Director-General  QU Dongyu

FAO Director-General accepts Lamp of Peace award on behalf of UN Secretary-General


Assisi, Italy – Franciscan monks today awarded UN Secretary-General António Guterres the Lamp of Peace of Saint Francis, recognizing commitment to the peaceful existence of people and actions to promote dialogue among them.

Unable to attend in person due to pandemic restrictions, Guterres delivered his remarks by video, noting that the award recognizes the work of all United Nations employees around the world.

QU Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), participated in person on Saturday at the ceremony in Assisi, Italy, to receive the Lamp on the Secretary-General’s behalf. King Abdullah II of Jordan, the previous winner, handed over the award via video message.

Qu congratulated the Secretary-General and quoted Pope Francis in Laudato si’: “Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start.”

He added: “Each of us has a role to play in lifting up those most in need.”

FAO’s Director-General also gave the Franciscan order a handmade Chinese calligraphy honoring the holy status of Assisi and noting that assuring food security helps create peace.

Previous winners of the Lamp of Peace include Juan Manuel Santos, former President of Colombia, and Angela Merkel, formerly Chancellor of Germany.