IAEA helps food task force, provides mutant banana strains (no, really)

by | Feb 17, 2009

I shouldn’t laugh, as clearly it behoves all right-thinking people to applaud examples of UN agencies ‘delivering as one’ wherever we may find them.

But still, perhaps one may be permitted a small chuckle of surprised delight upon receiving a press release from a UN agency proclaiming its assistance to the UN’s food task force – when the agency in question is the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Apparently the IAEA has helped 24 African countries to eradicate the deadly cattle disease rinderpest. Alas, details of how this has been achieved were not provided.  But there is much enjoyment to be had in speculating.

IAEA have also provided this photo with their press release, which shows Dr. Chiklu Mba, the head of IAEA’s Plant Breeding Unit. Rather fabulously, the caption explains that he is “examining mutant banana samples”.

Join us here again at the same time next week, when the World Food Programme will be with us to set out their ambitious plan for making a success of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference in 2010.


  • Alex Evans

    Alex Evans is founder of the Collective Psychology Project, which explores how we can use psychology to reduce political tribalism and polarisation, a senior fellow at New York University, and author of The Myth Gap: What Happens When Evidence and Arguments Aren’t Enough? (Penguin, 2017). He is a former Campaign Director of the 50 million member global citizen’s movement Avaaz, special adviser to two UK Cabinet Ministers, climate expert in the UN Secretary-General’s office, and was Research Director for the Business Commission on Sustainable Development. He was part of Ethiopia’s delegation to the Paris climate summit and has consulted for Oxfam, WWF UK, the UK Cabinet Office and US State Department. Alex lives with his wife and two children in Yorkshire.

More from Global Dashboard

Our COVID Future: The Long Crisis Scenarios

Our COVID Future: The Long Crisis Scenarios

Created in partnership with: COVID-19 marks a turning point in the 21st century.​ Levels of uncertainty are off the chart, making predictions impossible. ​But if we can create plausible stories about different futures, we create a...

Protecting our Critical Global Infrastructure

Protecting our Critical Global Infrastructure

Earlier this week, we published Shooting the Rapids – COVID-19 and the Long Crisis of Globalisation. In the final section, we present a plan for collective action at the global level with four elements:  Firefight better – getting the emergency response...