FAO Conference to elect Director-General for four-year term

FAO Conference to elect Director-General for four-year term Green News

Rome – The 43rd session of the FAO Conference (July 1-7) begins this Saturday at the Organization’s headquarters in Rome & will oversee the election of the Director-General of the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for the period 2023-2027, as well as hold high-level roundtables organized around the theme of integrated water resources management.

The Ministerial-level Conference, which takes place every two years, is FAO’s supreme governing body & endorses the Programme of Work & Budget of the Organization for the subsequent biennium. It also makes recommendations on global food & agriculture matters & reviews global governance policy issues. Two Deputy Prime Ministers & around 120 Ministers & Vice Ministers are registered to attend the Conference.

The election of the Director-General for the next four years will take place by secret ballot on the second day of the event (2 July). The incumbent Director-General, QU Dongyu of China, was first elected in June 2019. He is standing unopposed to be re-elected. FAO Directors-General may serve only two consecutive four-year terms.

The opening of the FAO Conference on Saturday will be devoted to procedural matters, such as the election of the Chairperson & Vice-Chairpersons, followed by the traditional McDougall Memorial Lecture, which this year will be delivered by Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister & Coordinating Minister for Social Policies of Singapore.  

Integrated water resource management

The main theme of the various panel discussions taking place throughout the Conference is integrated water resources management. There will be three round table discussions on the theme of water from Monday through Wednesday. Round Table One will be centred on Water Scarcity: Making water flow for people & planet; Round Table Two on Integrated Flood Risk Management; & Round Table Three will focus on Water Infrastructure. In addition, five side events will promote debates on various pertinent topics, ranging from the risks & opportunities of Artificial Intelligence to the importance of the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI) for Global Food Security.

Water is a foundational component of agrifood systems but is facing growing challenges. Scarcity & drought, floods, & water pollution all undermine global efforts towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) & the Four Betters (better production, better nutrition, a better environment & a better life, leaving no one behind).

In fact, more than 3 billion people live in agricultural areas with high or very high levels of water shortages or scarcity, while about 1.2 billion live in areas where there is a high drought frequency in rain fed cropland & pastureland areas or high-water stress in irrigated areas.

The Conference will therefore be invited to, among other things, recognize that the global water system is at a breaking point; acknowledge that transforming agrifood systems to achieve the SDGs sustainably will require integrated water resources management (IWRM), & efficient water use in both irrigated & rain fed agriculture; & request FAO to further develop programmatic initiatives on flood & disaster risk management.

The 43rd Session of the Conference will be live streamed on FAO’s webpage via webcast here. Interpretation will be available in Arabic, Chinese, French, English, Russian & Spanish.

来源:农粮组织 FAO

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