Sheikh Zayed recognised importance of agriculture in advancement of humanity: FAO director-general

ROME, 4th June, 2018 (WAM) — As the United Arab Emirates celebrates ‘Zayed Humanitarian Work Day’ today, the 19th of Ramadan, Jose Graziano da Silva, the director general of the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO, has praised the late Sheikh Zayed, the founding father of the UAE, for what he described as his “great understanding for the important role agriculture plays in the advancement of humanity.”

Sheikh Zayed, Da Silva said in a message to the Emirates News Agency, WAM, “was a man with a bright vision in areas related to agriculture, the environment and water. He helped turn large tracts of desert green by investing in agriculture.”

The Sheikh Zayed International Media and Knowledge Centre, which was inaugurated at the FAO headquarters in Rome in 2012, Da Silva said, “is an important token of our appreciation for the founder of the UAE.”

Since it was established, according to FAO officials, over 360 events have been hosted at the Centre, including international press conferences, launches of global reports and other important functions, in which heads of state, royalty, ministers, Nobel Prize winners and other leading figures have taken part.

The project to construct the Centre was initiated by former FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf in 2007, with construction being completed at the end of 2011. It was officially inaugurated by the UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the FAO director general in April 2012.

At the opening, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah noted: “Our sponsorship of this project underscores our strong conviction that FAO plays an indispensable role in addressing the challenges of poverty and malnutrition and responding to agricultural development problems, particularly in developing countries.” Covering 260 sq.m. of floor space, the Sheikh Zayed International Media and Knowledge Centre includes a conference hall allowing for live TV transmissions and debates, a new TV studio with post-production suites and e-learning facilities, with state-of-the-art broadcasting and communication technology, giving FAO interactive live television transmission capacities. Videoconferencing, streaming video and digital media distribution are also available, enhancing FAO’s ability to communicate, network and share knowledge.

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