-G’s Special Representative for Food Security and Nutrition David Nabarro. The event, held in the margins of the preparations for the 2nd international conference on nutrition, offered an opportunity to examine the theme of food security and nutrition from the point of view of women’s role.Women in Diplomacy Committee in RomeThe role of women in the Expo was the focus of the International Board of Women in Diplomacy on Wednesday at Villa Madama, which met for the purpose of launching efforts toward the promotion of the role of women in food security, and of assisting the foreign ministry in setting up conferences and workshops ahead of the 2015 EXPO in Milan. Participants included Emma Bonino, Nobel laureate Jody Williams, CEO of the EXPO 2015 Giuseppe Sala and Minister for Integration Cécile Kyenge.