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

G20 Health Ministers’ Meeting

Keynote Speech


Dr QU Dongyu, FAO Director-General

As delivered

Rome, 5 September 2021


Ladies and Gentlemen,

1.         I thank Italy as G20 Presidency for inviting me to speak on behalf of FAO as well as in my capacity as Chair of the Tripartite for One Health.


2.         I also commend all efforts of the G20 Presidency to ensure that we bring new, realistic and pragmatic solutions to the areas of health and agri-food systems, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and reach Zero Hunger by 2030.


3.         The pandemic prevention is a collective and coherent responsibility.


4.         And that the COVID-19 pandemic will only be over once everyone is safe.

5.         The pandemic is also disrupting our agri-food systems that are core to our health and life, with long-term impacts especially on the most vulnerable.


6.         FAO has been implementing the flagship Hand in Hand Initiative since 2019, focusing on vulnerable countries, such as SIDS, LDCs and LLDCs.


7.         And we also designed a comprehensive COVID-19 Response and Recovery Program to proactively address the pandemic’s socio-economic impacts.


8.         The Tripartite of FAO, WHO and OIE, together with UNEP and others, are committed to working jointly with the G20 in the different initiatives to enhance the One Health approach.


9.         Global promotion through the Global Action Plan on One Health and its High-Level Expert Panel are important steps.


10.       The Tripartite considers the following five principles as fundamental to strengthening management and sustainable investment for pandemic preparedness and response:

•          One: UNIVERSALITY – the engagement and ownership of all members;

•          Two: LEGITIMACY – recognizing constitutional mandates and avoiding creation of competing institutions and structures;

•          Three: INCLUSIVITY – engaging all One Health sectors and stakeholders, including civil society and the private sector;

•          Four: COHERENCE – working as an integrated whole, bringing together all related elements; and

•          Five: ACCOUNTABILITY – with a collective responsibility for our actions.

Dear Colleagues,

11.       We are at a historic turning point to set into motion the steps needed to prevent future pandemics.


12.       But to achieve this, we urgently need a substantial increase in international investment for pandemic preparedness response and one health issues, especially at the national level.

13.       The Tripartite, has developed a common position on One Health funding modalities, with the objective of providing financial mechanisms for countries to immediately and sustainably implement national action.


14.       I also look forward to the outcome of the G20 joint Finance-Health Ministerial Meeting at the end of October 2021, to help guide appropriate and effective investments in health and healthy diets.


15.       FAO welcomes the G20 Health Ministers Declaration on addressing linkages between human health and animal health,


16.       But the link between agri-food systems and climate crisis, ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss must also be highlighted.


17.       Strengthening and improving health and agri-food systems must go hand in hand.


18.       Healthy Diets are crucial in that context and can play a role in addressing both malnutrition and sustainable development.


19.       FAO also welcomes the Rome Declaration which sets out the principles for joint action to prevent future health crises and to build a safer, fairer and more equitable and sustainable world by ensuring health security and food security together.

Dear Friends,

20.       We need to strengthen global solidarity!


21.       We must strengthen multi-sectoral collaboration;


22.       support interdisciplinary capacity building; and


23.       promote the implementation of One Health across sectors to ensure global health for all.


24.       We need to move from high-level discussions to practical implementation on the ground – let’s walk the talk!


25.       FAO appreciates the commitment of the G20 and others and is committed to support all Members to transform to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems to ensure better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life - leaving no one behind!


26.       Thank you.