Tag Archives: Kofi Annan

a hungry man is not a free man

“The eradication of hunger is not just an end in itself: It is a first step toward sustainable development and progress in general, for a hungry man is not a free man. He cannot focus on anything else but securing his next meal.” — Kofi Annan

We need to understand that food security is a critical factor in global security. People who are hungry and living under the dark shadow of starvation are easily manipulated by those promising a better life. An empty stomach is never a good political advisor.

In 2001 the FAO defined food security like this: “Food security is a situation that exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”

Food security means not having to fear for one’s next meal. It means being set free from the chains of hunger and, just as importantly, being set free from the fear that accompanies hunger. And as Kofi Annan so powerfully writes, food security and the eradication of hunger are the first steps toward creating a world of truly sustainable development.  Working together we can create that world.

acting like we care

Ending hunger in our lifetime is the right thing to do. We have allowed too many of our family to suffer under the shadow of starvation for far too long.

And ending hunger is possible. Don’t doubt it. Rotary international is demonstrating that changing the world can be done. Their global campaign to eradicate  polio is a perfect demonstration. Now it’s time to eradicate hunger.

Ending hunger in our lifetime requires all of us to realize we can make a real difference, and then to do all we can, with whatever resources we have available, right where we are located. Every one of us can become a part of a global movement of caring and concerned activists who will not only speak up and speak out for the hungry of the world, but also do all we can to make sure no child goes to bed hungry.

The time has come for those of us who care to act like it. We have been too respectful for too long. It is time to become more assertive in demanding that all our human family be allowed to come to the table. Why should we tolerate 25,000 of our family needlessly dying from hunger every day when there is more than enough food available for all?

Working together we CAN change the world. We just need to act like we care. As Kofi Annan said in his presentation yesterday, “change is a process, not an event.” I want to be a part of that process. What about you?


make them follow

As I was doing my morning check of TWITTER I came across several powerful remarks by Kofi Annan, the former General Secretary of the United Nations. His remarks were given at a youth conference and are right on target for anyone interested in changing the world. I want to focus on only one.

Where leaders fail to lead, the people can make them follow — the people can lead if there is enough noise, pressure and organization.

If we want a world without hunger in our lifetime we must make them follow. Our task is to make the leaders follow our understanding of a world without hunger, food for all, justice for all. Obviously, global leaders have not caught the vision of a world where no child is allowed to go hungry. So we must turn the leaders into followers.

We can make them follow by making noise. We must be the voice of the voiceless. We have to speak up and speak out for the poor and the hungry. We have to be their advocates if hunger is to be eliminated.

We can make them follow by putting pressure on them. Leaders, good leaders, listen. If we let them know we are serious, we won’t be silent, and we won’t go away, good leaders will pay attention to our concerns for the hungry.

We make them follow by being organized. This generation has the unbelievable networking power of social media. Organizing our efforts on behalf of the least of these among us is absolutely essential in achieving our goal of ending hunger in our lifetime.

Working together we can make them follow. We can lead the leaders to where we know our world should be. We can change the world. We just need to make them follow.