Tutu Fellow Victor Ochen addressed the United Nation General Assembly at a high-level event called “Mobilizing Generation Zero Hunger,” in which he recounted surviving seven years of childhood having only one meal a day. He did not just know about hunger from books, he knew hunger from experience, he told the event, which also featured Brazilian footballer and WFP Ambassador against Hunger, Kaká and UN leader, Ban Ki-Moon. Ochen's organization AYINET continues to deal with the challenge of hunger as it works with victims of war.
The event was part of the Sustainable Development Summit at UN Headquarters. The summit brought together young entrepreneurs and activists from around the world, along with global leaders, policy makers and celebrities to discuss how to mobilize this generation to champion sustainable agriculture, food security, and nutrition to make zero hunger and sustainable development a reality.
The summit sought commitments from world leaders to 17 sustainable development goals, of which ending hunger is Goal 2. The seventeen goals collectively aim to ensure the long-term well-being of the planet and its people. Mogens Lykketoft, President of the 70th session of the UN General Assembly, said that while the number of people suffering from hunger in developing regions has fallen by half since 1990, there are still close to 800 million people undernourished worldwide, a majority of which are children and youth.
The event was co-hosted by three UN agencies – the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Food Programme (WFP) – and the Government of Ireland. Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD, noted the massive untapped human resources available in most of the developing world between the ages of 10 and 24. He stressed that each country should take up the responsibility of maximizing the potential of its youth and provide them with opportunities to be able to achieve the goal of Zero Hunger by 2030.
More can be read about the summit at the UN website as well as about the Sustainable Development Goals.