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The video message of Pope Francis at "The Expo of Ideas, the first stage for the Charter of Milan"

Culture / -

Speaking via video-link at the Expo of Ideas on Saturday February 7 in Milan, Pope Francis said that the structural causes of inequality need be eliminated, that charity needs to be recognised as a source of common good, and that the Earth has to be nurtured.

In his video message, broadcast at the end of the morning session, the pontiff stated that he wanted to add his own contribution to this high-level event designed to begin the groundwork on the Charter of Milan.

Citing a speech he had made during his recent visit to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Pope recalled that, when faced with critical issues such as climate change and changes in agricultural output, "our first concern must be the individual: the people who do not eat every day and who have stopped thinking about life, family and social relationships, and who are fighting just to survive".

Reminding his listeners of the words of John Paul II, Pope Francis stated that, “the ‘paradox of abundance’ persists: there is food for everyone, yet not everyone can eat, while waste, excessive consumption and the use of food for other purposes is visible before our very eyes. "And few other subjects run as much risk of being manipulated by statistics or corruption, or being blamed on the economic crisis, as these", he warned.
‘No’ to the economy of inequality
The Pope urged those gathered at Hangar Bicocca in Milan to adopt three practical approaches.
First, he asked for a move away from emergencies in favor of setting real priorities, focusing on the root of all evils: "We must move away from the domination of the markets and of financial speculation, and address our best efforts to the structural causes of inequality”.

Politics, dignity, and the common good
Secondly, the importance of charity needs to be recognized. "While often denigrated, politics remains one of the highest forms of charity, because it seeks the common good. We need to convince ourselves that charity is not only the principle behind our micro-relationships, such as family, friendships, and small groups, but also behind our macro-relationships, including those in the social, economic, and political spheres.

“The dignity of the human individual and the common good are the underpinnings of economic policy.
"Be brave,” said the pope, “and do not be afraid of looking at the wider consequences of political decisions. This will help you to truly serve the common good and give you the strength to make the wealth of this world accessible to all".
Custodians of creation
The Pope pointed out that we are the custodians and not the masters of the Earth.
"I recall once again,” he said, “as I did at FAO, something an old peasant said to me many years ago: God always forgives. We sometimes forgive, but the land never forgives. We must care for Mother Earth so that she doesn’t respond with destruction."

“As we are taught by the social doctrine of the Church, we must not lose sight of the origin and purpose of the world’s natural resources, so as to create a fair world.

“We have not inherited the earth from our parents, but it has been lent to us by our children”, said the Pope. “The land is generous, and supplies everything necessary to those who take care of it. The role of custodian of the Earth is not a commitment that applies only to christians, but to everyone."

“I would like to ask all those in positions of responsibility in the political, economic and social spheres, and all men and women of good will: Be custodians of creation, and do not let the marks of destruction and death accompany our journey in this world. We must care for the Earth not only with goodness, but also with tenderness."
 

Roberto Mancini: the challenge facing Expo is to help get food to those who don’t have enough

Lifestyle / -

Roberto Mancini
© Filippo Venezia/Ansa/Corbis

Inter Milan football team head coach Roberto Mancini was a recent visitor to Expo Milano 2015. Asked what had struck him particularly, he replied: the fact that food is still being wasted worldwide.

After having left Italy to manage Britain’s Manchester City and then having spent time in Turkey managing Galatasaray, Roberto Mancini recently returned as head coach for the Inter Milan football (soccer) team, a post he has held twice before.
 
On May 13, he visited the Expo, along with team captain Andrea Ranocchia. They started, as everyone does, at Pavilion Zero, and then moved on to the Indonesian pavilion and the China Corporate United Pavilion.
 
With Expo’s theme being Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life, this seemed like an excellent opportunity to talk to him about sportspeople’s diets, but also about solidarity. Not least because Roberto Mancini was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador just last November, his task being to “raise awareness, mobilize resources, and co-opt public opinion on issues related to children and adolescents”.
 
Your guiding principles include ensuring that “football should be both a source of enjoyment and also an educational vehicle”. Which sounds very straightforward, but which implies a number of values and competencies. One of these is nutrition.
Nutrition is, indeed, very important. Not so much for us, since we are getting on in years, but for our children’s future. The biggest challenge that we are facing currently, and into the coming years, is not just that of eating well but also and, more importantly, to ensure that everyone everywhere gets to eat. I believe that Expo is important for carrying forward this idea, and I hope that it will help everyone, everywhere on earth, and especially those who are still lacking an adequate and consistent supply of daily nourishment.
 
You have played and coached in different parts of Italy, as well as in a number of countries worldwide. What was your favorite food when you were in the United Kingdom?
The UK does not have a specialty food. There’s fish and chips and there’s beer. While the UK is well-known for all sorts of things, I think Italy still leads the field when it comes to food!
 
How about Turkey?
Turkish cuisine is very similar to Italian, as these are both Mediterranean countries. People eat lots of fruit and vegetables, as well as very high-quality chicken.
 
And what is your all-time favorite dish?
I love cappelletti, which are like small ravioli, or stuffed pasta.
 
As a coach, do you keep an eye on your players‘ diets? If so, what do you recommend they eat before a game, or to ensure they keep fit?
I do not actually check up on what they eat, but I check up on what they weigh. Football players are different from when I was a player. At that time, you ate anything you wanted before a match. Now, they are much more careful, and they follow diets devised for them by professional dieticians and they are very scrupulous about it. Pre-match, though, the tendency is to eat a lot of carbs, such as pasta, and cakes.
 
Last November you were appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. What was your reaction to the brief as to your duties? What will this appointment involve?
I was very proud and very happy to be appointed to this function, and I hope to perform my tasks in an effective manner.
 
The appointment came at about the same time as I took up my role at Inter, so I have not had that much time to dedicate to it. However, I hope to be able to travel to one of the countries where UNICEF is most active in the near future.
 
I think UNICEF is especially important in countries where people still do not have enough to eat. In Pavilion Zero, we discovered that 30 percent of food is still wasted. This is why we need to find ways to redistribute what people do not want, so as to make sure that enough reaches the people, and especially the children that live in those countries where there is a shortage.
 
Many people seem to see Expo 2015 as a kind of “Food World Cup”. Who would you like to win, and how is Expo impacting the city of Milan?
I find that this exhibition is very well organized and I really do hope that it will be helpful in getting food to the people who need it. I also hope that this will be Expo’s heritage. Indeed, it is the most important challenge that the city of Milan and the world as whole, could address.
 

And the Oscar for food goes to... 10 actors who are committed to ending world hunger

Culture / -

Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie © UNHCR/Corbis

The Oscars are fast approaching, the most important and famous award in the film world, making it the perfect occasion to find out which actors, past and present, are engaged in the fight against hunger and malnutrition.

Paul Newman
In 1982, the late Paul Newman, together with writer Aaron Edward Hotchner, founded Newman's Own, a food company that donates 100 percent of its net profits to the foundation of the same name, which in turn distributes it to organizations and associations involved in environmental and social causes. This was the wish of the actor who died in 2008, and whose philosophy was, "Let’s give it all away to those who need it”. After just one year in operation, the company generated approximately 300,000 US dollars in sales. To date, more than thirty years on, a total of 400 million US dollars have been donated.

Julia Roberts
One of the first charity missions made by one of Hollywood’s leading ladies took place in 1995. Roberts went to Port-au-Prince, capital of Haiti, as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador to see, at first-hand, the work of the United Nations children’s organization that is committed to delivering aid in the form of food, clean drinking water, education and healthcare. More recently she voiced Mother Nature as part of a campaign for Conservation International, the environmental organization dedicated to the protection of nature and biodiversity.

Matt Damon
Winner of an Academy Award, together with Ben Affleck, for Best Original Screenplay in 1998 for 'Good Will Hunting' and twice nominated for Best Actor, in 2010 Damon became spokesman for Feeding America, an American organization whose US-wide network of food banks distributes food to the people who need it the most.
 
Angelina Jolie
After ten years of service as Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), in April 2012, Angelina Jolie was appointed their Special Envoy.
In her work with UNHCR, Jolie has focused her attention on the problems of those forced to abandon their homes and their countries, and who often have no access to food. Over the years, the American actress has visited over 40 refugee camps. In 2014, she received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, a special category at the Academy Awards, dedicated to actors who have been recognized "for outstanding contributions to humanitarian causes".

Bill Pullman
In 2012, Bill Pullman featured in 'The Fruit Hunters', a documentary by Yung Chang. An ode to biodiversity, the film tells of people who are dedicating time and energy to search for rare and lost exotic fruits, and forgotten species that today might offer a satisfactory response to the challenges to food production posed by climate change, as well as new options to ensure a healthy and balanced diet. Pullman’s long-time passion for the land and his desire to cultivate fruit was revealed to the general public by his taking part in this film.

Susan Sarandon
Nominated six times for an Academy Award, and winner in 1996 for Best Actress for her role in 'Dead Man Walking', in 2010, Susan Sarandon became a Goodwill Ambassador in the fight against hunger for the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), along with singer Celine Dion, and Italian actor Raoul Bova. 
 
Raoul Bova
One of few Italians chosen to be a Goodwill Ambassador against hunger for the FAO, Raoul Bova has promoted the Run for Food marathon that is held annually on World Food Day in Rome, where the FAO has its headquarters. Funds raised by the marathon are used to fund the FAO’s TeleFood initiative, which finances projects supporting small-scale farmers around the world.
 
Drew Barrymore
A WFP Ambassador Against Hunger since 2007 after seeing with her own eyes the positive effects that the UN agency has on helping feed children in Kenya. A year later Drew Barrymore donated one million US dollars to the campaign and has continued to carry out her Ambassador role ever since, meeting government and civil society representatives, as well as business leaders to talk about the importance of funding school-based food programs.

Sean Connery
As well as winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1988 for his performance in 'The Untouchables', this legendary Scots actor was, in 2003, the first to sign up to WFP’s mission: eliminating world hunger. He has been the face of several campaigns to show how, and where, WFP is active in delivering food to those who need it.
 
Halle Berry
The winner of the Best Actress Academy Award in 2002 for 'Monster's Ball', Berry took part in the 2013 edition of American fashion designer Michael Kors’ Watch Hunger Stop campaign, which is run in partnership with the UN’s WFP School Meals Program. She travelled to Jinotega, Nicaragua in July 2014, to visit two schools that have benefited from the program.
 
 

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