ROME -- Incoming Executive Director of the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP), Ertharin Cousin, said she would build "a movement" towards empowering women in developing countries in order to promote sustainable food security.

 In one of her final addresses as US Ambassador to the U.N. food agencies before taking up the mantle as WFP Chief on April 10, Cousin spoke at an event entitled 'are we really superwomen?' at the American University of Rome, organised by the American Women's Association of Rome.

9 Mar 2012


“Through Stones” by Simon Finn. Ten to One Records.

 ROME -- Whatever happened to folk music? In recent years, it has seemed that you can only be a folk musician if you are a hip twenty-something, living in London, probably signed to the label Communion.

8 Mar 2012

ROME -- Bill Gates, speaking at the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Governing Council, has criticised IFAD and other international food aid organisations for "not doing as much as they should have to fight hunger and poverty” in recent years and called for large-scale reform.

 “The world’s agriculture and food system is now outdated and inefficient. Countries, food agencies and donors aren’t working together in a focused and coordinated way,” he said.

23 Feb 2012
Gianfranco Nitti

ROME -- As the world belatedly turns its attention to the pressing issues of environmental degradation, resource scarcity and climate change, the concept of sustainability takes its rightful place at centre stage in discussions at the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) which kick off Wednesday. High profile speakers at the jamouree will include Bill Gates and Rwanda president Paul Kagame.

21 Feb 2012


ROME -- Navy officers aboard an Italian merchant vessel opened fire off the south coast of India killing two Indian fisherman, mistaken for pirates.

 The navy said in a statement that “the attitude of the vessel was judged clearly hostile, typical of pirates,” and that the crew followed international protocols.

16 Feb 2012

ROME -- The United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has been ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of euros in damages to a senior executive who was wrongly dismissed without appropriate redundancy provisions. The Fund claimed that she was not technically an employee of the Fund, but of a sub organisation, the Global Mechanism, this claim was defeated by the International Court of Justice last month.

8 Feb 2012


ROME– As Graziano Da Silva prepares for his inauguration as new Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the international peasants’ movement La Via Campesina has cautioned that the Brazilian economist’s policies at the helm of the UN agency will “encourage land grabbing” and reinforce big corporations’ control of global agriculture.

23 Dec 2011

 ROME – Captain Charles Ridley, a soldier and top foreign correspondent for UPI, climaxed an extraordinary career with a worldwide scoop by breaking the news of the 1981 assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II, and was a colourful inspiration for his fellow reporters.

16 Dec 2011

ROME -- Foreign lecturers have expressed hope that the new Monti government will give a boost to forthcoming round table negotiations to end more than 25 years of discrimination. Several British and European government officials have reiterated their support for the campaign and their determination to pursue the issue with the technocrats.

 Currently, foreign lecturers in Italy are denied equal pay and pension rights to Italian lecturers, a law which the European Court of Justice has also ready ruled is illegal six times.

9 Dec 2011