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Qu Dongyu of China is next FAO Director General

ROME, JUNE 23 – The deputy minister of agricolture of China, Qu Dongyu, was elected Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) today. He received a total of 108 votes out of 191 cast, constituting a majority in the first round. France’s Catherine Geslain-Laneelle, with the support of the European Union, received 71 votes and Georgia’s Davit Kirvalidze 12, according to official results. The United States had backed Kirvalidze.

The election took place during the 41st session of the FAO Conference (22-29 June 2019), the highest governing body of the Organization. Qu Dong Yu, who was born in 1963 and is a biologist by training, will be FAO’s ninth Director-General since the Organization was founded on October 16, 1945, and the first from a communist country.

The term of the new Director-General, who will succeed Brazil’s José Graziano da Silva, will start on 1 August 2019 and run to 31 July 2023.

FAO, which has over 11,500 employees around the globe, works closely with other U.N. agencies to achieve the goal of a hunger-free world by 2030. Today, more than 800 million people are facing hunger and many experts doubt that the 2030 goal will be reached. Prior to the vote, Qu said that he aims to focus on hunger and poverty eradication, tropical agriculture, drought land farming, digital rural development and better land design through transformation of agricultural production. An expert on agriculture and rural areas, he has worked in the field for more than 30 years.

Ahead of the election, he rejected claims that he would be beholden to instructions from Beijing, pledging that China would follow “FAO regulations and rules.” He also defended his credentials, saying he is “a scientist” educated in Europe, America and China.

Before joining China’s agriculture ministry, Qu worked at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, where he focused on conducting research and innovation, raising rural income, reducing poverty through science and technology and building a quality assessment system for produce. (@OnuItalia)

Alessandra Baldini
Alessandra Baldinihttps://onuitalia.com
Alessandra Baldini e’ stata la prima donna giornalista parlamentare per l’Ansa, poi corrispondente a Washington e responsabile degli uffici Ansa di New York e Londra. Dirige OnuItalia.

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