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

168th Session of the Council

Opening Statement

Dr QU Dongyu, FAO Director-General

As prepared

29 November 2021

 

Mr Hans Hoogeveen, Independent Chair of the Council,

Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Good Morning from Rome!

 

1.         I am pleased to address you today at the opening of this first-ever hybrid 168th Session of the Council.

2.         We continue to be prudently optimistic on the progress towards a “new normal”.

3.         The past 28 months have put many challenges in front of us, but on the other side of the coin, they also have presented us with numerous new opportunities with an important learning curve for all of us.

4.         Today, I will inform you of our major developments and principal achievements since the Council’s last session,

5.         And how they will contribute to agrifood systems transformation, and ensure positive change, innovation and improvements to the way we work.

6.         Since I took office in August 2019, I have been working consistently towards putting my vision for the Organization into actions, despite the unexpected challenges we faced.

7.         I have been walking the talk!

8.         ON THE UNEXPECTED CHALLENGES:

9.         Through an effective vaccination campaign, the majority of FAO employees and their dependents in Italy (more than 90% at headquarters) have been vaccinated.

10.       This has enabled a gradual increase of presence in the office, with necessary restrictive measures, to restart a dynamic and interactive workplace, which is at the heart of creativity and innovation.

11.       So far, presence in the office has not exceeded 30%, but I am confident that - on a voluntary basis - more and more colleagues will gradually increase their physical presence at work, while also continuing to work remotely under the Digital FAO.

12.       Early next year, should the situation permit, we plan to discontinue this special approach of voluntary presence adopted so far and request FAO employees in Rome to return to the premises for three days a week.

13.       Directors and Heads of Units will be empowered and accountable to manage this return and the necessary rotations with a maximum presence of 50%.

14.       This is in line with the global reality, both in the private and public environment, as well as in the UN: a return to work that will be accompanied by hybrid modalities.

15.       As always, the health, safety and well-being of our personnel remain central, and our plans will be adjusted in line with the evolving situation.

16.       In the context of new developments, FAO Internal Communications have now been refocused to re-connecting employees with the physical workspace through staff engagement campaigns and digital internal platforms.

17.       Recently, we have also been able to re-open access for Members to FAO premises in a more agile way under the required protocols.

18.       While meetings in presence are regulated by strict procedures, and hybrid or virtual meetings remain the priority, the Ground Floor has been established as a “free circulation zone”, and Building A meeting rooms are reserved for Members’ meetings.

19.       As of December 2021, meetings in presence of Regional Groups will be authorized on a once a month basis, in line with the prevailing measures for accessing the premises and in full respect of the maximum room occupancy allowed.

20.       We will continue to align procedures with the Italian Government’s safety measures, recommendations by WHO and UN Country Team guidance under the UN system common approach.

21.       The Crisis Management Team (CMT) will continue to ensure that return plans are “location specific”, based on the Organization’s duty of care towards employees and their dependents across all locations.

22.       The immunization effort continues, with the third dose already started in Italy, while globally the preparation for the second round of the UN System-Wide COVID-19 Vaccination Programme in field offices is ongoing, to ensure the largest possible access to vaccines for FAO employees and dependents.

23.       FAO participation in COVID-19 MEDEVAC and First Line of Defense in field offices for 2022 was re-confirmed.

24.       ON WALKING THE TALK AND OUR WORKING ENVIRONMENT:

25.       In 2021, to date we have made significant progress towards creating a better working environment at FAO.

26.       We have listened to employee needs for more support in their professional development and their views on transparent recruitment, new ways of working as well as enhanced internal communication and engagement.

27.       We have a new mentoring program that supports women and young employees in particular.

28.       As well as new practices to reward and recognize staff, such as through the annual Employee Recognition Awards. 

29.       Most importantly, we have made significant progress to create a more ethical workplace.

30.       Preventing and combating all forms of Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Discrimination, Sexual exploitation and Abuse of Authority remains a priority.

31.       The FAO Committee on Workplace Conduct and Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) has been setup recently.

32.       I, along with the core leadership team, reaffirm our full commitment to FAO’s zero tolerance policy towards all forms of misconduct, and are committed to ensuring a corporate environment of respect for victims, survivors, complainants and whistleblowers, as well as zero tolerance for inaction.

33.       The Organization is striving for a culture change towards a work environment that is people-centered, transparent, accountable, dynamic, engaged and ethical.

34.       In order to achieve this ambitious goal, several guidance documents have been issued over this past year such as the new Code of Ethical Conduct and FAO’s Roadmap on where employees can go when in need.

35.       The new Investigation Guidelines have also been put in place.

36.       We continue to raise awareness and build capacity of focal points in the field to ensure Organization-wide compliance.

37.       With regard to the FAO Commissary, closed since September 2017, I wish to inform Members that in January 2020 an agreement was concluded between FAO and the Government of Italy on the new Commissary business model.

38.       Negotiations have taken place over the past months with the Italian authorities on the modalities for implementation of the agreement and the new Commissary with its new business model will be opening soon.

39.       Multilingualism is a defining characteristic of FAO, firmly rooted in the Basic Texts, which enables the effective participation of all Members in the work and governance of the Organization.

40.       In order to enhance efforts that ensure multilingualism at FAO, I have appointed the Director of the Governing Bodies Servicing Division as FAO Coordinator for Multilingualism, responsible for the development and implementation of a related corporate strategic policy framework.

 

 Dear Colleagues,

 

41.       ON WALKING THE TALK AND OUR MANAGEMENT TRANSFORMATION TO FIT FOR PURPOSE:

42.       Following the implementation of the structural reforms at headquarters that were endorsed by the Council, Regional and Sub-regional Offices have initiated their transformation.

43.       These improvements aim at building a One FAO, fostering coherent actions and breaking down silos.

44.       Regional Offices are at the interface between global and country level actions.

45.       They need to optimize this unique position, while ensuring FAO systematic core competence within region, cross-regional, and cross-continental cooperation to deliver on the 2030 Agenda.

46.       The reorganization of Sub-regional Offices will build on the subsidiarity of functions and complementarities between regions and sub-regions.

47.       Delegation of responsibilities will be matched with analysis of capabilities.

48.       We want to enhance the Regional, Sub-regional and Country Offices’ capacities to better contribute to the delivery of FAO Strategic Framework 2022-31,

49.       For the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems,

50.       For better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life, leaving no one behind.

51.       I have also established the internal Engagement and Partnerships Committee at the Core Leadership level, to ensure that any reputational or financial risks to FAO are avoided or minimized through adequate risk management.

52.       Informal Consultations are also ongoing on the Technical Cooperation Program (TCP) and provide an opportunity for meaningful discussions leading to well-informed decisions on TCP regional shares.

53.       We are committed to making the TCP even more catalytic and impact-focused so that it can best support national priorities and needs, fully in line with the 2030 Agenda.

54.       SIDS, LDCs and LLDCs remain a priority, particularly to strengthen their capacity for adaptation through TCP.

Dear Colleagues,

 

55.       ON WALKING THE TALK AND THE IMPLEMENTATION OF FAO STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK 2022-31:

56.       The COVID-19 pandemic raised concerns about the fragility of agrifood systems.

57.       It showed how a shock of global proportions can occur suddenly, spread rapidly and compromise the food security, nutrition status and livelihoods of billions of people.

58.       While most agrifood systems continued functioning, the incomes of many people were affected, severely limiting access to foods.

59.       In 2020 alone, the number of undernourished people increased by as many as 161 million compared with 2019.

60.       But this was not only a problem of COVID-19, it was a worsening of existing drivers, i.e. conflict and other humanitarian emergencies, the climate crisis and economic slowdowns and downturns, intensified by COVID-19

61.       As a result, the number of people experiencing high acute food insecurity has risen further in 2021.

62.       Acute hunger - the indicator we use to measure sporadic, sudden crises that can limit people’s access to food in the short term to the point that their lives and livelihoods are at risk - is spreading and intensifying despite increased humanitarian budgets.

63.       Today 45 million people in 43 countries are experiencing emergency levels of acute food insecurity – moving closer to starvation. 

64.       FAO is fully addressing this growing global hunger crisis through our agriculture and food emergencies Programme Priority, and at the same time through all our activities that aim at transforming agrifood systems.

65.       ON THE AGRICULTURE AND EMERGENCIES:

66.       We are pooling our collective efforts at the highest levels, including through the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Task Force on Preventing Famine.

67.       Under this initiative, FAO and WFP have jointly stepped up their advocacy and resource mobilization efforts, jointly calling for USD 6.6 billion to take urgent action, blending critical food and emergency livelihoods assistance.

68.       Yet funding for livelihoods within the humanitarian response has been very low.

69.       The agricultural sector is receiving less than 10% of the allocated humanitarian assistance, when more than two-thirds of the people affected by crises rely on agriculture.

70.       Emergency food assistance is critical and saves lives, but we need to give equal priority to investments aimed at local agrifood production, and at improving the resilience of agrifood systems in vulnerable countries.

71.       We need a collective response that brings together humanitarian, development, peace and climate actors - to tackle the root causes of hunger.

72.       With humanitarian assistance addressing rising levels of hunger, while development support is layered or sequenced to address the underlying drivers.

73.       The agrifood sector offers an ideal entry point for nexus approaches, as the sector is resilient in conflict contexts,

74.       And can recover fast when stability returns, and when appropriate policies and investments are made.

75.       Recognizing the criticality of the nexus, FAO was the first UN agency to evaluate its own work in this area, with the Evaluation of FAO’s Contribution to the Humanitarian-Development-Peace (HDP) Nexus: 2014-2020, finalized in the second quarter of 2021.

76.       The Evaluation was a key element in developing the FAO Strategic Framework 2022-31.

77.       The UN Food Systems Summit recognized that a nexus approach is critical in contributing to the transformation of agrifood systems to be more efficient, inclusive and resilient.

78.       The Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s Bi-Annual Principals meeting, which I attended in October, identified the Humanitarian-Development Nexus supporting Peace as a strategic priority for the coming biennium.

79.       In Afghanistan, 4 out of 5 of the estimated 22.8 million Afghans projected to be in acute food insecurity over the next 6 months live in rural areas.

80.       FAO has already assisted 1.4 million vulnerable Afghans in 2021 across 30 provinces, while the ongoing winter wheat campaign is reaching a further 1.3 million.

81.       In Ethiopia, the situation continues to be bleak, especially due to the lack of information on the food security situation in emergency areas.

82.       It is estimated that approximately 400 000 people are currently suffering from famine-like conditions, in addition to another 4 million people in need of urgent food and livelihoods assistance.

83.       Lack of access and significant funding shortfalls are severely constraining our capacity to reach those in need.

84.       Drought-like conditions are looming in certain regions in Somalia, and the situation is expected to worsen over the next 6 months.

85.       The Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to face the world’s largest food crisis in absolute numbers, with approximately 27 million people expected to be in Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Phases 3 and 4 until the end of the year.

86.       In Yemen, more than half of the population is in IPC Phase 3 and worse. FAO has provided urgently needed assistance to ensure that more than 1.1 million people can meet their food needs so far in 2021 – but this is just a small portion of those in need.

87.       In South Sudan, where 60% of the population was projected to be facing IPC Phases 3 and above, FAO has continued to implement a substantial humanitarian response,

88.       Providing essential livelihood packages in advance of the main planting season and thus ensuring a steady supply of nutritious food for almost 3.3 million people.

89.       There is an urgent need to address the deepening crisis in Syria, where drought-like conditions and lack of inputs (fertilizer and fuel for irrigation) are affecting food availability and deepening food insecurity.

90.       Under resilient agri-food systems, desert Locust remains high on the agenda.

91.       Following successful operations in the Horn of Africa and Yemen, as well as enhanced scale up efforts in Pakistan and Iran, operations are now primarily focused in Ethiopia, Somalia and Yemen.

92.       As the upsurge is likely to continue into early 2022, it is imperative that the collective surveillance and response mechanisms remain intact.

93.       FAO continues to closely monitor the situation through our global Desert Locust Information Service, which has been integrated with more than a dozen new technologies for improved monitoring and response.

94.       Fall Armyworm continues to spread and has been reported in over 75 countries, with the latest report from the Solomon Islands.

95.       Yield loss due to Fall Armyworm in Africa was estimated to be at USD 9.4 billion per year, the highest among all invasive alien species in the continent.

96.       Through the Global Action for Fall Armyworm Control, FAO is focusing on both strengthening capacities for detection and early response, as well as the development and adoption of integrated pest management packages.

97.       Let me be very clear in that context:

98.       Agriculture is very crucial and cannot wait for other priorities to be addressed first.

99.       Protecting rural livelihoods must be a fundamental element of the immediate emergency humanitarian response.

100.     ON OUR PROGRAM PRIORITY AREAS (PPA) TO BUILD BACK BETTER:

101.     FAO has been intensively working on the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme, to reach a larger share of rural populations and to relaunch economic activities.

102.     The Program is now focusing on building back better and stronger towards transforming agrifood systems across all our Four Betters.

103.     These efforts include the use of data and digital technologies, technology, innovation, and all needed complements (governance, institutions and human capital) to assist smallholder farmers (family famers) and our agrifood systems - these are our accelerators in FAO Strategic Framework 2022-31.

104.     Let me focus, on science and innovation, climate change, legal frameworks and scaling up.

Dear Colleagues,

105.     Science and Innovation (technology) has always been a key component of my vision for FAO - these are two of our accelerators that intensify our work in each of our Four Betters and all our PPAs.

106.     We need science and innovation to deliver on our common goals of transforming agrifood systems to nourish people, nurture the planet, advance equitable livelihoods and build resilient ecosystems.

107.     Science and innovation provide the backbone of FAO Strategic Framework 2022-31 and have cross-sectoral relevance across the Organization’s program of work.

108.     FAO new thematic Strategy on Science and Innovation will provide a framework for strengthening the Organization’s capacities to support Members in harnessing science and innovation,

109.     To ensure that FAO shifts to a forward-looking business model to effectively support the transformation of agrifood systems on the ground.

110.     On climate change, and within the context of FAO’s mandate, and a Better Environment, COP26 made important advances in the areas of forestry, agriculture and land use.

111.     The Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture, a process directly supported by FAO, was adopted and paves the way to advance on actions on the ground - particularly on soils, nutrients and livestock.

112.     The Methane Pledge is important for agrifood sectors, which are responsible for about 40% of the global methane emissions.

113.     The Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forests and Land Use reflects the collective commitment of 141 countries, covering 90% of the planet’s forests, to halt and revert forest loss and land degradation by 2030.

114.     A greater coherence in action for climate and biodiversity across agricultural sectors is needed.

115.     The UNFCCC COP26 and the CBD COP15 have provided key opportunities to advance climate-biodiversity mutual integration across agricultural sectors.

116.     FAO new thematic Strategy on Climate Change will help scale-up climate action across agrifood systems by supporting Members to better achieve their commitments on climate change.

117.     During the two informal consultations held in September and November, Members reiterated the urgency to act, and confirmed their commitment to the Strategy development process.

118.     The FAO new thematic Strategy on Climate Change needs game-changing, innovative and wise solutions based on science and partnerships to transform agrifood systems to be more sustainable.

119.     Given the urgency for climate action, it is crucial that this Strategy goes beyond business-as-usual if we are to reach the climate targets of the Paris Agreement and achieve the SDGs.

120.     For 2021, the Green Cities Initiative prioritized the African region.

121.     The Green Cities Regional Action Program for Africa was launched in June, with 6 African cities having signed Letters of Intent.

122.     The Green Cities Initiative activities will be expanding to other regions and countries starting from 2022, based on expressions of interest and consultations held this year. 

123.     The Green Cities Initiative is closely linked with other FAO initiatives, including the Hand-in-Hand Initiative – which now counts 45 countries that have requested support to national programming;

124.     Both new thematic strategies are being developed in tandem to ensure complementarity.

125.     Both prioritize science, innovative solutions and inclusive processes, will be key tools for the implementation of FAO Strategic Framework 2022-31 over the next ten years.

126.     The private sector will also be vital for coherent and tangible action.

127.     Since the endorsement of the Strategy for Private Sector Engagement by the 165th Session of the Council, we have moved forward with implementation.

128.     The draft Terms of Reference for the informal Private Sector Advisory Group and the Due Diligence Framework for Risk Assessment and Management, to be included as Annexes to the Strategy, are submitted to the Council for consideration.

129.     In line with this Strategy, we have launched the FAO CONNECT Portal, providing full transparency on our engagement with the private sector for the benefit of our Members and agrifood systems transformation.

 

Dear Colleagues,

 

130.     The Green Development of Special Agricultural Products: “One Country One Priority Product” Initiative focuses on the country and regional priorities of Members and aims to promote the full length of the value chains of a selected specialized product.

131.     It will play a game changing role for agrifood systems transformation by branding national competitiveness.

132.     ON LEGAL FRAMEWORKS:

133.     Sound legal frameworks are vital for sustainable agrifood systems and are key to enabling action towards achieving sustainable development, and a better life for all.

134.     Technical legislative assistance to Members is provided through normative and technical cooperation programmes to ensure that their national policy objectives, strategies and international commitments are expressed in mandatory terms in law.

135.     To underscore the important role of legislation in achieving the Four Betters and the SDG targets, FAO is taking a proactive and innovative approach by initiating technical legislative assistance programs for Members,

136.     That provide focussed and timely legal assistance to address key challenges in the implementation, compliance and enforcement of laws. For the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems

137.     At Member’s request, we have embarked on outreach activities during 2021 to provide Members with information regarding the full range of services and support available.

138.     The latest meeting took place in May this year, and Members will be kept updated on further developments.

 

Dear Colleagues,

 

139.     We need to scale up investments and to accelerate action at country level.

140.     The Hand-in-Hand Initiative continues to gain strength as a mechanism for bringing diverse actors together to help the least advantaged, eradicate poverty, end hunger and malnutrition, and reduce inequalities within and among nations.

141.     45 Member countries have been accepted as formal participants, and several more are benefitting from the methodologies, platforms and support, developed under the Initiative.

142.     The G20 Matera Declaration included reference to the Food Coalition as a flexible coordination mechanism to provide political leadership in the area of food security.

143.     The Food Coalition has made important progress and is now moving to concrete implementation on the ground.

144.     I renew my invitation to all Members, as part of the G20 Call to Action for Food Security, to join the Food Coalition and its related projects.

145.     The G20 Rome Leaders’ Declaration provides a very clear path, placing food security and sustainable development at the centre of discussions.

146.     It highlights the One Health approach, empowerment of women and youth, adapting agrifood systems to climate change, and catalytic investment.

147.     The UN Food Systems Pre-Summit and the Summit (FSS) have generated a significant momentum for moving forward the transformation of agrifood systems and now is time to accelerate the work at the country level.

148.     Last week, the UN Deputy Secretary-General, together with relevant UN agencies (FAO, IFAD, WFP, UNEP and DCO), agreed that FAO will host the Coordination Hub for FSS follow-up action in the FAO Office for SDGs, under my leadership on behalf of the UN system starting at January of 2022.

149.     The Oversight Group of the Coordination Hub will be comprised of the Principals of FAO, IFAD, WFP, DCO and UNEP.

150.     It was agreed with the Deputy Secretary-General that the Chair of the UN Oversight Group would be on a rotational basis.

151.     The FAO newly appointed Director of the Office of SDGs (D2 level) will lead the Coordination Hub and will report directly to the FAO Director-General.

152.     Furthermore, a D1 will be hired from the Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General, who will put forward some candidates.

153.     Finally, the Deputy Secretary-General and the members of Oversight Group have agreed on the current design of the Coordination Hub and have given the green light to proceed.

154.     Finally, I had vowed to take our work out of the castles and bring it to the people.

155.     And the figures of increased visibility show that we have walked the talk:

156.     The total number of visitors to our website went from 16.5 million in 2019 to 26 million in 2021.

157.     So far, 85 million pages were viewed on our website this year.

158.     FAO’s social media followers increased from 4.1 million in 2019 to 6.3 million today.

159.     80,000 multilingual posts were shared on FAO social media channels this year, reaching a total of 9 billion accounts.

160.     FAO received 900,000 mentions on social media.

161.     We repositioned FAO as a central member of the UN Family, contributing to the success of numerous UN efforts.

162.     By interacting with the General Assembly, contributing to the High Level Political Forum dialogues, with our SOFI flagship publication and the rural poverty report,

163.     By providing the Security Council with advice, and dedicating crucial technical, political and logistical support to the UN Food Systems Pre-Summit and Summit.

164.     Renewing FAO also meant redefining our position at the highest international level, ensuring that food and agriculture remain at the top of the global political agenda.

165.     Today, FAO’s role as honest broker and provider of science-based, technical expertise is universally recognized,

166.     By world leaders and in international fora, from the G20 to the World Economic Forum (WEF), and beyond.

167.     FAO’s close engagement with Italy’s G20 presidency has yielded historic results, putting the agenda of food security firmly at the forefront of top international negotiations and the Leaders’ Declaration.

168.     By establishing the G20 Green Garden, FAO contributed to the educational and environmental wellbeing of the youth, families and citizens of Rome.

169.     By creating the much-needed global engagement with the young through the World Food Forum (WFF), led by the FAO youth, has ensured that the perspectives of youth at large, including Indigenous communities, smallholder farmers and marginalized voices are heard loud and clear.

170.     The World Food Day 2021, with 450 activities in up to 150 countries, was communicated in more than 44 languages, and with 600,000 views.

171.     Our Junior World Food Day Food Heroes campaign and TikTok dance video, as an effective way to engage the public, especially the young, with its impressive reach resulted in nearly two million views in six weeks.

172.     We also lit the iconic Colosseum with Food Hero images and projected the Green, White and Red “tricolore” colors on our headquarters building.

173.     And just as our aspirations soar high in the sky, so did the FAO flag as it was taken to outer space by our Goodwill Ambassador ESA Astronaut Thomas Pesquet!

 

Dear Colleagues,

 

174.     As I take stock of my 28 months in office, I want to share with you today some of the key findings as we go forward with implementation of the FAO Strategic Framework 2022-31:

175.     ONE: CONNECTIVITY IS A PRE-CONDITION FOR INCLUSIVITY!

176.     The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that now, more than ever, connectivity is a pre-condition for effective social inclusion.

177.     In rural areas, infrastructure and digital technologies can be leveraged to address multiple market failures, to facilitate smallholder farmers’ integration into markets, and to foster sustainable outcomes.

178.     In particular, the digital gender divide in rural areas causes multiple disadvantages for rural women.

179.     As FAO Director-General, I have been working tirelessly over the past 851 days to leverage digital technologies to build a dynamic and transparent Organization, and to promote rural transformation on the ground.

180.     TWO: AGRICULTURE MUST GO DIGITAL!

181.     Innovation and ICT application are a priority for agricultural modernization.

182.     “Going Digital” is the smart solution for agriculture and rural development in the future.

183.     FAO is committed to a digital agricultural transformation and the use of innovation to end hunger and improve live quality.

184.     THREE: WE MUST REDUCE FOOD LOSS AND WASTE!

185.     The current unacceptably high amounts of food lost and wasted could feed around 1.26 billion people per year, and are adding huge footprints on the environment.

186.     Food loss and waste deplete our scarce resources and contribute to the climate crisis through Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.

187.     In addition, they confirm poorly functioning agrifood systems, as millions of people around the world have experienced first-hand during the COVID-19 crisis.

188.     Innovations in business models, institutional arrangements, technologies and digital solutions can all contribute to reducing food loss and waste.

189.     FOUR: PREVENTING FUTURE PANDEMICS IS A COLLECTIVE AND COHERENT RESPONSIBILITY!

190.     The five principles adopted by the One Health Tripartite are fundamental to strengthening management and sustainable investment for pandemic preparedness and response:

•          Universality

•          Legitimacy

•          Inclusivity

•          Coherence and

•          Accountability

 

191.     FIVE: SMALLHOLDER AND FAMILY FARMERS, WOMEN, YOUTH AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES MUST BE AT THE CENTER OF AGRIFOOD SYSTEMS TRANSFORMATION!

192.     Many of the world’s innovators, farmers and participants are women and young people.

193.     Women and the youth are key to continue the cultural shift, where gender equality and inclusivity is helping to create a better world for all of us.

194.     Indigenous Peoples are also important contributors - they should never be left behind, and their rights need to be recognized and protected.

195.     Local communities, small-scale producers and family farmers are the custodians of biodiversity and key contributors to maintain a healthy ecosystem.

196.     SIX: WE URGENTLY NEED TO RE-PURPOSE AGRICULTURAL SUPPORT!

197.     Growth in the agricultural sector is the most significant sector to effectively reduce poverty and hunger in middle to low income countries.

198.     It is vital that we collectively address the need for additional investments in agriculture, in Research and Development, in national development strategies, as well as bilateral and multilateral initiatives.

199.     Significant resource mobilization is required to end widespread hunger, but the cost is manageable and represents 8% of the size of food markets.

200.     SEVEN: COALITIONS AND PARTNERSHIPS ARE KEY!

201.     We must work together effectively and efficiently, and in a coherent manner.

202.     We must think together, learn together, work together and contribute together towards FAO’s mandate for a world free of hunger.

203.     Coalitions and partnerships will bring together game-changing solutions to address the complex set of agrifood system challenges to achieve the SDGs.

204.     EIGHT:  WE NEED TO BE INNOVATIVE AND EFFECTIVE! 

205.     In a world that has been further challenged by the pandemic and unprecedented socio-economic downturns, we are not acting fast enough or comprehensively enough or innovatively enough to deliver on our commitments.

206.     We must produce more with less - with less natural resources and less emissions.

207.     I declared 2020 the year of efficiency.

208.     2021 was adding the year of effectiveness.

209.     2022 will be adding the year of EXTRAORDINARY.

210.     NINE: WE NEED A HOLISTIC APPROACH – FOR PEOPLE, PLANET AND PROSPERITY!

211.     We at FAO are determined to continue working with all Members, partners and stakeholders – Hand-in-Hand - to end poverty and hunger in all forms and dimensions,

212.     To protect the planet from degradation, to improve production and consumption, and to sustain natural resources under the overarch of the Four Betters,

213.     To ensure that human beings, plants, animals and all micro-organisms can prosper and co-exist in harmony with nature,

214.     For present and future generations!

215.     I wish you a successful Council.

216.     Thank you.

Send
Print