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Heidi Kuhn & Pope Francis

Heidi Kuhn & Secretary Blinken

All land is holy, and we must honor the sacred bond between soil and soul. No mother should fear her child will fall victim to a landmine.”
— Heidi Kuhn, World Food Prize Laureate & Roots of Peace Founder
VATICAN, ROME, ITALY, May 15, 2024 / -- In a heartfelt appeal from the heart of the Vatican, World Food Prize Laureate Heidi Kuhn made a compelling case for global peace and agricultural rejuvenation during her keynote address at the World Meeting on Human Fraternity. This Mother's Day, Kuhn’s message was clear: it's time to heal the wounds of war and foster peace through farming.

Heidi Kuhn, alongside Nobel Peace Prize laureates, addressed global leaders and influencers under the pressing theme, “What does it mean to be human?” in an era marred by incessant conflicts and a looming climate crisis that threatens our global food security.

During a private audience with Pope Francis, Kuhn passionately advocated on behalf of mothers in war zones, stating, “All land is holy, and we must honor the sacred bond between soil and soul. No mother should fear her child will fall victim to a landmine.” She emphasized the dire need to respect and restore the earth as a fundamental step toward global recovery.

Pope Francis, addressing the participants of the World Meeting on Human Fraternity, echoed this sentiment, saying, “To ensure lasting peace, we must return to a recognition of our common humanity and place fraternity at the center of peoples’ lives. Only in this way will we succeed in developing a model of coexistence capable of giving the human family a future.”

Kuhn’s visit follows her recent journey to Angola with the support of the Mine Action Group during International Women's Day, highlighting the critical role of women in mine removal efforts across Africa.

Globally, an estimated 110 million landmines in over 60 countries continue to hinder peace and agricultural development. In Ukraine, a staggering 30% of the land is mine-contaminated, significantly impacting the region once hailed as the ‘Breadbasket of Europe.’ Kuhn advocates for the addition of an 18th Sustainable Development Goal: the complete eradication of landmines, without which, she argues, no other SDGs can be fully realized.

“The world must embrace the Fraternity of Peace as the only alternative to our current path of violence and war,” stated Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, underscoring the urgent need for transformative solutions.

Last week, Kuhn also met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who commended her visionary efforts to transform war-torn lands into thriving communities. The World Food Prize recently honored Dr. Cary Fowler, who appointed Kuhn as a VACS Champion for the ‘Vision for Adapted Crops and Soils,’ aimed at tackling food insecurity—a root cause of global instability and migration.

Recognizing the pivotal role of women in agriculture, the United States spearheaded a resolution at the United Nations declaring 2026 as the International Year of the Woman Farmer. Despite women producing half of the world’s food, they disproportionately face food insecurity.

For 27 years, Kuhn’s non-profit, Roots of Peace, has planted over seven million fruit trees worldwide, aiding rural families and combating climate change by restoring the planet’s ‘lungs.’

Heidi Kuhn is a dedicated mother of four and grandmother of seven.

Adriana Aristizabal
iVoice Communications
+1 917-833-0103

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