United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation director-general Jose Graziano da Silva on Monday urged countries to urgently address all forms of malnourishment and bring about "transformative change" of food systems.
"The coexistence of undernutrition, obesity and micronutrient deficiencies, what we know as the triple burden of malnutrition, is spreading and affecting almost every country in the world," Graziano da Silva said in his opening address to FAO's Council, the organization's executive body.
" The international community needs to urgently address this situation by promoting transformative change in our food systems," Graziano da Silva said.
Obesity now affects around 672 million people and the increase has been faster in Africa than any other region and over two billion people globally suffer from micronutrient deficiencies, Graziano da Silva said.
"Our Zero Hunger Goal is not just about feeding people, but well nourishing people by providing everyone with the necessary nutrients for a healthy life," Graziano da Silva underlined.
Major events being organised next year as part of efforts towards the elimination of hunger include the Food Safety Conference in Addis Ababa in February co-organized with the World Health Organization and the African Union, the Trade and Food Safety Conference in Geneva in April, and the Rural Revitalization Conference in Beijing in May, he said.
In May, FAO will host a conference with the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme to launch the UN Decade of Family Farming (2019-2028), Graziano da Silva added.
A special office for South-South and Triangular Cooperation will be set up to help South-South Cooperation achieve food security and rural development, the FAO chief said.
In relation to geographic representation among FAO's staff, the number of non-represented countries has decreased from 17 to 14, with recent appointees from Timor Leste, Belize, and Saint Kitts and Nevis, and that the percentage of equitably represented countries is now 87.6 percent, he noted.
Side events during the FAO's Food Council include an event on Wednesday to mark World Soil Day 2018 as well as events to highlight FAO's work with Belgium and Sweden, and the African Solidarity Trust Fund, said Graziano da Silva.