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

Committee on World Food Security (CFS)
High-Level Special Event on Food Security and Nutrition

Opening Remarks
by Dr. QU Dongyu, Director-General, FAO

13 October (Tuesday) 2020, 13:00 Rome Time

As delivered



Chairperson of the CFS,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


1. I am pleased to join you today at this High-Level Special Event. 

2. Under the leadership of the Chair, Mr Tiensin, over the past months, the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) has continued its remarkable work, despite the challenges caused by the pandemic; serving as a platform for exchanging good practices and driving policy cohesion and coherence. 

3. The work of CFS has never been more relevant. That is why I invited the CFS to hold special events at the FAO Regional Conferences taking place this year.

4. We, at FAO, are well aware of the importance of making good use of the global mandate of the CFS and its role in ensuring that the voices of all stakeholders are heard in the global debate on food security and nutrition.

5. In this regard, I would like to share with you three messages:

6. CFS Guidelines:

7. The Committee’s work on Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition and on the Policy Recommendations on Agro-ecological and Other Innovative Approaches is both timely and important.

8. These documents are first orientation of particular relevance, as we strive to transform our agrifood systems; and as a contribution to the UN Food Systems Summit 2021.

9. I would, however, point out that the Committee’s future work needs to be more comprehensive and with a wider perspective in mind. You need to think bigger!

10. For instance, I would encourage the Committee to consider renaming the policy recommendations that are currently under discussion to Policy Recommendations for Innovation and Agro-ecology. This would not only widen the scope of these recommendations but also sharpen their focus on innovation as a central element for all Members.

11. I strongly believe in the power of innovation and digital technologies as a central tool to reach the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG2 and SDG1.

12. FAO is advancing and taking big steps in this direction. Since joining FAO as Director-General, a new Office of Innovation was created, we introduced major initiatives that rely on big data and the first Chief Scientist in FAO’s history has been selected. She is also a member of the FAO core leadership group. 

13. Food Loss and Waste

14. I believe that as an inclusive international and intergovernmental platform for all stakeholders, the CFS is in a unique position to bring all its members onboard for this important issue.  

15. When it comes to urban centers, the issue of food waste is just as relevant in developed and in developing countries. 

16. And they all could benefit from the Committee’s support in raising awareness and creating a public momentum to eliminate food waste. 

17. Because eliminating food waste is a matter of instilling a sense of responsibility into the whole society.

18. Addressing food loss, on the other hand, requires improvements to the value chain as well as the introduction of varieties with a better shelve life. This means investing postharvest treatment and in agricultural infrastructure, from roads, to cold-storage houses and facilities. 

19. This is where synergy and complementary activities between CFS and FAO are needed.

20. This leads me to my third message:

21. Coherence

22. FAO and CFS, we need to strengthen our coordination, for the benefit of all Members.

23. We need to link our actions to ensure maximum impact. Just like the musical instruments in an orchestra, we need to play in tune to create a beautiful symphony.

24. And I advise you to take advantage of your special status, your flexibility and accessibility. CFS can push further, move quicker and make change happen!

25. Finally, I want to stress that FAO will continue to support the CFS in turning its policies and products into measurable results at country level. I want to take this opportunity to encourage all FAO decentralized offices and staff to help CFS for improving our services on the ground.

26. We need to foster real change through concrete actions that benefit food producers, the rural population, consumers and the entire planet with same vision and mandate.

27. We have the tools, we have the knowledge, now we need the action together!

Thank you.