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

FAO Women’s Committee VirtualiTea

Women, Peace and Security 
in the context of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence 

Director-General Talking Points

Monday 7 December 2020

As prepared


1. It is my pleasure to welcome you, Excellency Minister Zuma (Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs of South Africa), Mrs Diop (African Union Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security) and Ms Montalvo (Director of Security Division) from our sister organization WFP, to the virtual tea on the important topic of Women, Peace and Security, during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence.

2. The FAO Women’s Committee that I launched last year on the International Day for Rural Women exemplifies my firm commitment to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in FAO and to contribute to a gender-equal world.

3. Hunger can be both a trigger and a result of conflict. This year, I made two briefings to the UN Security Council on Conflict and Hunger, calling for international recognition of the relationship between conflict and food (production and supply). 

4. Well established agri-food systems are crucial for durable peace, while peace at home, on the farm, in communities, in and among countries is a precondition for building sustainable and resilient agri-food systems.

5. As the COVID-19 pandemic is making the vulnerable more vulnerable, women and girls can play a crucial role in contributing to peace and stability if enabled to actively participate in the whole value chain of agri-food systems. 

6. It is up to us to spark the necessary changes to empower women and girls in rural areas.

7. We at FAO walk the talk by applying this in our work.

8. We use different conflict- and gender-sensitive approaches to contribute to sustainable local peace, as outlined in FAO’s Corporate Framework to Support Sustainable Peace in the context of Agenda 2030.

9. In Yemen, for example, we have projects that empower women to become active decision-makers and peacebuilders in their communities, by strengthening the role of women in water-conflict resolution and climate change mitigation

10. And in Pakistan, FAO organizes field schools in Multan, to educate local women and girls on the knowledge and skills of practicing climate smart agriculture, preparing for disasters and enhancing agriculture productivity.

11. Our Food and Nutrition Security Resilience Programme makes sure women participate along the Arabic gum value chain in Sudan and the fodder value chain in Somaliland. 

12. And through our ongoing partnership with Interpeace, we have developed a series of innovative tools addressing gender and age issues to help countries with conflict analysis and conflict-sensitive programme design.  

13. FAO strives to drive change towards gender equality and empowerment, to build solidarity for a global lasting peace.

14. I look forward to hearing your views and experiences. 

Thank you.