Director-General  QU Dongyu
A statement by FAO Director-General QU Dongyu

High Level Political Forum Special Event
 Global Acceleration Framework for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6

Statement by Dr. Qu Dongyu, FAO Director-General

New York, 9 July 2020

- Virtual Event -

As delivered



Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. The pandemic forced us to think over and revisit a lot of things. Water is one of tops which is fundamental issue for agri-food system. Water scarcity and heavy flooding are two extremes. How to manage them properly for sustainable development are historic headache challenges.

2. Water scarcity, climate change, and drought are main hurdles in our efforts to make our agri-food systems resilient and sustainable.

3. FAO is committed to support Members in their efforts of reaching Target 6.4, of substantially increasing water-use efficiency across all sectors and addressing water scarcity.

4. We do so through a number of programmes and initiatives: 

  • by strengthening methodology, development, and collection of water data and information. The FAO AQUASTAT database is an important tool in supporting countries in reducing water stress and increasing water use efficiency. 
  • by promoting ways to reduce water footprint through crop water productivity. The FAO Water Productivity Open-access portal (WaPOR) strengthens Members’ digital capacity by providing near real time remote sensed data to help policy makers make informed decisions on drought preparedness, while producing more nutritious food with less water.
  • by securing access to quality water especially for smallholder farmers, including women and children. FAO’s SMART Irrigation and SMART-WASH programmes contribute to closing the gender gap while ensuring that water is efficiently allocated, accessible and the natural resource base protected. 
  • by strengthening Members’ water policies through the One Water One Health program that recognizes the intrinsic role of water in protecting human, animal and ecosystem health. 
  • Together with our governmental, research and private program partners, we will reduce agriculture water pollution while promoting water and nutrient recycling and the safe use of fit-for-purpose water. 

5. Under the Paris Agreement, 88% of the Nationally Determined Contributions mentioned water-related measures in the adaptation plan.   

6. As a response, FAO’s partnership program - Global Framework on Water Scarcity or, simply WASAG, accelerates joint actions to cope with water scarcity in agriculture in a changing climate. 

7. FAO is committed to the action pillars of the Global Acceleration Framework

8. And we will continue working with our partners to build and enhance the human and institutional capacity in the water sector. 

9. We will do so through FAO’s new Hand-in-Hand Initiative, an evidence-based, country-led and country-owned initiative to accelerate agricultural transformation and sustainable rural development. 

10. The initiative provides governments and investment partners with the necessary tools to identify key opportunities for innovation, investment and transformative action.

11. Together, as “One UN”, we can bring real change at the country level and accelerate achieving the SDGs. 

12. Without water without uninterrupted civilization. You can count on FAO to be your partner in this!

Thank you.