FAO Liaison Office in New York

Transforming agrifood systems and fostering inclusive rural development in the context of COVID-19 to end rural poverty

2 December 2020
1pm – 3pm (EST)

FAO, IFAD, WFP, DESA, in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of China to the UN and the Delegation of the European Union to the UN, invite you to the side-event in the context of the UN General Assembly special session in response to COVID-19

This side event will analyze the economic, social and environmental potential of an inclusive process of agrifood system transformation for the eradication of rural poverty and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Looking towards the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit, the discussion will highlight the holistic nature of the 2030 Agenda, and the strong interlinkages between the Sustainable Development Goals, their targets and the entire 2030 Agenda.

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Speakers' bios

Opening

 

 

H.E. Ambassador Zhang Jun, Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations

H.E. Ambassador Zhang Jun, Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations

Mr. Zhang Jun, born in Jilin Province of China in August 1960, holds a Bachelor of Laws from Jilin University in China and a Master of Laws from Hull University in the United Kingdom.
1984-1988 Staff member, Department of International Organizations and Conferences, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China (MFA)
1988-1990 Attaché, General Office, MFA
1990-1990 Attaché, Third Secretary, Department of International Organizations and Conferences, MFA
1990-1994 Third Secretary, Second Secretary, Permanent Mission of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations
1994-1999 Second Secretary, Deputy Division Director, Division Director, Department of International Organizations and Conferences, MFA
1999-2000 Counselor, Department of International Organizations and Conferences, MFA
2000-2002 Deputy Director of the Administration Committee of the Ningbo Economic and Technological Development Zone of Zhejiang Province
2002-2004 Deputy Director-General, Department of International Organizations and Conferences, MFA
2004-2007 Secretary, General Office of the State Council
2007-2012 Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People's Republic of China to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and Permanent Representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
2012-2018 Director-General, Department of International Economic Affairs, MFA
2018- 2019 Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs
2019- Permanent Representative and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Mission of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations
He is married and has a daughter.

 

 

H.E. Ambassador Olof Skoog, Head of the European Union Delegation to the United Nations

H.E. Ambassador Olof Skoog, Head of the European Union Delegation to the United Nations

Ambassador Olof Skoog is the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations since December 2019. He is a Swedish diplomat with extensive experience from a number of top positions worldwide, representing both Sweden and the European Union.

Ambassador Skoog was most recently the Permanent Representative of Sweden to the United Nations, and in this capacity served as the Chairman of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission and President of the UN Security Council. He has previously been Director-General for Political Affairs in the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has represented Sweden at the European Union and at the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). He has also been Swedish Ambassador to Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Panama and served as Executive Assistant to Dr. Hans Blix in the UN verification of WMD in Iraq.

With the European Union, Ambassador Skoog served as the first Permanent Chair of the EU Political and Security Committee, coordinating the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy. He was then posted as the EU Ambassador to Indonesia and Brunei, also representing the EU to ASEAN.

Ambassador Skoog was born in 1962. He is married to Johanna Brismar, currently Sweden's Ambassador to Brazil. They have three children.

 

 

H.E. Volkan Bozkir, President of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

H.E. Volkan Bozkir, President of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

After graduating with a degree in law from Ankara University, Mr. Bozkir joined his country’s foreign service in 1972. He held several positions during his 39-year career there, including: Permanent Representative of Turkey to the European Union (EU); Ambassador to Romania; Consul General in New York; Counsellor of the Permanent Representation to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); First Secretary of the Embassy in Iraq; and Vice Consul General in Stuttgart. He also served as the Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Turgut Özal; Chief of Cabinet and Chief Foreign Policy Advisor to Presidents Turgut Özal and Süleyman Demirel; Deputy Undersecretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs responsible for EU Affairs; Secretary General for EU Affairs.

Mr. Bozkir was elected as a Member of Parliament first in 2011 and then in the following three parliamentary elections. During his nine years in Parliament, he served as the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Chairman of the Turkey-USA Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Caucus and Co-Chairman of the Turkish-Russian Civic Forum. He also served as the Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator from 2014 until 2016. In 2018, he was elected for the fourth time as the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, during which time he chaired the Turkey-Australia Inter-parliamentary Friendship Group.

Mr. Bozkir was awarded the Order of the Star of Romania; the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic with the rank of “Knight”; and the 100th Anniversary Medal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

 

 

H.E. Munir Akram, President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council and Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations

H.E. Munir Akram, President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council and Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations

His Excellency Munir Akram assumed his position as Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary on 01 November 2019. He was subsequently elected the seventy-sixth President of the Economic and Social Council on 23 July 2020.

Ambassador Akram previously served as Pakistan’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York for six years between 2002 and 2008, after serving as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva for seven years from 1995 to 2002.

During his first term at the United Nations, Ambassador Munir Akram served twice as President of the Security Council in May 2003 and in May 2004; President of the Economic and Social Council in 2005; Chairman of the Group of 77 and China (developing countries) in 2007, and Facilitator on UN Administrative Reform in 2006. Among the positions he held in various intergovernmental organizations were: Member of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament; Chairman of the WTO Trade Policy Review Body; President of the Conference on Disarmament (June 1996).

Between 1988 and 1992, Munir Akram was Pakistan’s Ambassador to the European Council, Belgium and Luxemburg.

Ambassador Akram joined the Foreign Service of Pakistan in 1967, holding various positions in the Foreign Ministry as Additional Foreign Secretary and Director- General dealing with the United Nations.

He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Law and a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Karachi. He is a prolific writer and has lectured and published several articles and papers on various strategic, political and economic issues.

In recognition of his selfless service and outstanding performance in the field of diplomacy and foreign policy, he was conferred the Award of Hilal-i-Quaid-e-Azam by the President of Pakistan.

 

Moderator

 

 

Mr. Maximo Torero Cullen, Chief Economist, FAO

Mr. Maximo Torero Cullen, Chief Economist, FAO

Mr. Maximo Torero Cullen is the Chief Economist of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). He joined the Organization in January 2019 as Assistant Director-General for the Economic and Social Development Department. Prior to joining FAO, he was the World Bank Group Executive Director for Argentina, Bolivia, Chile Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay since November 2016 and before the Bank Mr. Torero led the Division of the Markets, Trade, and Institutions at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). His major research work lies mostly in analyzing poverty, inequality, importance of geography and assets (private or public) in explaining poverty, and in policies oriented towards poverty alleviation based on the role played by infrastructure, institutions, and on how technological breakthroughs (or discontinuities) can improve the welfare of households and small farmers. His experience encompasses Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia.

Mr. Torero, a national of Peru, holds a Ph.D. and a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of the Pacific, Lima, Peru. He is a professor on leave at the University of the Pacific, Perú, and an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at University of Bonn, Germany, and has also published in top journals (QJE, Econometric Theory, AER-Applied Microeconomics, RSTAT, Labor Economics and many other top journals).

Mr. Torero has received in 2000 the Georg Foster Research Fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, won the Award for Outstanding Research on Development given by the Global Development Network, twice, in 2000 and in 2002, and received the Chevalier de l'Ordre du Mérite Agricole in 2014.

 

Views from stakeholders

 

 

Ms. Mai Thin Yu Mon, UN Global Indigenous Youth Caucus, Vice-Chair of Food Systems Summit Action Track 4 - Advance equitable livelihoods

Ms. Mai Thin Yu Mon, UN Global Indigenous Youth Caucus, Vice-Chair of Food Systems Summit Action Track 4 - Advance equitable livelihoods

Mai Thin Yu Mon is a young indigenous peoples rights activist since her bachelor studies and contributing to building the indigenous peoples’ youth network in the Asia region. She has been working with indigenous youths and indigenous women at grassroots level in Myanmar. She is also engaging with different government agencies regarding climate change in Myanmar, making efforts to ensure the respect and protection of indigenous peoples rights. She has also been promoting the role of women and young girls in decision making at different levels in indigenous communities. Being an advocate on indigenous peoples’ rights to land and natural resources, she has been actively trying to include indigenous youths and women for sustainable development goals 1, 5, 13 and 15.

She has actively been engaged with the advocacy and campaign on the indigenous peoples’ rights at the national, Asia regional and international level. Currently, she is the youth focal person of the Asia region to the Global Indigenous Youth Caucus. She is the Director of the Indigenous Peoples Development Program of the Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO), and executive member of the Myanmar Indigenous Peoples Network, which comprises 19 indigenous peoples' organizations in Myanmar. She is also representing indigenous youths to the Executive Council of Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact ( AIPP ) which is working in 14 countries with 48 member organizations. She has been engaged in dialogue and negotiations with the ASEAN regional governments, particularly in Myanmar, on the cause of indigenous peoples’ rights. She has also been engaged as a resource person on the human rights and indigenous peoples’ rights, and the promotional works on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the national and Asia regional level.

She has been an active member of the Asia Indigenous Peoples Caucus during the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues sessions, particularly in 2016 and 2017, and attended as resource speakers to various side events. In 2016, she led the Global Indigenous Youth Caucus of delivering statement in the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. In January 2018, she contributed as an expert to the Expert Group Meeting on the sustainable development on the indigenous peoples land and territories that took place in New York, UN Headquarters in preparation for the 17th session of the UNPFII. She has actively been engaged with other international forum in relating to indigenous peoples issues and took part interactive dialogues, such as, other UN agencies - IFAD and FAO.

 

 

Ms. Laura Lorenzo, World Rural Forum, Vice-Chair of the UN Decade of Family Farming International Steering Committee

Ms. Laura Lorenzo, World Rural Forum, Vice-Chair of the UN Decade of Family Farming International Steering Committee

Laura Lorenzo is an Agronomist who began her career in a Basque Government public research center (Neiker) specialized in animal breading. In 2003 she joint the World Rural Forum Secretariat -an international network with consultative status with ECOSOC and liaison status with FAO-. During her career, Ms. Lorenzo has developed different strategic roles in the organization in relation with advocacy and international relations. She acted as the Deputy Coordinator of the Civil Society during the International Year of Family Farming (2014) and leaded the Campaign for the Declaration of the UN Decade of Family Farming (2019-2028). Currently she is the ViceChair of the International Steering Committee of the United Nations Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF).

Based on this extensive experience in june 2020 she became the WRF Director.

During the last 15 years, Ms Lorenzo has been engaged in the definition and implementation of numerous different policy and institutional frameworks in favour of family farming along the 5 continents, always supporting the work developed by the WRF members in the countries and regions and stimulating inclusive dialogue and building alliances among the different stakeholders. Not in vain the World Rural Forum (WRF) is a global network that promotes family farming and sustainable rural development, composed by family farming organisations rural development organisations, agri-cooperatives and research centers, that represent the interest of more than 40 millions of family farmers.

 

 

Ms. Karen Macours, Professor, Paris School of Economics, Researcher, French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment, Chair of the CGIAR Standing Panel on Impact Assessment

Ms. Karen Macours, Professor, Paris School of Economics, Researcher, French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment, Chair of the CGIAR Standing Panel on Impact Assessment

Karen Macours is a development economist with an active research portfolio focused on the micro-economic constraints to agricultural productivity and rural poverty reduction in developing countries. Much of her current research involves impact assessment related to agricultural research, the evaluation of programs addressing rural households’ productive and human capital investments, and related measurement and methodological questions. As chair of SPIA, she leads a research program on the reach and impact of agricultural innovations. She has led field projects in Sub Sahara Africa, Latin America and Asia, and has worked with a variety of stakeholders (national governments, NGOs, bilateral and multilaterals agencies).

She is a board member and co-chair of the health sector for JPAL (Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab), co-editor of the Journal of Development Economics, associate editor of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, co-lead of the development research group at Paris School of Economics, member of the board of directors of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Market Risk and Resilience and of BREAD (Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development) and an affiliate of CEPR (Center for Economic Policy Research) and EUDN (European Universities Development Network). She previously was associate professor of international economics at SAIS- Johns Hopkins University.

She received her MS in Agricultural Engineering from the K.U. Leuven and her PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California at Berkeley.

 

 

Mr. Patrick Caron, Vice President of the University of Montpellier, France, member of the Scientific Group of the Food Systems Summit

Mr. Patrick Caron, Vice President of the University of Montpellier, France, member of the Scientific Group of the Food Systems Summit

Researcher at Cirad, Patrick Caron is a veterinary doctor, with a PhD in development geography. He is a specialist of territorial dynamics. He has been the Director-General for research and strategy of CIRAD from 2010 to 2016. Currently Vice President of the University of Montpellier for International Affairs, President of Agropolis International and Director of the Montpellier Advanced Knowledge Institute on Transitions, he chaired the High Level Panel of Experts of the UN Committee on world Food Security (HLPE/CFS) from 2015 to 2019. He is a member of the French National Council for Development and International Solidarity, of the French Academies of Technology and of Agriculture and Food, of the Board of the CGIAR and of the Science Group of the next UN Food System Summit.

 

Views from the United Nations

 

 

Mr. QU Dongyu, Director-General, FAO

Mr. QU Dongyu, Director-General, FAO

Qu Dongyu, who took office on 1 August 2019 as Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, has spent his life working on how to make sure the world is fed.

Born in 1963 to a rice-growing family in China’s Hunan Province, Qu studied horticultural science at Hunan Agricultural University and then plant breeding and genetics at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. He later added environmental science to his knowledge portfolio while earning a PhD at Wageningen University, in the Netherlands.

Before coming to FAO, Qu served as China’s Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, where one of his achievements was to promote inclusive and innovative development and make sure information and communication technologies (ICT) were available in rural areas so that more than 400 million farmers could use their smartphones as a new farming tool.

As Vice Governor of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, one of China’s landlocked and poorest areas, Qu formulated action plans aimed at poverty reduction, disaster reduction and prevention, women empowerment, agritourism and mutual learning platforms designed to boost trust between ethnic groups.

Qu says he represents the combination of an “Asian soul” and a “global mind”. Recognized for scientific innovation as a young scholar, Qu has for 30 years been involved in international exchanges and orchestrated major events including the World Potato Congress, the International Rice Congress and the International Conference on Plant Protection, and participated in multilateral initiatives such as the World Trade Organization and the G20 as well as numerous bilateral initiatives involving Asia, Africa and Latin America. He has also directly helped design flagship South-South Cooperation projects with FAO and the World Bank.

Read the complete bio here.

 

 

Mr. Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General, DESA

Mr. Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General, DESA

Mr. Liu started his career at the Foreign Affairs Ministry in 1982. Since then, he has served the Ministry in various capacities, including as Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs (2009-2011); Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations (2006-2009); Director-General, Department of Treaty and Law (2003-2006); and Deputy Director-General, Department of Treaty and Law (1998-2003). He also served in the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations Office at Geneva and Other International Organizations in Switzerland (1992-1995) and in the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations (1984-1988).

As Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Mr. Liu guides UN Secretariat support for the follow-up processes of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. He also oversees the substantive services to many intergovernmental processes, including the annual meetings of the Second and Third Committees of the General Assembly, the meetings of the Economic and Social Council, including its Development Cooperation Forum, and the work of the subsidiary bodies of ECOSOC.

In addition to intergovernmental processes, Mr. Liu oversees DESA’s policy analysis and capacity development work. He also serves as the Convenor of the Executive Committee on Economic and Social Affairs, and advises the United Nations Secretary-General on all development-related issues, including climate change, internet governance, and financing for development.

 

 

Gilbert F. Houngbo, President, IFAD

Gilbert F. Houngbo, President, IFAD

Gilbert F. Houngbo became the sixth President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on 1 April 2017. This year IFAD aims to increase the incomes of 20 million poor small-scale food producers, 50 per cent of whom are women, by 20 per cent. Houngbo is also Chair of UN-Water, which coordinates the efforts of over 30 UN entities and international organizations working on water and sanitation issues.

Houngbo has more than 30 years’ experience in the public, multilateral and private sectors including as Deputy Director-General of the International Labour Organization; Prime Minister of the Togolese Republic, and a number of executive-level positions at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), including Director of Finances, Chief of Staff, and Assistant Secretary-General. He spent a decade in the private sector, including at Price Waterhouse, Canada.

Houngbo earned a Maitrîse en gestion des entreprises from the University of Lomé, Togo and a Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures Spécialisées in Specialised Accounting from the University of Quebec, Canada. He is a member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants.

Read the complete bio here

 

 

David Kaatrud, Director of Programme, Humanitarian and Development, WFP

David Kaatrud, Director of Programme, Humanitarian and Development, WFP

Mr. Kaatrud, has been involved in leading humanitarian and development work for the past 30 years, with long-standing experience in supporting and coordinating operations across the globe. Currently, he is WFP’s Global Director of Programme, based in WFP’s headquarters in Rome, Italy.

Mr. Kaatrud, began his career working for CARE in Sudan and Mozambique. Later he joined WFP as a Logistics Officer in Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya and Rome, and eventually serving as Regional Logistics Officer for the Great Lakes region based in Kampala. During this period, he was often deployed on extended response missions (Somalia, East Timor, the Balkans, Caucasus, the Indian Ocean Tsunami, etc.).

Afterwards, he assumed the role of Chief of both WFP’s Logistics Service and the UN Joint Logistics Centre, and held key positions in the Transport, Preparedness & Response Division before becoming the Director of the Assessment, Analysis & Preparedness Division where he was involved in the applications of GIS technology to emergency response.

From 2006 to 2010, he was seconded to OCHA as Director of the Coordination and Response Division in New York and then returned to WFP as Director of Emergencies. From late 2014 onwards, Mr. Kaatrud served in Bangkok as WFP’s Regional Director for Asia & the Pacific Bureau. During this time, he had a lead role in building WFP’s internal response capacity and was actively involved in expanding WFP’s engagement with partner governments, and in the inter-agency arena on various aspects of Humanitarian Reform, particularly the Transformative Agenda.

Mr. Kaatrud holds two master’s degrees in International Affairs/Economic Development and Urban Planning from Columbia University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).