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

The Second Philanthropy Summit for Sustainable Development

23 November 2019

Ladies and Gentlemen, dear Friends,

I am very pleased to be here today along with the representatives of internationally renowned charitable foundations, representatives of the world's most influential impact investment institutions, and business leaders from around the world. I appreciate that you all come to support me and support FAO.

This event is an excellent occasion to exchange ideas and share insights on promoting sustainable development together.

As you know, sustainability is the future. Together is the key word, dear friends. The challenges ahead of us are only solvable, if we join hands and complement each other.

Looking around the room, I see that we have one common objective: transforming our world to the better.

And we have a concrete plan for this: Agenda 2030, which was consented by leaders from all over the world in 2015. It includes 17 sustainable development goals, 169 targets and 232 indicators.

These concrete benchmarks are the translation of a vision. A vision in which a healthy, prosperous and dignified life, rooted in thriving ecosystems, is a reality for all; a vision in which no one is left behind.

Agenda 2030 applies to all countries, no matter they are developed or developing ones.

Priorities, needs and capacities vary from one country to the other. This is why strategies and implementation plans will be nationally designed and owned.

But action must be taken together.

We only have a decade to reach the deadline. Partnerships are vital and leadership is essential.

Let me be clear: In this global challenge, the world wins or fails as one.

And we need a better world; for everybody.

A better world means Better production, Better nutrition, Better environment and a Better life for the future.

At FAO, we strongly believe that ppartnerships at all levels are critical to achieving the sustainable development goals and a world without hunger.

We work with our 194 Member Countries, with our sister Organizations within the UN Family, with other International entities, academia, research centers and of course with the private sectors.

The private sector has an important role to play.

The private sector has shown interest to support sustainable development, and to work together with FAO to help the most vulnerable communities, including youth and women, as well as vulnerable smallholders through inclusive pro-poor interventions.

The private sector can help us with innovations and improved technologies, including rural digitalization, capitalizing the widespread use of smartphones for agricultural purposes, including weather and drought prediction, pest monitoring, food prices, access technical guidance, and act as a gateway to e-commerce. In that area, China have years of experience. Enterprises such as Alibaba, Jing Dong ( and others really help the farmers to have a share in the digitalization.

Under my leadership, FAO recently launched the Hand in Hand initiative, which aims to offer tailored assistance to the small and weak hands by the big and strong hands through match-making partnerships, including donor countries, private sector, civil society, NGOs and academic institutions.

Now as I am on the position of FAO Director General, I really appreciate the support from the (Chinese) Ministries, not only the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs,  but others. Some of the ministries are new. They are really very important bridges that get us the connection between the public and private sectors, but more importantly, between us and the farmers.

The Hand-in-Hand initiative will focus on landlocked, small islands, least developed and countries in crisis, with the final beneficiaries being small-scale farmers and family farmers.

Underpinning the initiative is the need to strengthen partnerships at all levels – between recipient and donor countries, multilateral development banks, UN agencies and the private sectors.

Last UN General Assembly in September, I was in New York for a week. I met so many representatives from the private sector and foundations, like Bill&Melinda Gates Foundation. Bill Gates is a close friend of mine. He also offered his hands to support FAO initiatives, particularly on big data and innovation.

As FAO Director-General, I call on politicians, professionals, the private sectors and farmers to work together, deliver together, through the hand-in-hand match-making partnership.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me to turn to our generous hosts and briefly talk about the exceptional support the Ningxia Yanbao Charity Foundation is giving to the work of FAO. 

Through the Foundation, Dang Yanbao and his wife Bian Haiyan are providing a contribution of USD15 million to FAO over the next five years for the purpose of promoting talent development, and to support FAO in its goal of achieving a world free from hunger and malnutrition.

This contribution will directly support the many activities FAO undertakes, and strengthen the Organization’s capacity in the field.

In signing the Contribution Agreement later today, I, on behalf of FAO, commit to the many common goals we have with the Ningxia Yanbao Charity Foundation, including education, poverty alleviation, environment and health. And I also expect the support from other friends here in this room. You can support FAO in many ways and I would really appreciate. In the coming years, we need to invest more in Africa, small island developing states and landlock nations, which are the most challenging areas for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in the world.

We collectively recognize the work of the Foundation at both the national level here in China and internationally. It is no wonder that the Foundation is listed as one of Forbes Asia's 2018 Heroes of Philanthropy.

I am full of pride to see a Chinese Foundation extending its generosity to the vulnerable of the world through FAO and I am grateful for that.

I have just had a talk with a Japanese friend. I can see that in Asia all the generations are caring more and more for the poor people who are in need. So we can build a new world through our common value.

Together, we will make the world more dynamic and more beautiful!

I thank you for your attention.