Director-General  QU Dongyu

Readout of FAO Director-General QU Dongyu’s meeting with Erica Barks-Ruggles, Senior Bureau Official, Bureau of International Organization Affairs, US Department of State

02/12/2021

Rome - FAO Director-General, QU Dongyu and Erica Barks-Ruggles, Senior Bureau Official (SBO), Bureau of International Organization Affairs, US Department of State, met today and discussed cooperation between FAO and the United States of America (USA).

The meeting reaffirmed the importance of the partnership and continued closed collaboration between FAO and the USA, with the Director-General expressing his appreciation to the SBO for the USA’s steadfast and longstanding support to the Organization.

During the meeting, the Director-General and the SBO shared views on the importance of innovation, science, technology, and partnerships to building efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems.  The two also touched upon the need to robustly address the climate crisis within the context of agrifood systems transformation.

They also exchanged views on the follow-up to the UN Food Systems Summit, discussing the importance of addressing issues such as food loss and waste, data, climate resiliency, productivity and sustainability, school feeding and many others.

The Director-General and the SBO discussed the reforms emplaced in the Organization since 2019, to ensure FAO is fit-for-purpose and equipped to deliver support to all its Members.  The Director-General highlighted the launch of the Women’s and Youth Committees in 2019, the newly established position of Chief Scientist and creation of the Office of Innovation and the Office for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as a few examples of key changes he has emplaced in FAO.

He also detailed the recent launch of the World Food Forum (WFF) in October 2021 – to be held annually moving forward – which is a youth-led movement and network, initiated by FAO’s Youth Committee, to transform agrifood systems and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular “zero hunger”.

For her part the SBO expressed her appreciation for the Director-General’s efforts to modernize FAO, and for the increased organizational focus on matters related to science, innovation, private sector engagement, women, and the prominence given to the SDGs in FAO’s work in support of Members.

The Director-General and the SBO affirmed the importance of intensified multilateralism in addressing the many challenges the world is facing, while highlighting the key role the United Nations family has to play in this regard.

The two also touched upon other possible areas for increased collaboration, such as the Dry Corridor of Central America.

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