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Director-General praises the work of Rome Chapter of G77 & China in chairpersonship handover ceremony
Thursday, 2021/03/18 | 08:08:46

15 March 2021, Rome – FAO Director-General QU Dongyu today participated in the chairpersonship handover ceremony of the G77 & China - Rome Chapter and praised the Group’s important contribution to FAO’s work and development.

 

Qu recognized the efforts and leadership of the outgoing chairperson Esti Andayani, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Indonesia to FAO, IFAD, WFP and UNIDROIT, and welcomed the incoming one, Carlos Bernardo Cherniak, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Argentina to FAO, IFAD and WFP.

 

The Director-General noted the Group’s focus on addressing the impacts of COVID-19 on agri-food systems, the ongoing preparations for the UN Food Systems Summit 2021 and the active participation in the work of the FAO Governing Bodies in 2020. The Group has been a strong supporter of FAO’s efforts to be fit-for-purpose, modern, inclusive and agile to ensure efficiency, effectiveness and cross-cultural collaboration, Qu said.

 

“With your active and constructive participation and support, the Hand-in-Hand Initiative is developing in 35 Members of your Group,” Qu said. The Hand-in-Hand is FAO’s key initiative aimed at accelerating agricultural transformation and sustainable rural development to eradicate poverty (SDG 1) and end hunger and all forms of malnutrition (SDG2).

 

“The pandemic represents a window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine, and reset our world to create a healthier, more equitable, and prosperous future,” he added, urging for greater collaboration to “make our world a better and more resilient one”. 

 

The Director-General encouraged the Group to fully engage in the upcoming Governing Body Meetings leading to the 42nd Session of the FAO Conference this summer, which is expected to endorse FAO’s Strategic Framework for 2022-2031; and to put special emphasis on the Food Systems Pre-Summit, to be hosted by FAO in July. The Pre-Summit will be ”a crucial opportunity to provide valuable country experience and science-based inputs,” he said.

 

“I look forward to further strengthening our cooperation with the G77 and China on establishing a network of Southern Centres of Excellence from the agri-food sector, in synergy with the Hand-in-Hand Initiative and the Food Coalition,” he said. The Food Coalition is a multi-stakeholder, multi-sectoral alliance that will be activating and mobilizing support for a unified global action in response to the impact on food security of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

“The contribution of the G77 and China Group in the Organization’s governance is very important…I look forward to continued collaboration with the Group on key priority areas in the programme of work of the Organization,” concluded the FAO chief. 

 

For her part, Ambassador Andayani lauded the Group’s partners and members for their cooperation, compromise and flexibility during a challenging 2020. Andayani went on to list the Group’s achievements last year, including addressing COVID-19’s socio-economic impacts and highlighting the importance of data on achieving the Agenda 2030 to developing countries.

 

The incoming Chair of the Group, Ambassador Cherniak, stressed that global efforts undertaken over the last decades have not been enough to end hunger and food insecurity, and COVID-19 has exacerbated hunger and poverty.

 

Cherniak proposed three priority pillars for the Group in 2021: (1) balanced solutions so that countries can transform their food systems where needed, taking into account countries’ unique realities when it comes to food production and nutrition; (2) equal access so all food producers have access to innovation, markets, funding sources, information and knowledge; (3) and inclusive partnerships so that everyone works together to reach SDG 1 and 2, enhance South-South and Triangular cooperation and explore new partnership mechanisms. 

 

Other speakers at the event were the President of IFAD, Gilbert F. Houngbo; the Deputy Executive Director of WFP, Amir Abdulla; the Independent Chairperson of the FAO Council, Khalid Mehboob; and the Deputy to the Special Envoy for the UN Food Systems Summit, Martin Frick. Representatives of other regional groups also took the floor.

 

Speakers stressed the need to continue working together to address the challenges of COVID-19 and ensure a stronger recovery as well as to make the UN Food Systems Summit a success, including by strengthening the voices of developing countries in the pre-Summit and related dialogues.

 

Founded in 1964, the Group of 77 and China brings together 134 developing countries and maintains chapters in New York, Geneva, Nairobi, Paris, Rome and Vienna.

 

http://www.fao.org/director-general/news/news-article/en/c/1381135/

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