The signature of the IPS – FAO hosting agreement took place on September 6th at the new IPS offices at FAO Headquarters in Rome. José Graziano da Silva FAO Director General, Marcela Villarreal, FAO Director ESW and Mehdi Drissi, FAO Chief, Media Relations; Rita Mannella, Italian DGCS and Claudio Miscia, Italian Representative to UN Organizations in Rome and Mario Lubetkin, IPS Director General, Sabina Zaccaro, IPS Italian Correspondent and Pablo Piacentini, Director of the IPS Columnist Service were among those present.
Following the ceremony, a group of about 60 IPS friends coming from UN and international organizations, media and civil society celebrated this official inauguration of the new IPS premises with a glass of wine.
IPS Director General Mario Lubetkin addressed the guests and thanked FAO and the
Italian Government. “IPS already has offices at UN Headquarters in New York and at the UN in Geneva and Vienna. This new agreement ratifies the profile of IPS as an international non-profit independent and professional communication institution, and is a step forward as we strengthen our role as the leading global news agency for development and civil society, and a communicator actor for the emerging South” Lubetkin said.
Graziano da Silva explained that within FAO’s new strategy, IPS represents one of the different sectors that can improve the global food security debate and governance and can
also help to improve the assistance provided to countries, “IPS’ contribution to economic and social development and cooperation is the provision of free communication and a professional flow of independent information”.
“Partnership means working together with those that share our vision and goals and the paths that we need to follow to reach them. It does not mean that we need to think or say the same thing all the time.” Graziano da Silva further added.
Rita Mannella expressed her enthusiasm and support on behalf of Italy to having IPS hosted at FAO Headquarters, “having finally an independent news agency at FAO will contribute to strengthening the work of UN agencies and civil society”.
Finally participants congratulated the IPS Director General and his staff on their new offices and for the work that IPS continues to carry out.
More about: Agricultura, Civil society, Global, Globalization and the South, Naciones Unidas, Providing news and content, Sustainable development, United Nations