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Secretary-General’s statement on the awarding of the 2020 Nobel Prize for Peace to the World Food Programme

I am delighted by the decision of the Nobel Committee to award this year’s Prize for Peace to the United Nations World Food Programme. 

The World Food Programme is the world’s first responder on the frontlines of food insecurity. 

In a world of plenty, it is unconscionable that hundreds of millions go to bed each night hungry.  Millions more are now on the precipice of famine due to the COVID-19 pandemic.   

The women and men of the WFP brave danger and distance to deliver life-saving sustenance to those devastated by conflict, to people suffering because of disaster, to children and families uncertain about their next meal.

There is also a hunger in our world for international cooperation.  The World Food Programme feeds that need, too.  WFP operates above the realm of politics, with humanitarian need driving its operations.  The organization itself survives on voluntary contributions from UN Member States and the public at large.  

Such solidarity is precisely needed now to address not only the pandemic, but other global tests of our time.  We know that existential threats such as the climate change will make the hunger crisis even worse.  

I warmly congratulate David Beasley, WFP Executive Director, and the entire staff of the World Food Programme, for advancing the values of the United Nations every day and serving the cause of “we the peoples” as the Organization marks its 75th anniversary year.