Chinese Vice-Minister of agriculture is elected new director-general of FAO

China's Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Affairs Qu Dongyu was elected on Sunday (23) with 108 votes, as the new Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). He will hold the position in the next four years, from August 1, 2019 to July 31, 2023. The Brazilian government officially supported the election of Dongyu to FAO and Minister Tereza Cristina (Agriculture, Livestock and Supply) participated in the vote, In Rome.

After the election, Dongyu pledged to justice and transparency in the post and said he would be impartial and neutral on the FAO board. "I will work for the people and for all the farmers. For a dynamic FAO, for a better world, "he said.

The Chinese delegation stressed that the new Director General will reform the FAO in a short time and ensured that China will maintain its commitments of global cooperation in favor of the development of agriculture. Other countries also welcomed the winner, such as France Italy, Kuwait, Thailand, Equatorial Guinea, Bangladesh, Canada, Cape Verde, Germany, Australia, Iran, Indonesia, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda. The delegation of Uruguay spoke on behalf of Latin America and the Caribbean, emphasizing that the region will have open doors for the new director of the FAO. 

Brazilian José Graziano da Silva, who has been director general of FAO since 2012, greeted the winner and handed him the new FAO badge. Minister Tereza Cristina congratulated Graziano for the period in the FAO's General Directorate.

Dongyu beat the French candidates, Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle, who had 71 votes, and Georgia's Davit Kirvalidze, with 12 votes. He is deputy minister of Agriculture of China since 2015, PhD in Agricultural Sciences and Environment. Its agenda is aimed at facilitating the international agenda of developing countries and digital inclusion in the field. In his keynote speech, Dongyu advocated innovation and the use of technology in agriculture.

Dongyu visited Brazil last March when he held meetings at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply. Argentina and Uruguay also supported the election of Dongyu.

According to the Chinese deputy minister, FAO should report abuses that put food safety at risk. He promised profound reforms in the structure and functioning of FAO teams to support member states, a 10% increase in resources each year and the development of programs for young farmers and women.

Qu Dongyu argues that FAO's policies are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals of the Agenda 2030, in particular the eradication of hunger and poverty, the sustainable increase of agricultural and food production and the promotion of an international trading system free from undue distortions and restrictions without an adequate scientific basis.

Posted by: Marina Carvejani