Former Brazilian Food Security Minister Elected To Head FAO

“Brazil’s one-time food security minister, Jose Graziano da Silva, was elected Sunday director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization, the U.N. agency tasked with reducing world hunger at a time of near-record high food prices,” the Associated Press reports (Winfield, 6/26).

“Graziano da Silva received 92 votes from 180 votes cast by FAO Member States during the second round of balloting, narrowly defeating Miguel Angel Moratinos Cuyaube, a former foreign minister of Spain,” the U.N. News Centre writes. Four other candidates withdrew from the election “after receiving fewer votes during the first round of balloting,” the news service adds. Graziano da Silva, who has been a senior regional FAO officer since 2006, will assume his new role on Jan. 1 (6/26).

Graziano da Silva played a major role in Brazil’s “Zero Hunger,” which is credited with lifting 24 million people out of extreme poverty over five years and reducing undernourishment by 25 percent, according to an FAO press release (6/26). Graziano da Silva “said on his campaign website he would promote more sustainable food production systems to protect the environment and would work for ‘greater fairness in the management of the global food system,'” Reuters reports (Jones, 6/26).