On Thursday, November 3, Sapienza Rector Eugenio Gaudio and FAO Deputy Director-General Daniel Gustafson, signed a memorandum of understanding to share and exchange knowledge and skills on education and research on food and environmental safety.

Ambassador Pierfrancesco Sacco, Permanent United Nations Representative, and Marcela Villarreal, FAO Partnership, Advocacy and Capacity Development Division Manager, were also present at the signature of the MoU.

FAO DG ’s Deputy Director-General Daniel Gustafson declared: “FAO and Italy share the same vision and the same objective: reaching food safety. With this agreement, our commitment extends to fundamental fields such as statistical research, climate change and food quality. It represents a further step forward in strengthening our cooperation with Italy and its exceptional universities.

“Cooperating with an important international organization such as FAO,” explained Rector Gaudio “is a strategic objective for Sapienza, as it allows us to pool resources and expertise on fundamental issues such as food safety and climate change. The activities delineated in the agreement will stimulate a greater sensitivity in young people towards resolving problems tied to the environment and malnutrition.”

The collaboration agreement between Sapienza University and FAO regards four specific fields:

  • Development of statistical models and data analysis on food uncertainty (i.e., FAO Voices of the Hungry Project) and the agricultural sector worldwide;
  • Improvement of food and nutrition (“food safety”);
  • Reinforcement of knowledge sharing systems (Community of Practice) and good practices on agriculture and climate change;
  • Encouraging the ongoing debate on issues such as monitoring the progress of sustainable development objectives, responsible investments in agriculture, International Year of Legumes.

The agreement also addresses educational activities such as seminars, higher education courses and summer school for university students, young people and operators interested in this field.

Ambassador Pierfrancesco Sacco, Italy’s Permanent Representative at FAO, concluded: “This understanding moves us closer to a concrete perspective of well-structured collaboration between the Italian university system and FAO. We begin, with great pleasure, with one of the greatest universities and which is in the same city of FAO headquarters: Sapienza University of Rome. After the strong message brought by President Matteo Renzi to FAO for World Food Day, we aim to improve the collaboration of Italy and FAO in the struggle against hunger and malnutrition.”