Stories written by Mario Lubetkin
Mario Lubetkin is Assistant Director General at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Fighting COVID-19, But Thinking About the Post-COVID-19 World

Europe, the United States and other countries have made important progress in reducing the dramatic impact of COVID-19 in key sectors of the economy and population. However, in some parts of Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East, the devastating effects of the pandemic continue to severely affect these sectors. One sector in particular, the food and agriculture sector, has been deeply impacted.

A Year Later, COVID-19 Continues to Show the Fragility of Food Security

More than a year after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, food and nutrition security continues to show its fragility.

The Ethics of AI to Ensure Food Security and Development

One year after the call for a group of international and religious organizations and important multinational companies to incorporate ethics into the design of artificial intelligence (AI), Pope Francis said in a tweet: “I hope that more and more people of good will cooperate in the promotion of the common good, the protection of those lagging behind and the development of a shared algor-ethics”.

Overcoming the Digital Gap and Food Insecurity: a Complementary Target

Overcoming the digital gap to face food insecurity with the use of artificial intelligence practices in agriculture is part of a growing debate that seeks to simultaneously safeguard natural resources and address the difficulties generated by climate change and the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Food Security Bursts Onto the Global Agenda

The month of October 2020 will be recalled as one of the most important moments in raising awareness about world food security, whether in the global debate or in the search for possible concrete solutions.

A World Without Hunger Is Also About Protecting Food

Concern about food loss and waste has become an increasingly important focus of attention when discussing ways to eliminate hunger which, according to the latest FAO report, already exceeds 690 million people.

Food Security Threats: Now a Warning and Later May Be Too Late

Recent world reports confirm that the goals set by the international community to end poverty and hunger, and create a more balanced, sustainable and fair world by 2030, are currently in danger. If effective and rapid global action is not taken, the goals will not be met and the results in just 10 years may be very negative for all of us.

COP21 Solved a Dilemma Which Delayed a Global Agreement

One of the most significant aspects of the international conference on climate change, concluded in Paris on December 12, is that food security and ending hunger feature in the global agenda of the climate change debate.

OPINION: The Role of the Media and Visibility for Malnutrition Around the World

The vast international and national media impact of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), held in Rome from Nov. 19 to 21, demonstrated the growing interest that nutritional problems are arousing worldwide, primarily because the media themselves are increasingly reporting issues related to poverty and exclusion.

OPINION: Less Hunger in the World and the Challenge for the Media

It is common belief that good news is less interesting for the general public than bad news; ­this is why media coverage tends to focus on catastrophic events and disasters, both natural and man-made.

TerraViva Comes to FAO

Dear Reader: TerraViva, a special publication of the IPS news agency, the leader in coverage of development issues, civil society and the emerging South, is once again circulating, this time in the meeting rooms and hallways of the FAO building.

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OP-ED: Communication Missing in the International Year of Cooperatives

Six months have passed since the beginning of the United Nations International Year of the Cooperatives (IYC). There can be no doubt it has fallen far short of its goal of calling the world's attention to this formidable instrument of social production.

Communication Missing in the International Year of Cooperatives

Six months have passed since the beginning of the United Nations International Year of the Cooperatives (IYC). There can be no doubt it has fallen far short of its goal of calling the world's attention to this formidable instrument of social production.

INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIONS AND CHANGE IN NORTH AFRICA

Was Al Jazeera the key factor in the fall of the governments in Egypt and Tunisia, in the protests in Bahrain, Yemen, Algeria, and Syria, and in the rebellion in Libya? I don't think you can make this claim: the changes arose not from communications but objective conditions, though communications played a powerful role.

WORLD SOCIAL FORUM – WINNING THE BATTLE OF IDEAS

Paradoxically, just as history is proving the World Social Forum right in many of its predictions and analyses, the major media, those "shapers of public opinion", are not increasing but in fact sharply decreasing their coverage of it. This silent treatment is a clear obstacle to the expansion of the WSF and a cause of real concern for many of its innumerable organisers and participants.

EUROPE-LATIN AMERICA: CLOSE IN TRADE, WORLDS APART IN NEWS COVERAGE

While a considerable portion of economic and trade data shows that relations between Europe and Latin America are positive, reinforcing their historic cultural closeness, for some time now news about Latin America has been a low priority for the European media, which is effecting the thinking of the leaders and citizens of the old continent and pushing Latin America in a direction that runs contratry to European interests.

NOW A GLOBAL PLAYER, THE SOUTH MUST DEVELOP ITS MEDIA

There is a striking asymmetry between the new political and economic world order that has been emerging from the South over the last five years and the relative immobility of the international system of information, which only partially reflects the major transformations of our age.

MEDIA METAMORPHOSIS

Major global depressions, like the current one, always have a domino effect that reaches almost every economic and social activity. The media, however, tend to focus on only a few of its manifestations -those that strike the centres of power- while neglecting the periphery where poverty deepened by the crisis has far more dramatic consequences.

BELEM VS DAVOS: ECONOMIC ESTABLISHMENT STEALS LIMELIGHT DESPITE CULPABILITY

The media gave ample coverage to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, attended since its beginning in 1971 by the same politicians and businessmen who have sustained for decades that financial capitalism was progressing towards a certain and every more generous prosperity and who now promise that they will revive it without offering any plausible explanation for the current catastrophic recession.

CLIMATE CHANGE: WE NEED A PROACTIVE MEDIA

There is no moderately well-informed person who does not believe that climate change is if not the gravest threat facing humanity at least one of the top two or three. It is therefore worth asking whether the performance of the media in this regard rises to the challenge, writes Mario Lubetkin, Director-General of Inter Press Service (IPS). In this analysis, Lubetkin writes that addressing climate change cannot be achieved without the application of firm and constant pressure by informed and responsible citizens on governments and industry and without pushing for more effective action by civil society. It is inconceivable that the people can play this role without being well-informed, oriented, and stimulated by the media. Although it is correct to recognise that in the last decades the space dedicated to the environment has increased, it is also right to expect the media to improve their coverage by abandoning their attitude of merely passing on information and beginning to work actively to shape the opinion of the public and those in power such that they comply with the objectives set by the international community to address the problem of climate change.

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE FOURTH ESTATE

Should the media, which shape public opinion and orient a major part of our actions --political, commercial, social. cultural-- share the same responsibilities as civil society organisations that fight for human rights and discriminated-against minorities around the world? asks Mario Lubetkin, director general the IPS News Agency. In this article the author writes that more and more media feel an identification with a mission that cannot be reduced to transmitting information and feel bound by a sense of social responsibility. We think that the code of conduct voluntarily adopted by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which was written by themselves, contains elements that may be appropriate for the oversight and analysis of the media given the nature of their respective missions. The universal values of human rights, independence, freedom from discrimination, transparency, an ethic of self-financing, the practise of critical vision and evaluation, are some of the concepts that might be accepted by and applied to the media themselves. This might establish a common ground between these two major actors in the contemporary world.

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