Director-General  QU Dongyu

Director-General continues “Open Door with Open Ear” approach through informal dialogue with Member States’ Representatives


1 November 2019, Rome – FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu, in line with his aim to regularly meet with Member States in an inclusive and transparent manner, yesterday held an informal dialogue with several Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives.

Qu noted that the purpose of the meeting was to learn about FAO priorities from Member States, focusing on food security and nutrition, while also exploring together new business models in agriculture and rural development, based on professional thinking. He explained that this was an ongoing dialogue he was holding with Member States. In this context, he will be holding further meetings with different permanent representatives in small groups to better focus the discussions.

The participants from the Member States said they highly appreciated the Director-General’s “open door, open ear, open mind and open hand,” approach which gave them the opportunity to learn more about his  vision for FAO and vice versa for FAO to better understand Members’ concerns.

The Ambassadors stressed several priority areas, including the need for FAO to play a leading role in multilateralism in the food and agricultural area at a global level, for the agency to pay more attention to agricultural science and technology and further enhance agricultural expertise capacity.  

Acknowledging FAO’s limited resources, they noted that the agency should, in particular, focus on poverty alleviation, food security and rural development, and in this context also underscored the importance of FAO’s work on land tenure.

Stressing FAO’s important role in data collection, they agreed with the Director-General that scientific evidence is key to sound decision-making and action for sustainable development.

The Ambassadors also said that FAO’s normative work, including on standards such as CODEX, is crucial to transform food systems. They agreed that food crises are not only about food production, but often extend across food systems, including shifts in consumption models due to social phenomena such as urbanization.

The Ambassadors welcomed the Director-General’s intention for FAO to work more closely with the private sector, noting that such partnerships should extend beyond funding to include sharing of knowledge and technology. Pointing to the need for FAO to increase its impact at country level, the Ambassadors emphasized the importance of deploying qualified staff and capacity building, and for FAO to further strengthen resource mobilization.

Noting the need for FAO to adopt integrated approaches, the Ambassadors underscored the links between addressing climate change, education and land and water management to eradicate hunger and poverty. In this, they stressed the important role of women and youth.

The Director-General thanked the Members’ participants in the meeting and expressed his intention to continue having various forms of communication and dialogue on different topics with Member States. He appreciated for Members’ support in the professionalism-driving mode for setting up priorities. He pointed out “Vitamin M”-resource mobilization is fundamental to strengthen the capacity of the organization’s staff. He also noted that as part of his campaign to make FAO more transparent, the FAO website will be providing information on his activities, as well as the agency’s projects, programmes, assessed contributions and other information.