Food is a basic right and "decisive" action is crucial to ensure humankind's nutritional wellbeing, Italy's president Sergio Mattarella said on Friday.
"Food is a fundamental human right," Mattarella stated in a video message to mark the 75th anniversary of the Rome-based United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation and World Food Day.
"It is time for the entire planet to make decisive choices, for a serious global commitment to the responsible use of natural resources in order to ensure healthy food," Mattarella said.
Mattarella's appeal came as ever-greater numbers of people face poverty hunger and malnutrition as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate shocks and conflict.
FAO’s Director-General QU Dongyu, Pope Francis, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, FAO Special Goodwill Ambassadors for Nutrition King Letsie III of Lesotho and Queen Letizia of Spain, the UN World Food Programme’s Executive Director David Beasley and the International Fund for Agricultural Development’s (IFAD) President Gilbert F. Houngbo were also due to address Friday's ceremony.