The 166th session of the Council of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) was held virtually on April 26, 2021. Guang Defu, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of China to FAO, led the Chinese delegation to the Session and delivered opening remarks.
Ambassador Guang Defu expressed appreciation to FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu for his vivid, enthusiastic and informative speech at the opening ceremony, noting that China highly commends FAO’s essential role in dealing with Covid-19’s impact on food security, preparations for the United Nations Food Systems Summit, and others issues related with food and agriculture.
Ambassador Guang Defu indicated that this session is of great importance as 2021 signifies a renewal year, witnessing the UN Food Systems Summit to be held in Sep. and post-pandemic recovery. What’s more, 2021 marks the beginning of the final yet crucial decade for realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the unveiling of FAO Strategic Framework 2022-31 soon. At this juncture of challenges and hope, this session will speak volumes.
Ambassador Guang Defu reiterated China’s support for FAO’s strategic vision regarding “transformation to more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.” He also spoke highly of the alignment and perspectiveness of the Strategic Framework 2022-31, the Medium-Term Plan 2022-25 and the Programme of Work and Budget 2022-23. Furthermore, China endorses the FAO’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme, Hand-in-Hand Initiative, and other innovative measures to mobilize and coordinate resources, as well as address key challenges in the food and agriculture.
Ambassador Guang Defu pointed out that China has all along firmly upheld the authority of the UN-centered multilateral system and has worked to improve its effectiveness and global governance system to navigate the challenging times full of hope. China has consistently supported and will continue to support the FAO in realizing its vision, delivering three main goals of its member states, and playing a leading role in food and agriculture.
Ambassador Guang Defu put forth the following proposals to the FAO and its member states:
First, development should be the central in the macro framework of global food and agriculture. China supports the implementation of FAO’s technical cooperation projects to increase the capacity for agricultural development in developing countries. China stands ready to share its expertise, experience and technology in agriculture and rural development, poverty eradication, and food security. China is willing to help developing countries improve their agricultural technology through South-South and triangular cooperation, and work with other countries to promote rural revitalization through the cooperation in the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS).
Second, China supports FAO’s greater focus on agriculture, emphasis on agricultural and food systems and priorities on addressing issues more closely related with agriculture. China support FAO to create a vibrant itself that can better help member states enhance their agricultural development, and promote transformation of the food system by the innovation in FAO management, technology and partnership.
Third, China calls upon all member states to uphold multilateralism based on the openness and equality. China hopes all member states, under the FAO framework, could deal with agriculture and food related issues by consultation, seeking common ground and bridging differences for shared benefits and joint development. China is willing to communicate and cooperate more closely with others, striving to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals.
More than 400 delegates and observers attended the session online.