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Ambassador Ulrich Seidenberger: “The challenges facing the world today require globally integrated responses”

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Rome, 16 November 2020 - This was the core theme of the high-level virtual meeting in Rome, bringing together top representatives of the United Nations, international financial institutions, African Union and European Union and governments.

Ambassador Ulrich Seidenberger
Ambassador Ulrich Seidenberger© StäV Rom / Katherina Niemann

The COVID-19 pandemic is reversing development gains and testing the foundations of global peace, yet it also presents an unprecedented opportunity to collaborate in helping governments and communities build back better.

The discussions—gathering top leadership from the UN, the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund, African Union, European Union and representatives from UN member states— focused on essential and rapid breakthroughs needed to prevent the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals  (SDGs) from becoming unreachable.

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said:

As countries rebuild and reset their economies, we must accelerate the transition to renewable energy, undertake dramatic shifts in our food systems and achieve net zero emissions by 2050,

Today’s multiple crises demand the world’s top institutions swiftly find better ways to streamline institutional procedures and reshape approaches to working collaboratively on humanitarian, development and peace-building goals.

German Ambassador Ulrich Seidenberger, President of the WFP Executive Board, added:

In this historical moment of multiple crises we have to rethink our entire humanitarian and development system, and to aim for breakthroughs by dismantling our own respective silos, instead of just working on improved collaboration within existing institutional Silos.

The challenges facing the world today require globally integrated responses to better use the resources mobilized to date. This can only be achieved through joined-up planning, financing and implementation of major stakeholders like those participating in today’s High-Level Panel discussion.

WFP Executive Director David Beasley stressed:

These are truly unprecedented times. We’re facing the threat of famine in multiple countries, while Covid-19, conflict and weather crises are sending hunger rates sky-rocketing in many parts of the world. No country or organization can fix all these problems alone.

Only by working together, breaking down institutional barriers and deepening collaboration can major players, from the African and European Unions, to the United Nations and international financial institutions, channel the extra resources needed to realize the SDGs—and support governments in delivering more efficiently to their citizens.

These efforts must also engage the wider development community, along with the private sector and under-represented groups, including women.

(Source: WFP Press release)

Background Information

The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.
United Nations Secretary General António Guterres described it as follows: “Food is peace. Hunger is an outrage in a world of plenty.”
WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.


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