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


Event: Science, Policy and Society Interface: Challenges and opportunities 

Opening Remarks 


Dr QU Dongyu, FAO Director-General

19 October 2022


Ladies and Gentlemen,


1.            I wish to convey my appreciation to all of you who are participating in this event, both here in person and online.


2.            When we have a dialogue among scientists, politicians and business people, and even with farmers and farmers’ organizations, we always ask the basic questions: what are you going to share? From the scientists’ point of view or from the politicians’ point of view?


3.            It is always about the 5 ‘Ws’ and 1 ‘H’: who, what, when, where, why, and how – it all depends from your perspective.


4.            As FAO Director-General I decided to establish the World Food Forum, and in particular this Science and Innovation Forum, because as a UN intergovernmental specialized agency FAO has been doing business the same way for many years, following the FAO Basic Texts, through its Technical Committees, and through the Council and the Conference.


5.            That is the basic business, the traditional classic approach. But what is the real mandate of FAO: its ensuring its business is done on the ground. 


6.            We need to change the business model first, and bring all the key players together – and ensure that the scientists are part of the discussions.


7.            Now, I want to establish an instrument as a permanent platform annually to bring all these key players together in a regular dialogue, fit-to-the-purpose. 


8.            Secondly, it is important for FAO to bring all the key players together, to work together coherently, efficiently and effectively, and as far as possible in face-to-face discussions.


9.            I count on you, the scientists, and all of you with a scientific background, to use these platforms and to lead the transformation of agrifood systems – with more science-based, more data-driven and more rationalized ideas.


10.          When I was a student, my professor always said to me “If you do not know the answer, ask yourselves at least three times why.”


11.          Therefore, please ask your questions to find your collaborators and key partners.


12.          As a proverb from Africa says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”.


13.          Thank you.