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

Flexible Multi-partner Mechanism (FMM) Annual Consultation 

Speaking Points for the Director-General

Friday, 27 November 2020 

As delivered



Excellences, distinguished Resource Partners,

  1.  It is my pleasure to be with you today.

  2. I vividly remember last year’s Annual Consultation (on 29 November 2019), it is exactly one year, and have been looking forward to meeting with you again today.

  3. I am glad that we can come together to reflect on our shared goals and priorities during thisvery challenging time for the global community.

  4. This is imperative, as we continue to prioritize the lives and livelihoods of those most in need, and I want to especially thank you for your commitment to FAO and the FMM.

  5. The FMM as a funding mechanism provides an effective approach to delivering on the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

  6. I am happy to see the continuous interest and support of the governments of our partners, namely Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland as well as other partners.

  7. Thank you for your generous support. I am glad that other resource partners are attending this meeting as observers and look forward to them joining the FMM.

  8. I support the FMM because I think it is a new way of funding mechanism, based on more reliable, consistent resources. That really builds an agile mechanism to react when something is unpredictable.

  9. The power of pooled, less-earmarked funding and the flexibility to direct these funds to where they are needed most has been made evident over the years through results achieved; and by working together we will all be able to do more and better.

  10. Flexible funding mechanisms like the FMM enable existing funding to be leveraged for greater impact, even if overall funding remains the same.

  11. Flexible funding is also especially helpful for spurring cross-sectoral work and supporting innovative solutions.

  12. The UN Funding Compact has called for an increase in un-earmarked resources to 30 percent of the total, and promotes the importance of flexible funding as a way of ensuring better coordination and greater impact, as opposed to fragmented solutions that are project-oriented and tightly earmarked.

  13. As you are aware, FAO has received 73 percent of its funding in 2019 through voluntary, extra-budgetary contributions, mostly as tightly earmarked funds.

  14. The Organization appreciates these project funds and the generosity of all our resource partners—regardless of the methods chosen to contribute to FAO - without which we would have not been able to make a tangible impact at country level.

  15. On 14 July 2020, I launched FAO’s comprehensive COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme, with seven priority areas of work, to support countries address the challenges posed by this pandemic.

  16. This includes all forms of resources and partnerships for joint results at country, regional and global levels.

  17. I would like to invite our partners to support the seven priority areas of work through the FMM, and also other corporate priorities of FAO, such as the Hand-in-Hand Initiative; Innovation; Food Systems; Climate Actions and Circular Agriculture; Food Security and Improved Nutrition; and Transforming Livelihoods for Small Holder Farmers and Rural Dwellers.

  18. The FMM can also be an important instrument for boosting private sector partnerships and South-South and Triangular Cooperation.

  19. On 5 November 2020, to support the COVID-19 response and towards transformed agri-food systems, together with the Prime Minister of Italy, Netherlands’ Deputy Prime Minister, several Ministers and key players we launched the Food Coalition.

  20. The Food Coalition is a multi-stakeholder global alliance, a network of networks for unified global action in response to COVID-19, which aims to mobilize financial resources, innovation and technical expertise to support countries most in need.

  21. Now is the time to scale up the impact of the FMM and the benefits it brings as a pooled funding mechanism - we must increase its financial volume, flexibility, and sustainability.

  22. I, therefore, look forward to seeing more resource partners joining hands with us in using the FMM to address the key challenges of our times with flexible and predictable voluntary contributions.

  23. Your firm support, partnership and advocacy will be crucial for this effort. I encourage you to invite additional partners to join us in scaling up the impact of FMM by increasing its financial portfolio.

  24. Let’s work together to motivate other partners to use the FMM as a channel for advancing agri-food systems transformation, up-scaling sustainable agriculture around the world, and for responding to current and emerging crises, climate challenges and shocks.

  25. Let me thank you all again for your active engagement and the support you bring to this important funding instrument and mechanism.

  26. I wish you a fruitful Annual Consultation today as you share experiences and plan for the coming year with the FMM.

  27. We count on you and you count on FAO, and then we can offer the tangible services to the vulnerable people who need them most.

Thank you.