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World Food Forum 2023 - Indigenous People event

Statement by IFAD President Alvaro Lario

Location: FAO HQ, Rome, Italy

17 October 2023

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Representatives of Indigenous Youth and Indigenous Peoples,
Partners and friends,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Sisters, brothers,

Let me start by thanking the Global Indigenous Youth Caucus, the Association of World Reindeer Herders, and FAO for bringing us together.

To all Indigenous youth, whether here in person or joining us online, we are grateful for your contributions to these urgent discussions.

I am here, on behalf of IFAD, to support you and to be your ally as you work to implement the Rome Declaration on Indigenous Youth and the Global Indigenous Youth Declaration on Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems.

We recognize and value diversity, cultural expressions, dignity, cultural integrity and the spiritual values of all people and all peoples.

In this unprecedented time of climate breakdown, biodiversity loss and even conflict, Indigenous Peoples are showing us the way to a sustainable future.

And you, the Youth, can lead the way to positive change in your communities and beyond – with your visions, your traditions, and your resilience.

You are already reshaping how to think about and interact with our earth, and the ways we produce and consume food. 

Dear friends,

We are committed to a world without hunger, where social justice prevails, and Indigenous rights are recognized.

We, at IFAD, support Indigenous people leading their own development and to self-determination.

We listen to you closely and learn from you.

The fire we kindle today will keep burning.

Thank you.