Director-General  QU Dongyu

FAO Director-General’s first month in office

As pledged in his campaign speech, Qu Dongyu is creating a new organizational culture and business model at FAO. He dedicated his first month in office to boosting staff morale, shoring up the support of Member States and international organizations, and on focusing on achieving the SDGs within the context of FAO’s mandate.

31 August 2019, Rome – FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu marked his first month in office by introducing measures to boost staff morale, moving to secure increased Member State support, and prioritizing the UN agency’s efforts to assist countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Bolstering staff morale, improving internal management

Qu has made a special effort to reach out to FAO staff, including dedicating his first three days in office to meeting every team at the agency’s Rome headquarters. His down-to-earth approach, which includes taking his meals in the canteen and foregoing some of the entitlements of his office, is to listen to staff members’ priorities and concerns and to connect with the Organization’s grass roots.

He also immediately set about reviewing the FAO’s management and taking action to ensure the Organization’s integrity and professionalism.

And in line with his stated aim to ensure greater gender equality, and increase the representation of women at FAO, the Director-General announced an extension to maternity leave.

In his first trip abroad since taking office to participate at the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Japan, the Director-General also visited FAO’s Liaison Office and met with staff.

Building Member State support

Since taking up his post at FAO on 1 August, Qu has focused on strengthening collaboration with Member States and on stepping up cooperation with other UN agencies and international institutions.

This has seen him hold meetings with the Prime Minister of FAO’s host country, Italy, and ambassadors and permanent representatives from major countries and other Member States, with whom he has shared his vision and priorities for achieving the SDGs. The Director-General underscored his intent to implement FAO’s mandate, to strengthen collaboration with Member States, and to do so in a transparent manner.

Scaling up collaboration with UN and other international organizations and reaching out to the private sector

Qu briefed UN Secretary-General António Guterres, during their meeting on the sidelines of TICAD, on his priorities and strategies on realizing the SDGs. For his part, the UN Secretary-General reiterated his support for Qu and FAO’s work, especially his vision on development and internal management.

During meetings in Japan, the Director-General also reached out to many relevant UN organizations including ILO, UNIDO and others. During these talks, it was agreed to take joint action around common areas of work.

As part of his efforts to strengthen and optimize inter-agency collaboration, the Director-General also participated in a conference call on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) with UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed and the chiefs of the World Organisation for Animal Health OIE) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

With strengthening collaboration with private sector one of his priorities to realize the SDGs, the Director-General has reached out to major development partners, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to explore concrete cooperation opportunities.

Focusing on the most vulnerable regions

The Director-General capped his first month in office with his first trip abroad, a visit to Yokohama, Japan to participate in TICAD. There he held a number of meetings with several African heads of state and government - ensuring them of FAO’s support and exploring new areas of collaboration - and international organizations leaders.

In meetings with Japanese officials, including the country’s Prime Minister, the Director-General thanked them for Japan’s cooperation with FAO.



First month in office - Highlights