About the Year
To contribute to food security, eradication poverty and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals
The idea of a United Nations International Year dedicated to natural fibres arose in December 2004 from a meeting of FAO's Intergovernmental Groups on Hard Fibres and on Jute, Kenaf and Allied Fibres. In November 2005, the proposal was endorsed by a resolution of FAO's biennial Conference, which sought to focus world attention on the role that natural fibres play in contributing to food security and poverty alleviation. The resolution was transmitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, with the aim of having the UN General Assembly declare 2009 the International Year of Natural Fibres.
In December 2006, the 61st Session of the General Assembly declared the International Year and invited FAO to facilitate its observance, in collaboration with governments, regional and international organizations, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and relevant organizations of the United Nations system.
International Year of Natural Fibres
Recalling that, following consideration by the Joint Meeting of the Thirty-third Session of the Intergovernmental Group on Hard Fibres and the Thirty-fifth Session of the Intergovernmental Group on Jute, Kenaf and Allied Fibres, and by the Sixty-fifth Session of the Committee on Commodity Problems, the Hundred and Twenty-eighth Session of the FAO Council in June 2005 had endorsed the proposal for an International Year of Natural Fibres;
Noting that natural fibres play an important part in clothing the world's population as well as having traditional and promising new industrial uses;
Recalling that much of the world's natural fibre was produced as a source of cash income by small farmers in low-income and developing countries;
Desiring to focus world attention on the role that income derived from the sale and export of natural fibres plays in contributing to food security and poverty alleviation of the population;
Believing that while the production and consumption of natural fibres offer significant environmental benefits, concerted efforts should be made to ensure that these benefits are not compromised by unsound practices;
Recognizing that there were important potential partnerships among participants in the various natural fibre industries;
Affirming the need to heighten public awareness of the economic and environmental attributes of natural fibres:
- Requests the Director-General to transmit this Resolution to the Secretary-General of the United Nations with a view to having the United Nations declare the Year 2009 as the International Year of Natural Fibres;
- Further requests the Director-General to inform future sessions of Conference and the Secretary-General of the United Nations of progress in making arrangements, including in securing funding, for the International Year of Natural Fibres and, subsequently, of the results of the Year once concluded.
25 November 2005
General Assembly resolution
International Year of Natural Fibres, 2009
The General Assembly,
Noting resolution 3/2005 of the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, adopted on 25 November 2005,
Noting also that the diverse range of natural fibres produced in many countries provides an important source of income for farmers, and thus can play an important role in contributing to food security and in eradicating poverty and hence in contributing to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals,
- Decides to declare 2009 the International Year of Natural Fibres;
- Invites the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to facilitate the observance of the Year, in collaboration with Governments, regional and international organizations, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and relevant organizations of the United Nations system, and also invites the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to keep the General Assembly informed of progress made in this regard;
- Calls upon Governments and relevant regional and international organizations to make voluntary contributions and to lend other forms of support to the Year;
- Invites non-governmental organizations and the private sector to make voluntary contributions to and to support the Year;
- Encourages all Governments, the United Nations system and all other actors to take advantage of the Year in order to increase awareness of the importance of these natural products.
20 December 2006
Contact us to get involved:
International Year of Natural Fibres
Trade and Markets Division
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00153 Rome, Italy
Fax: +39 06 57054495