Director-General  QU Dongyu

Director-General highlights FAO’s diversity in annual address to staff and honours 33 employees for 25 years of continuous service


Rome - “Our diversity is our strength,” Director-General QU Dongyu of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said Wednesday in his annual address to FAO Staff in a traditional ceremony that celebrates longstanding employees.

In total, 33 colleagues from 24 different nationalities, who work in 20 FAO offices around the world, were honored at the event for their 25 years of continuous service at FAO.

“I thank all of you for your commitment and passion towards FAO’s mandate and the people we serve,” Qu said. “These colleagues have made a lifetime contribution to FAO, at different levels, in different areas of expertise and in different locations.”

The ceremony was held in hybrid form with a live event at FAO headquarters in Rome and virtual access for employees elsewhere. A photo album of the service award recipients can be visited here.

The Director-General noted that FAO has evolved greatly over the past quarter of a century, and especially rapidly in the past few years. For instance, staff managed to overcome the many obstacles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

“We have shown the world that FAO can and still adapts to whatever the situation is, and we continue to deliver on our mandate in spite of the challenges before us,” he added. “We have built a new FAO together. A more flexible, more transparent, more fit-for-purpose Organization to better serve our Members, people, consumers and of course the farmers in the world.”

The Director-General also noted the importance of a continuous intergenerational dialogue, in which veteran staff should share their lifetime of insights and learnings with younger colleagues to build the foundation for a more efficient and effective Organization. “Every single employee in this Organization matters, and has an important role in contributing towards fulfilling FAO’s noble mandate.”

Applauding staff for extraordinary efforts leading to extraordinary results in 2022, he urged all to continue to “work together in an efficient, effective and coherent manner in support of FAO’s Strategic Framework and the Four Betters.”

2023 is the “Year of Excellence,” the Director-General said. “We should always be aware that what each of us does is important, no matter the position, no matter the location and no matter how many years you are working here,” he told staff. “We need the young and the young at heart, and we should strive for excellence in everything we are going to do.”