Director-General  QU Dongyu
A statement by FAO Director-General QU Dongyu

CFS 46 Side Event: SE100 Stopping and reversing the trends in food crises. 

14 October 2019, FAO headquarters (Iran Room)

Thank you, David (Nabarro). You really gave me clear instructions because I wanted to stand here to speak, I didn’t want to be sitting down there.

It is now quite late in the afternoon. I do not want to make a long speech but I would like to inspire you with something, which maybe you can think over again later.

The food crisis is not only a crisis for human beings. It is a crisis for our civilization. If we talk about the food crisis related to civilization, it is as if you cleaned out all civilization, which exists or is coming. That is my understanding.

Second, as the Asian proverb says in China, for any leader from the village or from the countryside, you take food as the utmost. How can you get enough food? From your mummy? Grandmother? You always try to create enough staple food first and then come to the other food but if you do not have that, you look to the wilder food. That is where traditional Chinese medicine comes from.

Traditional Chinese medicine was not for curing diseases at the time – a long time ago, we are talking about 3000 years ago. It was a way to preserve life from the biodiversity and wild species. That is my understanding of the history.

While we are talking about the Global Network Against Food Crises, I really appreciate, Mr Mimica, the work you have organized with my predecessor Mr Graziano. And Mr Beasley, were you here when they started?

We have to appreciate all our predecessors’ efforts. We are just one piece of a long history. I say this because Mr Mimica is supposed to leave us in the next months. He has a contribution, a legacy, for the European Union and for the good memory of FAO and WFP. I really appreciate his long and far sight to carry this Network.

Now FAO has a new Director-General. We want to continue to work together with the European Union and, of course, WFP and Member Countries and others to make the food crisis less of a crisis. To have less people crying and less children crying. There we will have enough food, and enough nutrition, and a beautiful life to come.

Thank you.