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

Climate Change, Peace and Food Security:

A holistic approach for a sustainable future 

Opening Remarks


Dr QU Dongyu, FAO Director-General

As prepared

19 January 2022



Ladies and gentlemen,


1. In September 2021, the Global Report on Food Crises reported a rising trend with at least 161 million people experiencing acute food insecurity in 2020.

2. Two-thirds of them - almost 100 million people - were pushed into acute food insecurity by conflicts.

3. Today we know that conflicts, together with economic downturns and climate-related shocks, continue to be the main driving forces of starvation, hunger and food insecurity in the world.


4. Conflicts cause disruptions across agrifood systems, from food production to processing and distribution.


5. Conflict disrupts access to food among the vulnerable and worsens inequalities.


6. It increases food losses, and often also food prices.


7. The impacts of the climate crisis further undermining livelihoods and natural resources in rural areas,


8. Further increasing existing tensions. 


9. There is no food security without peace, and no peace without food security!


10. The Vision of FAO’s Founders states it clearly, and I quote:

“FAO is born out of the need for peace, as well as the need for freedom from want. The two are interdependent.”


11. This vision is still relevant today.


Dear Colleagues,

12. FAO established the Nobel Laureates Alliance in 2016, to acknowledge that peace is a pre-condition to achieve food security.


13. And to support global and country-level activities to promote the links between food security and peace.


14. As well as to highlight FAO’s technical leadership in agricultural policies and actions that promote peace, rural development and food security.


15. The Alliance has grown, attracting new partners to leverage FAO’s work to establish inclusive and peaceful societies to eradicate hunger and poverty.


16. For example, in the Central African Republic, together with two founding members of the Alliance, Professor Muhammed Yunus 2006 Nobel Peace Laureate, and Ms Tawakkol Karman 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate,


17. We are implementing a joint project to increase local food production by improving production and processing of agricultural and livestock products,


18. While promoting dialogue among the parties of the conflict. 


19. The intervention involves several stakeholders:

  • FAO – that isresponsible for its implementation with national and international actors;
  • The Government of the Central African Republic - that has included the project in its National Plan;
  • Professor Yunus – who is committed to creating the socio-economic conditions to get out of poverty;
  • Ms Karman - who works on social cohesion and inter-community dialogue, in particular to foster dialogue between religions; and
  • The Government of Italy - that provided the financial support to implement this first project in the field.

Dear Friends,

20. It is an honour for FAO to welcome today the 2021 Nobel Laureate for Physics – Professor Giorgio Parisi.


21. Professor Parisi, thank you for accepting FAO’s invitation to become a member of the FAO-Nobel Laureates Alliance for Food Security and Peace.


22. I also wish to thank His Excellency Minister Luigi Di Maio, whose presence here today reaffirms Italy’s support to the Nobel Alliance, and friendship with FAO.


23. Professor Parisi’s work contributes significantly to our understanding of the climate crisis, and in alerting us to the consequences of human behaviour and the inefficient use of natural resources.


24. Which are humanity’s major challenges in our efforts to ensure more efficient, more inclusive, more resilient and more sustainable agrifood systems,


25. For Better Production, Better Nutrition, a Better Environment and a Better Life for all, leaving no one behind.


26. I look forward to working together in our common mission to eradicate hunger and alleviate poverty,


27. And in supporting FAO Member Nations achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and deliver the 2030 Agenda.


28. Thank you - Grazie.