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Director-General  Qu Dongyu
A statement by FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu
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Rome, 13 September 2019 

FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu’s speech at the Rome-Based Agencies (RBA) governing bodies meeting


Dear colleagues,

Honorable Deputy Secretary-General, Ms. Mohammed - my old friend and someone I can count on,

The chairperson of the RBA committee,

Mr. Houngbo,

Mr. Beasley.

We are on the same boat.

And thank you DSG for your very informative speech in this informal meeting. First I will start with my reaction to your suggestion. Two weeks ago, I invited David Beasley and a representative from IFAD to have a joint meeting in my office. David Beasley and myself had a very fruitful, deep discussion with ministers from China and also the American Assistant Inspector General. So for that, we already have action, so that’s real respect to you Mr. Chairman.

Also, thank you Member Countries and Representatives who have come here.

First, FAO is actively engaged in UN Development System reform, and we are fully committed to the UN Development System repositioning and strongly support the Secretary-General’s leadership.

We [FAO] have doubled our contribution under the new cost-sharing arrangement. FAO, you know, is not as rich an organization as IFAD and WFP. So now, FAO is the 5th largest contributor among 19 UN agencies.

FAO has recently signed the Mutual Recognition Statement, which opens large opportunities for increased synergy and collaboration on various administrative services and procedures within the UNDS.

FAO is initiating internal action to implement UNDS repositioning at the country, regional and global levels. Yesterday afternoon, I had the first global meeting with D1 and above FAO staff. I hear it was the first in history.

So I wanted to really be prepared to align with the UNDS reform.
We strengthened the UN global and regional assets through FAO specialized and local expertise and knowledge, including integrated policy support, statistical and analytical capacities.

FAO is also fully committed to Agenda 2030 and contributes to its implementation in many ways.

There is increasing evidence showing that food and agriculture sectors are critical to accelerate progress across SDGs.FAO’s vast field presence and decentralized technical capacity at regional and country levelscombined with global normative and standard setting is key to Agenda 2030.

FAO’s contribution focuses on four key areas:

  • providing integrated policy and technical support to member countries;
  • supporting the strengthening of data collection and analysis;
  • fostering partnerships; and
  • leveraging scaled up finance and investment.

We had an informal Hand in Hand Initiative meeting on Monday this week and it had a very warm reaction from Member States. We want you to be part of the decision making process through a participatory approach. It’s also an open door policy to Member Countries and to the brotherhood here: my interpretation of ‘Rome Based Agencies’ as I have already said several times, is ‘Real Brotherhood Alliance’ for SDGs.

It’s essential to put food security and agriculture at the front of the global agenda. So let’s work together, learn together, contribute together to offer a dynamic service for Member Countries.

Today is a special day for Asian people, it’s the Mid-Autumn Festival. It’s like Thanksgiving Day, a day to celebrate the harvest for Asian people. So enjoy your day, enjoy your festival.  

Thank you.