USUN Rome’s 10th Annual George McGovern Lecture at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) featured Tony P. Hall, Executive Director of The Alliance to End Hunger. Tony Hall served twenty-four years of service as a U.S. Congressman and was Ambassador to the USUN Rome Mission from 2002-2005.
The U.S. Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome (USUN Rome), in partnership with FAO, established the George McGovern Lecture Series ten years ago. The series honors the legacy of George McGovern, a United States Senator and former Ambassador to USUN Rome from 1998-2001. Senator McGovern, who passed away on October 21, 2012, made tremendous contributions to the fight against world hunger, including advancing programs for nutrition, agriculture and food security both in the United States and around the world.
This October 18, 2012 event featuring Tony Hall was befitting of the McGovern legacy, considering Ambassador Hall’s commitment to ending hunger. Ambassador Hall explained that he began his advocacy for this cause almost 30 years ago after visiting Ethiopia in the 1980’s during one of the worst famines the world has witnessed. He noted that there has been tremendous progress since that time, as extreme poverty, both in terms of raw numbers and poverty rates, has decreased significantly in all regions of the world. Ambassador Hall noted that, “this is an amazing statement; something I haven’t been able to say in thirty years.” But, he cautioned, there is still a need for better collaboration and political will to really end hunger.
Addressing a diverse audience of students and professionals from international organizations, Ambassador Hall advised that while the approach to addressing hunger is changing, a systematic approach will be critical in the next few years, and must work hand-in-hand with better education and awareness, collaboration and leadership. Ambassador Hall emphatically stated “if you want to go far, go together. We need leadership to truly see an end to hunger.”