Director-General  QU Dongyu

Director-General expresses FAO’s support for UN Ocean Conference to ambassadors from co-hosts Kenya and Portugal

25/05/2022

Rome - FAO Director-General QU Dongyu today met with Pedro Nuno Bártolo, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Portuguese Republic to FAO and Jackline Yonga, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kenya to FAO to discuss the upcoming UN Ocean Conference co-hosted by the two countries.  

The Director-General expressed his full support for the Conference which was convened by the Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres and will take place in Lisbon from 27 June to 1 July 2022.

The Ocean Conference comes at a critical time when there is an urgent need to bring about major structural transformations and implement common shared solutions that are anchored in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Director-General thanked Kenya and Portugal for co-hosting the Conference and underlined the key importance of the environment and biodiversity and their close relation to SDG 14 “Life Below Water”, to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

The Director-General and the two Permanent Representatives further discussed the “Blue Talks - Bridges to Lisbon” event that will take place on 3 June in Rome, co-organized by Kenya and Portugal in the run up to the Conference, with the objective to raise awareness and galvanize high-level participation by underlining the critical importance of oceans in achieving the SDGs, in particular SDG 14.

The UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon will seek to boost much needed science-based innovative solutions. This includes investing in transformative and innovative fisheries management, transforming and upgrading fish value chains, making aquatic foods an indispensable component of food security and nutrition strategies, and ensuring the protection of the more than 600 million livelihoods that depend on fisheries and aquaculture.

The Director-General recalled that today is Africa Day, the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union (AU), on 25 May 1963. The Director-General commended Ambassador Yonga’s constructive engagement with FAO’s leadership during her term as Chairperson of the FAO Africa Regional Group in 2021, noting that significant milestones were attained during her tenure, including the Council’s endorsement of the FAO Strategic Framework 2022-31. He also commended Portugal for its strong long-standing support to FAO, in particular with regard to sustainable fisheries and aquaculture

The two Permanent Representatives assured the Director-General of their commitment to consolidate a positive and action-oriented dialogue in the context of the Ocean Conference to stimulate collaborative partnerships and tangible outcomes in areas of crucial importance for humanity and the planet. 

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