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UN Food and Agriculture Organization Visit to IR Class

Dr. Ayşegül Akın, Deputy Country Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, visited Bilkent University on 12th December as a part of the IR course “Sustainable Development and Climate Change” taught by part-time instructor Dr. Göktuğ Kara. Dr. Akın firstly introduced FAO under UN and stated its main objectives. Food security and action against worldwide hunger are the most important policy areas for FAO. Although some countries are economically doing well in today’s world, there are still considerable amount of countries which face with brutal consequences of hunger and undernourishment. The results of worldwide hunger will be felt even more harshly given that the population of the world will increase considerably in the next 3 decades and reach 10 billion in 2050. The world needs to feed more people with less amount of arable land and less water as the pressure on these scarce resources are increasing due to increasing urbanization, growing demand for more infrastructure. Food security and food safety will become a major topic for more people unless significant steps are committed now. The FAO representative expressed the projects and initiatives by FAO.

At the beginning of the presentation, Dr. Akın started with presenting what food security really means. Then, another term she explained was ‘adequate food’, which basically refers to the sufficient need of food for individuals. Important graphs about the trends in world hunger were highlighted. Dr. Akın provided crucial data from FAO about the food scarcity and food shortage. The importance of climate change on agricultural activities was also one of the issues that Dr. Akın mentioned. The role of water on food security is very high. Without securing water resources, ensuring food security will be much more difficult and challenging. In addition to all of these, rapid urbanization rates and increasing incomes have a big negative influence on food security. In the end, Dr. Akın stated that FAO is a key player in determining international agricultural standards.

After the presentation of Dr. Akın, question-answer session took place that the future prospects about the issue had discussed including Turkey’s place within the situation.

Celal Onur Uyanık (MIAPP/2) Deniz Tuğuşlu (MIAPP/2)