Director-General  QU Dongyu

Readout of bilateral meetings between the FAO Director-General, QU Dongyu, and African Ministers for Foreign Affairs


October 2020, Rome - The FAO Director-General had a series of bilateral meetings on 6 and 7 October with a number of African Ministers for Foreign Affairs.

He met with Her Excellency Kandia Kamissoko Camara, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Ivorians in the Diaspora of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire; His Excellency Pacôme Moubelet Boubeya, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Gabonese Republic; His Excellency Patrick Rajoelina, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Madagascar; His Excellency Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania; Her Excellency Liberata Mulamula, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the United Republic of Tanzania; His Excellency General Abubaker Jeje Odongo, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uganda; His Excellency Stanley Kakubo, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Zambia; and His Excellency Fredrick Musiiwa Makamure Shava, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Republic of Zimbabwe.

The bilateral meetings were positive and the Ministers, during each of their respective meetings, congratulated the Director-General for his vision and the reforms he has implemented in the Organization since he assumed office in 2019. They underlined the positive, strengthened cooperation with the Organization by their respective Governments and noted key initiatives that have been put in place, in particular FAO’s Hand in Hand Initiative, the FAO Youth and Women committees.

The bilateral conversations underlined key issues ranging from support for desert locust control, to transboundary animal diseases, a fast-growing project portfolio which has facilitated access to climate finance from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for climate-smart agriculture, to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts in their respective countries. The Ministers also each discussed the support required from the Organization for agri-food systems transformation.

The Director-General thanked the Ministers and shared with them his vision for the transformation of agri-food systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life, leaving no one behind. He noted that the starting point needs to be an enabling policy environment. In addition, he emphasized the need for better production to be the starting point and that this needed to be more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable.

The Director-General also highlighted that innovation and digitalization are critical to ensure that the appropriate food varieties are produced in a manner, which will allow countries to meet their growing needs.

The Director-General also shared his views on the need for appropriate standards to expand exportation and in turn increase the countries’ agriculture export capacities. He underlined the need for knowledge and expertise sharing amongst African countries to promote capacity development and knowledge transfer.

In the meetings, the Director-General also explained the importance of value chain creation and specifically the  Global Action on Green Development of Special Agricultural Products, One Country One Priority Product (OCOP) and how it can contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by not only improving production, but also increasing job creation and youth engagement.

All the respective Ministers and the Director-General confirmed their commitment to their continued partnership.