FAO Liaison Office in Brussels

FAO Director-General meets Permanent Representatives of the EU and its 27 Member States to discuss global food security, opportunities, challenges and role of FAO and EU priorities

Rome-The FAO Director-General, QU Dongyu, met in Rome with the Permanent Representatives of the European Union and its 27 Member States to discuss global food security, opportunities, challenges and role of FAO and EU priorities.

The Director-General thanked the European Union for its long commitment to FAO, the historic contribution from the European Founding members and as only Member Organization of FAO since more than 30 years.

He called upon the members to work closely together with FAO and make a big impact on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) together in close partnership.

EU Ambassador Alexandra Valkenburg recalled that the EU has always been, is and will continue to be a close ally of FAO. She congratulated the Director-General with important achievements in the recent past and highlighted a few, for example the safe navigation of FAO and its staff through the pandemic, while ensuring continued delivery of the Organization’s work. This includes policy responses to support members, providing solid analysis and data, the creation the positions of Chief Economist and Chief Scientist; the Strategy on Climate Change and the Science and Innovation Strategy, the new Quadripartite arrangement on One Health as excellent example of FAO supporting the “One UN” approach; and the Livestock sub-committee that has become operational. These are a few good examples how FAO is delivering on its Strategic Framework 2022-2031.

The Ambassador also commended the Director-General for sensitising the UN Security Council to the threat that food insecurity poses to peace, and for briefing the Security Council several times in the past years, highlighting the importance of sustainable and resilient agrifood systems for global stability.

The Director-General expressed his appreciation for the continuous open dialogue with the EU and its 27 Member States, that helped FAO in making the required reforms of the Organization, and focus on important priorities like the Strategic Framework 2022-2031, the Strategy on Climate Change, the Science and Innovation Strategy, as well as the Biodiversity Strategy and the Private Sector Strategy.  

The Permanent Representatives and the Director-General further discussed on how FAO will work on the action plans for Strategy on Climate Change and the Science and Innovation Strategy, and engage in the upcoming climate and biodiversity COPs, as well as about ways FAO members can support this.

They further discussed the impact of COVID-19, the Climate Crisis and the war in Ukraine and many other ongoing conflicts and hotspots on Global Food Security. The Director-General indicated that the global food prices, already high due to the impact of the pandemic and high fertilizer prices, have risen even more due to the current war in Ukraine, with a negative impact on the global food security situation. There are many supply-chain challenges. For example, inflation, high fertilizer prices and increased transportation cost have a negative impact on food security. In that respect, the Director-General mentioned AMIS as a pivotal tool to enhance food market transparency and policy responses for food security, and the briefing notes and policy proposals provided regularly by FAO to assess the impact of the war on food security and global agricultural markets.

The pivotal role of FAO in the UN Secretary General’s Global Crisis Response Group was also discussed and the Permanent Representatives discussed ways with the Director-General on how they could help FAO to continue in providing technical expertise and impartial knowledge, essential to guide policies and engagement with countries towards more resilient and sustainable agrifood systems. They also discussed FAO’s contribution to the Global Alliance for Food Security and Rome Based Agencies collaboration to help coordination and let longer term approaches prevail.

The Director-General also recalled his visit to Brussels in December 2019 to meet with all the Agriculture Ministers of the European Union and many Commissioners shortly after he took office, as a sign of commitment to work closely together with the EU and its 27 Member States.

The statement of the Director-General is available on https://www.fao.org/director-general/speeches/detail/en/c/1600510/