WFP Executive Director Attends Rio+20 Conference To Give Voice To Hungry

Published on 17 June 2012

ROME – The Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), Ertharin Cousin, arrived today in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, ahead of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, 20-22 June.

WFP believes that there can be no sustainable development when so many people have been left on the side-lines of mainstream development, and WFP’s attendance aims to ensure that the voices of the most vulnerable populations are heard.

Cousin will attend several high-level events, as well as conference side events. She will also meet with representatives of governments and the private sector to strengthen and build the partnerships that will allow us to end hunger in our lifetimes. By leveraging their expertise and resources, private sector companies play a key role in laying the foundation for sustainable development and economic growth.

Monday 18 June: Cousin will hold meetings with partners and visit a school in the urban community of Rocinha in Rio de Janeiro, where the Government of Brazil has invested in social protection programmes.

Tuesday 19 June: Cousin will speak at an event hosted by the UN’s Rome-Based Food Agencies entitled “Aiming for a Food Secure Future,” where participants will discuss action points on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture for the post-Rio agenda. Cousin will then take part in Rio+20 Social, an interactive, digital panel hosted by the UN Foundation, Mashable and Ericsson. (Live webcast: Cousin will also be a panellist on the side event “Les Nigériens Nourrissent les Nigériens,” also attended by President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, which will highlight the government-led 3N Initiative to increase food security in Niger through sustainable agriculture and development.

Wednesday 20 June: Cousin will hold meetings with partners and will attend the Opening of the Rio +20 Conference. Rio+20 is an opportunity for world leaders to reaffirm the eradication of hunger and undernutrition as a crucial global development goal in the post-2015 agenda.

Thursday 21 June: Cousin will participate in the High Level Roundtable with Heads of State and UN Agencies, where the implementation of outcomes from Rio+20 will be discussed. Cousin will also participate in the Joint Rome-Based Agencies High Level Event on Food and Nutrition Security, scheduled to be opened by Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

Friday 22 June: Cousin will speak at an event of the Global Dry Land Alliance, hosted by the government of Qatar. A press conference hosted by Cousin and President Michel Martelly of Haiti on “Building Resilience in Haiti: Connecting School Meals, Nutrition and Local Farmers” is also planned.


For more information and to find out about press availability, please contact (email address:

In Rio de Janeiro:

Alejandro Chicheri, WFP/Latin America and the Caribbean, Mob. +507 66715355

Mariana Hoffman, WFP/Brasilia, Mob. +55 61 8125 6469

In WFP support offices:

Elio Rujano, WFP/Latin America and the Caribbean, Mob. +507 6677 0608

Emilia Casella, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513 3854, Mob. +39 347 9450634

Bettina Luescher, WFP/New York, Tel. +1 646 5566909, Mob. +1 646 8241112

Rene McGuffin, WFP/Washington, Tel. +1 202 6530010 ext. 1149, Mob. +1 202 4223383

Caroline Hurford, WFP/London, Tel. +44 20 72409001, Mob. +44 7968 008474