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

2020 G20 Leaders' Summit 

Session on: Building an Inclusive, Sustainable and Resilient Future

Sunday, 22 November 2020

Dr QU Dongyu
Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

As delivered

 

Thank you, your royal Highness, “Assalamou Alaykoum”!

It is a great honour for me to address you today.

Under extraordinary circumstances agri-food systems and food security have been aggravated by the pandemic.

At FAO we are working to support your collective actions. We launched Hand in hand Initiative and unveiled a comprehensive COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme to support members to “build back better”.

Together with Italy and other members, we launched the Food Coalition, a multi-stakeholder global alliance to respond to the pandemic.

The G20 is a highly important impetus and emergency response on global policy, coordination and leadership to develop an inclusive, resilient and sustainable world by leading responsible investment, enabling policies, innovation and capacity building.

It is essential for the G20 to keep working on preventing this health crisis from becoming a global food crisis.

There are several core actions, I suggest for the G20 to prioritize.

First, use trade to boost farmers’ productivity, income and sustainability. Trade can increase their access to markets and assure a more efficient use of natural resources.

G20 has made concrete efforts to keep food supply chains alive and food trade flowing to safeguard global food security, in line with WTO rules. Continuity will be welcomed.

Second, G20 need to support the vulnerable people and countries to access the urgent basic needs namely vaccines for human being and animals when it is available, affordable nutritious foods and basic supply of PPE in the rural areas, leave no one behind in any corner of this global village.

To minimize risks, there is an urgent need to increase investment in early warning systems and early preventing capacity building.  That is real inclusiveness.

I am grateful to the Saudi Government for its vision and contribution to the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) that plays a crucial role providing valuable information of the global food market.

Also, the One Health approach, as promoted by FAO, WHO and OIE, has enormous potential to prevent the emergence of new zoonotic reservoirs from the current pandemic.

Third, resilience building requires to have tools to cope with risks, this needs to start by scaling up social protection mechanisms to improve livelihood of the poor and those whose income is most affected. Increase responsible investment in agriculture and the rural areas to integrate smallholder farmers into the development process, as discussed by the G20 Agriculture Ministers. More productive infrastructure will increase farmers’ ability to cope with biotic and abiotic stress and uncertainties. Help the SIDS, LDCs and LLDCs to produce more and better, to reduce food loss and to improve their supply chain and value chain with Technical assistance (TCP) from G20 members and other donors.

Last not least, more importantly, G20 has to support investment on digital innovation and extension. Let us work together to use the international platform for digital food and agriculture. Speed up digitalization of agricultural and rural development by empowering youth and women in the villages and towns to fight against hunger and poverty.

FAO has been and will be supporting members to joint actions, conferences and multilateral initiatives on climate change, bioeconomy development, reduce food loss and waste, preventing biodiversity loss and transformation of agri-food systems, etc.

Excellencies,

The COVID-19 global big crisis underlined the importance of solidarity, coordination and holistic action. Mission not yet accomplished.

I would like to thank the Saudi Presidency for its unprecedented efforts to make a historical G20 summit.

FAO is ready to have close cooperation with the incoming Italian G20 presidency and members, Hand in Hand, on food coalition, food loss and waste, Pre-Food Systems Summit (FSS), FAO Youth World Food Forum (WFF) and the 2030 agenda, especially SDG2, SDG1 and SDG 10 by better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life for the better future.

I thank you.

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