Rome.- Machel spoke at the 41st session of the FAO Conference, an international organization headquartered in Rome, and in her speech also called governance at the country level a fiasco in allocating sufficient resources to address the root causes of poverty.
The activist, widow of South African leader Nelson Mandela, delivered the McDougall Memorial Lecture, given every two years by a leading personality in the agriculture and hunger field, in honour of Australian economist Frank Lidgett McDougall, whose work contributed to the founding of FAO in 1943.
Machel was granted honorary membership of the Alliance between FAO and Nobel Peace Prize laureates in 2018 in recognition of his indefatigable struggle for the freedom of South Africa's outstanding leader.
We are very good, Machel said, at making speeches and making policies, but when it is about hands-on, talking about doing things, that is when we fail, and then she called attention to the "lack of individual conscience" and pointed out how "insensitive complacency with the status quo has led to the collapse of human solidarity."
"I stand here before you, she told those present in the FAO plenary hall, and every minute there are children dying in Africa and Asia from malnutrition," and she called on Conference members to imagine what they would do if it were their own grandchild who was starving.
She also praised the leading role of women in the global food chain and agricultural production and the imperative to make agriculture an attractive sector for young people and avoid having to leave the fields even to survive.
She also highlighted FAO's unique work in rural development and how the UN agency pays attention to the "interconnection between migration, agriculture and rural development." (PL)