Brazil today formally nominated Dr. José Graziano da Silva, currently serving as Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for Latin America and the Caribbean, for the Office of Director-General of the FAO.
The nomination is supported by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, and marks Brazil’s first nomination in history to the FAO.
Dr. Graziano da Silva, a native of Brazil who is currently based in Santiago, Chile, has devoted his 34-year professional and academic career to issues related to food security, agriculture and rural development. Since 2006, he has served as the FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean.
His platform for the FAO nomination includes promoting universal access to food and nutritional security through joint efforts of nations and international organizations; strengthening family farming and rural development as a path to eradicating hunger and bolstering sustainable development; and building inclusive processes into FAO’s policy formulation and management systems.
Before joining the FAO, José Graziano da Sílva helped design and implement the Brazilian ”Zero Hunger” initiative, which has been recognized worldwide as a successful model for fighting hunger and poverty in Brazil over the past eight years. The program has been seen as innovative in its holistic approach to public policy- making, openness to civil society participation, and effective resource allocation, all of which have contributed to lifting 24 million Brazilian citizens out of extreme poverty, from 2003 to 2010, and reducing undernourishment in Brazil by 25 percent within five years, according to researches covering the period 2003-2008.
MERCOSUR countries (Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela) and other South American heads of states expressed their support to José Graziano da Silva’s candidacy to the FAO when the nomination was first announced by then-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva during the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) Summit held in November 2010 in Guyana. The Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP, formed by Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and Saint Thomas and Prince) also support the Brazilian candidate. Other countries have showed support individually for the Brazilian nomination.
The appointment of the Director-General of the FAO for 2012-2015 will take place during the 37th session of the FAO Conference, to be held in Rome from June 25 – July 2, 2011.