9 October 2020
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.
I warmly congratulate David Beasley, WFP Executive Director, and the entire staff of the World Food Programme, on this recognition.
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.
In my ten years as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, I had the privilege to work hand-in-hand with my colleagues from the World Food Programme.
I have seen them in the most remote and dangerous locations with enormous courage, dedication and competence serving the most vulnerable of the vulnerable people of this world.
There is also a hunger everywhere 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 climate change will make the hunger crisis even worse. We know that achieving zero hunger is an imperative for peace.
A hungry world is not a peaceful world.
I salute the women and men of the World Food Programme — and indeed the entire UN team — for all their efforts to advance the cause of peace and the values of the United Nations today and every day.