The Bolivian proposal was supported by a steering committee from Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Egypt, France and Peru:
United Nations declares 2013 the International Year of Quinoa
The General Assembly of the United Nations, during its 91st session, declared the year 2013 as the International Year of Quinoa (IYQ), according to a news release from the Organization of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Under the slogan “A future planted for thousands of years,” events will be held worldwide to promote this key food for present and future generations, highlighting its high nutritional value and contribution to food security.
“Quinoa is an exceptional food for present and future generations because of its high nutritional value, and because it is adapted to extreme weather conditions, multiple soil types, and [multiple] altitudes,” said the interim Regional Representative of FAO, Alan Bojanic.
In an example of the strong commitment by the international community to support this declaration, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Egypt, France and Peru joined Bolivia to form the International Committee to lead the IYQ. Shortly after Chile launched the proposal, the committee announced that Bolivia will remain as chair of the committee. Chile, Ecuador and Peru will share the vice chair of the committee, while Argentina and France will jointly serve the role of rapporteur, investigating special issues. The FAO will provide the committee’s secretary.
“We are working in coordination with producers and the FAO, and putting all our efforts together, because today we have not only an agricultural challenge, but also a great opportunity for the Andean countries to promote this product known as golden grain,” said the Minister of Rural Development, Nemesia Achacollo.
President Evo Morales will be sworn in as the Ambassador of Quinoa at the next FAO Council, to be held from 11 to 15 June, Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca confirmed at the International Committee’s first meeting.
Bolivia proposed the IYQ with the support of Argentina, Azerbaijan, Ecuador, Georgia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and the FAO. The IYQ was adopted at the FAO Conference in June 2011 and approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its 91st Session in December 2011.
The Conference noted the exceptional nutritional qualities of quinoa, its adaptability to different agro-ecological homes, and its commercial and industrial potential, and invited the FAO to facilitate the implementation of IYQ.