Director-General  QU Dongyu

Director-General and European Parliament President, David Sassoli, pledge to step up joint efforts in fighting global hunger

21/01/2021

20 January 2021, Rome/Brussels - The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), QU Dongyu, and the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, today agreed to step up joint efforts to fight global hunger, malnutrition and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Director-General and the President held a virtual meeting to discuss closer collaboration between FAO and the European Parliament.

Qu expressed his appreciation for the European Parliamentary Alliance Against Hunger and Malnutrition and stressed that FAO shared a common vision with the European Parliament and its efforts to support food security and nutrition. 

‘’We have to step up our collaboration, especially in agri-food systems,” the Director-General said.

FAO’s Liaison Office with the EU and Belgium (LOB) hosts the Secretariat of the European Parliamentary Alliance against Hunger and Malnutrition, which comprises more than 30 Members of the European Parliament.

The Director-General and Sassoli recalled the last time they met in February 2020 at the signature event for the Rome Call for AI Ethics , signed by FAO, the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life, Microsoft, IBM, and the Italian Government to support an ethical approach to AI.

Sassoli stressed that “your vision is our vision” and that the European Parliament intended to work side by side with FAO to ensure a stable food supply and to make the world safer.

He noted that the European Union would focus on developing countries and Africa as a priority. He also indicated the EU wanted to continue supporting multilateralism and underlined the importance of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The two leaders emphasized the need to reduce food waste and ensure stable food supplies. The Director-General stressed the importance of joint activities in support of those most in need, including the poor and the vulnerable.

Sassoli stressed that the EU is committed to work closely together on joint priorities and that multilateral agencies are a treasure.

He also indicated the EU was ready to provide support for the FAO-led Food Coalition, a multi-stakeholder, multi-sectoral alliance that is mobilizing support for a unified global action in response to challenges posed by COVID-19. The Director-General alluded to the Food Coalition Multilateral Platform, where FAO shares policies, strategic investments and innovations.

In closing, Sassoli invited the Director-General to address the European Parliament in person as soon as the health situation allows.

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