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


Opening Remarks by 
Dr. QU Dongyu, Director-General  

Thursday, 25 June 2020 at 14:00 hours

Prepared version


Dear colleagues,

I am very pleased to open this unique and special initiative to bring ‘FAO Retirees’ and ‘Young Employees’ together.

Creating harmony and learning from each other as members of one big FAO family. 

This initiative between the two groups is a first in FAO’s history.

I thank our panellists for joining this event to share their perspectives with us and to inspire the youth. 

Your wisdom and rich experience in FAO will surely help the young employees think further about their future career and their contribution to create a world without hunger. 

I hope that you will also enjoy this event and get inspired by the energy and excitement of our young colleagues. 

Perhaps, this event will remind you of the beginning of your own careers, motivated and excited to start working in an international organization, your future career ahead of you.


The 100 Young Employees recognized in 2019 are all here participating, together with the members of the Youth Committee. 

I am also pleased to see so many other employees joining for this event. 

Thank you for your interest in learning from our FAO Retirees. 

Please enjoy listening to their wise advice and their fulfilling experience to enrich your perspective on your future careers. 


Experience and YouthSeniority and Innovation, we want to bring them together.

The Experience: 

In the last ten years, about 1200 colleagues retired from FAO or separated after reaching 55 years of age. 

They contributed in diverse technical, operational and managerial fields to the work of FAO fulfilling our mandate and creating a world free of hunger.

The wealth of experience and knowledge they represent is tremendous.

Today we have the pleasure of having five of them here with us.  

The Youth:

About 40 percent of the entire FAO workforce is below 40 years of age today. 

They represent the future of FAO and they are key to establishing innovative and modern work processes at FAO and across global agriculture. 

Let me be very clear: A world free of poverty and hunger, is only possible with the involvement of young people.  

Today’s event brings present and former colleagues with various experiences and ideas together. 

We are working with the Youth and the Women’s Committee on an FAO mentoring programme.

This will facilitate the exchange of ideas and experiences among colleagues who want to share and who want to learn.  

I hope today’s event creates a good momentum to further strengthen the culture of open exchange of ideas and experiences amongst the FAO family. 

I look forward to the stimulating and creative discussion.

Let us learn from each other and contribute together! 

Thank you.