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

166th Session of the Council


FAO Director General, Dr. QU Dongyu 

As delivered

1 May 2021

Thank you, Independent Chairperson of the Council,

Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Colleagues,

  1. We are at the closing of a very important Council Session after an intensive week.
  2. A Session that took place, as the world continues to cope with the pandemic and adapts to the digital world as the new normal.
  3. A Session that prepares for the first virtual FAO Conference in history.
  4. The Digital FAO has been accelerating evolution and preventing involution!
  5. It comes as no surprise, that the working hours were long and the debates passionate.
  6. My appreciation goes to all delegations for their contributions and their active and constructive engagement throughout this week.
  7. And of course, my high respect and appreciation go to my brother, the esteemed Chairperson,
    Mr Mehboob Khalid in Chinese Mu Kaili.
  8. This is a combination of Mu Guiying, Mu is a well-known family name – Mu Guiying was a legend, from a royal family of heroes; Kai Ming, which means open minded with inclusiveness and Li Mao, which signifies courteous.
  9. He started his long career with FAO in 1969 and continued contributing and sharing his experiences for FAO’s mandate during the past 52 years.
  10. Over the past week, we could all witness, once again, his wise and steady way of guiding the Council.
  11. This is true dedication and a big moral sentiment!  Let us hail the highest salute to Mr Mu Kaili from all corners of world!
  12. The Council’s support for the Strategic Framework, the Medium-Term Plan and the Program of Work and Budget is a very positive sign.
  13. It confirmed that the unprecedented, broad and inclusive consultation process that went into the preparation of these documents was recognized and appreciated.
  14. You welcomed the progress made in the Hand in Hand Initiative.
  15. Here again, we are working very hard to produce concrete results on the ground, despite the pandemic and its impacts.
  16. The Council’s positive views on FAO’s COVID Response and Recovery Program are also well noted and appreciated.
  17. We are also encouraged by the Council’s positive comments and support for our continued efforts of renewal, reform and transformation.
  18. This also includes our decision to give priority to multilingualism and our proposal for a new set of FAO Awards.
  19. And you have reached agreement on different voting options for the Conference to choose from.  
  20. This was understandable and worth the big debate leading to consensus.
  21. Since 2020, FAO has been spearheading innovation that others are following and we will continue to do so.
  22. I want to close, by thanking all FAO employees, who worked diligently and tirelessly in preparing this Council and in servicing it.
  23. And of course, wishing you, dear Delegates, continued health! Stay safe for our Joint Mission that is not yet accomplished!
  24. Thank you and have a nice Labor Day!