Qu Dongyu from China elected as new FAO Director General

Qu Dongyu, FAO Director General

We congratulate Qu Dongyu for his election as Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) this past weekend.

The election was held on Sunday, June 23, 2019 during the 41st session of the FAO Conference, the highest governing body of the Organization. Qu Dongyu received a total of 108 votes out of 191 cast, constituting a majority in the first round. The French candidate Catherine Geslain-Lanèelle, supported by the European Union, received 71 votes and the Georgian Davit Kirvalidze got 12.

Who is Qu Dongyu?

Qu Dongyu, born in Yongzhou City in China Hunan’s province in 1963, is currently Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China. He has worked in this area for more than 30 years, building up a wealth of experience covering policy planning, administrative management, reform and innovation, and international cooperation. He graduated with a Bachelor degree from Hunan Agricultural College and from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science with a Master's degree. He received his Doctorate Degree at the Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

Since being appointed Vice-Minister in 2015, Qu Dongyu has spearheaded a number of measures that have proven instrumental in advancing China’s agricultural development. These include efforts to:

  • Developing important agricultural policies and reforms for rural areas,
  • Advancing the market-oriented development of agriculture supported by information technologies,
  • Instituting exchange mechanisms on urban agriculture in large and medium-sized cities,  
  • Promoting brand building and specialty industries.

Dr. Qu has also been deeply engaged in international cooperation at the United Nations, G20, APEC and other fora. He has led China’s agri-business cooperation with Asian, African, and Latin American countries as well as China’s main trading partners of agri-produce. He has championed the implementation of flagship projects and a long-term mechanism for China-FAO South-South multilateral cooperation, thereby playing a constructive role in regional and global agricultural development.

Our Stance and an FAO Farewell

IFOAM - Organics International was on site in Rome to follow the elections for this instrumental position and will also attend the remainder of the Conference. As Cristina Grandi, our Chief Food Security Campaigner, says, "it is our hope that the new Director General works efficiently to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and strengthens FAO's commitment to agro-ecology and family farming."

We couldn’t agree more with the conclusion made by Graziano da Silva, former FAO Director General in his final speech: “The agricultural model promoted by the green revolution has a limit. It depletes natural resources. We need to promote a paradigm shift based on family farming.”