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Statement from President Higgins on the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize

Date: Fri 9th Oct, 2020 | 13:06

President Michael D. Higgins has conveyed his congratulations to the World Food Programme on being awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize.


"On behalf of the people of Ireland I wish to congratulate the staff and leadership of the World Food Programme on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2020. Traoslaím leo.

The Nobel Committee, in awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the United Nations’ food agency, the World Food Programme, highlighted the organisation’s efforts to combat hunger and its contribution to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict. It is such a good decision and will be welcomed not only by Irish people but by all those all over the world who are working to end the scandal of world hunger.

In its statement, the Nobel Committee paid tribute to the World Food Programme for its “impressive ability to intensify its efforts”, in the circumstances of Covid-19. The World Food Programme itself has stated that “until the day we have a medical vaccine, food is the best vaccine against chaos”. 

The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organisation addressing hunger and promoting food security. In 2019, the WFP provided assistance to close to 100 million people in 88 countries who are victims of acute food insecurity and hunger.

Globally, leaders and members of the United Nations have been alerted to the fact that, as the Nobel Committee pointed out in its statement announcing the decision to give the Nobel Peace Prize to the World Food Programme, that “the world is in danger of experiencing a hunger crisis of inconceivable proportions if the World Food Programme and other food assistance organisations do not receive the financial support they have requested.”

In 2015, eradicating hunger was adopted as one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as number two of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals.

I so welcome the Nobel Committee’s decision to award the Prize to the WFP, and its acknowledgement of the achievements of the WFP and its highlighting of the continued importance of international strategies to eradicate global hunger and under-nutrition.

Let us all use today’s announcement as an encouragement to harness our hopes and energies, and redouble our efforts, taken together, to fulfil the moral imperative of our times, to achieve the goal of eliminating hunger in our world by 2030."