Director-General  QU Dongyu

FAO and The Group of 77 to reinforce collaboration


12 February 2020, New York - FAO Director-General QU Dongyu discussed ways to reinforce collaboration with the The Group of 77 in his meeting today with the Group's Chair Rudolph Michael Ten-Pow.

The Group of 77 is the largest intergovernmental organization of developing countries in the United Nations, which provides the means for the countries of the South to articulate and promote their collective economic interests and enhance their joint negotiating capacity on all major international economic issues within the United Nations system, and promote South-South cooperation for development.

The Director-General spoke about the need to put more emphasis on prevention and improving countries’ capacities for surveillance and early warning tools. He stressed the need to invest in countries' capacity development. In that context, he highlighted the current desert locust outbreak, an example that shows clearly just how important investing in capacity development is to enable countries to adequately respond when having to face such difficult situations. 

The parties discussed the important role of digital agriculture, with the Director-General emphasizing how harnessing the power of digitisation, e-commerce can improve access to markets to smallholders and make them more competitive.  

The Chair commended the Director-General for his work in China (prior to his current role as Director-General), in particular for his initiatives in digital agriculture and how he brings those experiences to G77 countries. He also lauded the Director for his current work with the private sector and his new model of work with the private sector through the Hand-in-Hand initiative.

The Chair stressed that his group is the largest coalition of developing countries in the UN system, and that there is strength in numbers, whilst acknowledging that his group has different constituencies and institutional designs. 

In response, the Director-General presented FAO's Hand-in-Hand initiative, which is tailored to address countries' specific needs and work with facilitating matchmaking to bring together governments, private sector, universities, and civil society to bring solutions to the problems and investment gaps identified in each country.