Davos — Global leaders, including the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, committed their support for the Zero Hunger Challenge at an event hosted by the UN World Food Programme (WFP). Signatories also included the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, Unilever Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Paul Polman, DSM CEO Feike Sijbesma and many others.
"We are here to make a commitment to action. I have seen such progress with my own eyes, in my own country, in my own lifetime. And we have evidence of success in many other places," said Secretary-General Ban at the event on Thursday night.
"It has been a joint effort - involving governments, farmers, civil society, academia and the private sector. From small-scale farmers who trade their surplus at the village market to billion-dollar multinational corporations, business has played a vital role. This is needed now more than ever," he added.
By signing the Zero Hunger Declaration, global leaders showed their commitment to actively work to eradicate hunger, to encourage others to join activities to take the challenge, to advocate for actions and policies that achieve Zero Hunger and to hold themselves accountable to deliver on their promises.
The Zero Hunger Challenge outlines a vision for a world in which each person has access to adequate, nutritious food, where food systems are sustainable and no food is wasted. Everyone - politicians, farmers, businesses, students and individual members of the public - can take actions that will help achieve Zero Hunger.
"Eliminating hunger is a moral imperative that the world cannot afford to ignore. It's not just the right thing to do; it is the smart thing to do. Global stability, economic growth and human development will only be achieved when we secure food and nutrition for everyone around the world," Cousin said.
The signing ceremony took place at WFP's Annual World Leaders event and awards dinner at Davos, co-hosted by Cousin and the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General David Nabarro.
At the event, WFP honoured three people with the WFP Hunger Hero Award, recognizing their leadership in addressing the challenges of ending hunger. This year's awardees are: Sam Dryden, Senior Fellow at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Marc Van Ameringen, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN); and Dr. Shenggen Fan, Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).