FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Royal Audience with His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen of the Kingdom of Thailand

11/01/2024 Bangkok

FAO Director-General QU Dongyu had a Royal Audience with His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun and Her Majesty Queen Suthida Bajarasudha Bimollaksana of the Kingdom of Thailand, during his official visit to the country.

The Director-General expressed his sincere gratitude to the Royal Family for hosting the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific on the premises of the Crown Property Bureau under His Majesty the King since 1953. QU emphasized that the keen interest and personal involvement of the Royal Family in the country’s agricultural and rural development have been crucial elements of the evolving partnership between FAO and the Kingdom of Thailand.

Lead by the Thai Government, the World Soil Day was established in 2013 and has been observed annually since 5 December 2014, to commemorate the birthday of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej – a renowned soil scientist. During the Royal Audience, in order to expand the influence of World Soil Day, the Director-General proposed the establishment of a global platform namely the International Soil and Water Forum to raise awareness for sustainable soil and water management annually in December in Thailand, and confirmed FAO’s willingness to provide all the technical support required in this regard.

The Director-General also provided a brief overview of the key FAO’s initiatives, including the World Food Forum held annually in October at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy, and the FAO Green Cities Initiatives launched in September 2020, focusing on improving the urban environment, strengthening urban-rural linkages and the resilience of urban food systems, services and populations to external shocks.

Their Majesties the King and Queen conveyed their interest for the proposed Forum, as well as for the FAO flagship initiatives. In addition, a broad range of topics of mutual interest were also discussed.

FAO Director-General QU Dongyu is the first UN Principal to have an Audience with Their Majesties since His Majesty the King ascended to the throne in 2016.

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