المدير العام  شو دونيو
Qu Dongyu بيانات المدير العام
تحقّق بالمقارنة مع التنفيذ

Global Forum for Food and Agriculture 2020 Side Event:

International Digital Council for Food and Agriculture

Berlin, Germany

16 January 2020

 

Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon, I welcome you all to this FAO side event of the GFFA 2020, where a proposal will be presented to establish an International Council for Digital Food and Agriculture.

I take this opportunity to thank the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany for hosting this event, and for having supported this important initiative since this idea was launched last year here in Berlin at the previous edition of the GFFA.

We are at the start of a new decade and only ten years away from 2030 – when all Sustainable Development Goals should be achieved.

Agriculture through its linkages with rural economic growth, employment, food security and nutrition, poverty alleviation, and the environment is central to Agenda 2030.

Yet, we face significant challenges. More than 820 million people suffer from hunger, corresponding to about one in every nine people in the world. The number of undernourished people in the world has been on the rise since 2015, and is back to levels seen in 2010–2011.

Bearing the year 2030 in mind, agriculture will have to play a crucial role in the next ten years: provide adequate and nutritious food to feed a growing population, contribute to economic growth and decent jobs and manage natural resources sustainably.

What we do now will set the path and the pace for others to follow in the years to come.

Last year here in Berlin, the 74 ministers and representatives who attended the GFFA 2019 saw the need and the opportunity to take advantage of digitalization to accelerate the pace at which we achieve our goals in support of food systems.

In fact, I attended the GFFA last year representing my country China and was fully engaged in all the activities.

In fact, I think that day was my official day to start the campaign for FAO DG, so that’s exactly one year: 17 of January last year. So I told my friends, I requested the establishment of the International Council for Digital Food and Agriculture. Finally I come to pick up the menu and to pay the bill. You order the food, and I pay the bill. That’s a destiny.

Moreover, promoting digital farming and digital rural development was also among the five actions that I campaigned on for my election as FAO
DG last year.

I highlighted that farmers should be given more access to digital dividends in their fight against poverty and stressed the need to work on narrowing down the digital divide among countries and regions and between cities and the countryside. I’m so glad to see so many friends from Africa and other regions who have joined this side event. It’s an opportunity for Africa, for developing countries, for small island states. Digitalization is a way to narrow the gap of your marketing channel.

There are also my friends from OECD. We were talking about digital economy, and then I said not only digital economy, digital society. 5G helps you build a digital society. 4G helps you build a digital economy. And 3G, 2G just help you build your personal life more conveniently. That’s a generation gap. I hope Europe can pick up 5G soon, as soon as possible, otherwise you are living in another generation. It’s not the modern generation.

FAO was tasked to develop a concept for a new platform that helps us all, governments, international organizations, civil societies, and private sectors, in doing a better job of harnessing the potential of digitalization to strengthen food systems world-wide. Because everybody now is talking about the Food Systems Summit, about food systems transformation. What is the tool? Digitalization is one of the major tools.

So I hope this Digital Council will be an opportunity to involve everyone from farmers, women and youth in the efforts.

This Concept Note for the establishment of the Digital Council is the result of an extensive consultation process and my colleagues will provide additional information on its foreseen functioning.

We have quite a lot of work on our hands. Not only will we need ministers’ endorsement to initiate the Digital Council but we will also need to make it operational quickly, with a sustainable financial modality.

And this leads us to the issue of the financial sustainability. FAO is pleased to confirm that it can host a FAO Coordination Unit for the new Digital Council, based on available resources, with additional costs covered by voluntary contributions.

Yet, the Digital Council’s access to adequate funding to support its operation will determine how effective it can be in achieving its objectives.

Strategic options include collecting voluntary contributions through a dedicated multi-donor digital trust fund, and surely the establishment of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) to complement government-funded contributions.

As mentioned, the weight on our shoulders is heavy. There is little time and much that needs to be done.

I call on you to act responsibly and decisively. We need to work with the future of our children and their children’s future in mind.

We need to seize this historic opportunity to do what is right and to do it well.

As I said, the reality is the digital world. It is already there. And in the future, they have no developing country, no developing or no least developing. On this planet, we will have one digital society and one non-digital society. No matter if you are from Europe, from Asia or from Africa. So I think this is a historical moment.

Let us aim big and do concrete!

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your attention, thank you for your contribution, thank you for your support.

Thank you.

 

Send
Print