FAO Annual Employee Recognition Awards go to 200 individuals & ten teams across the UN agency | FAO News

FAO Annual Employee Recognition Awards go to 200 individuals & ten teams across the UN agency | FAO News News Release

FAO Annual Employee Recognition Awards go to 200 individuals & ten teams across the UN agency

Recognizing remarkable performance under extraordinary circumstances in an exceptional year

17 December 2020, Rome – Two hundred individuals & ten teams from across all streams & offices of the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) were recognized today for “remarkable performance under extraordinary circumstances in an exceptional year” at the FAO Employee Recognition Awards event – held this year online.

The annual initiative, launched by FAO Director-General QU Dongyu last year, recognized employees -100 young & 100 “young at heart” & seasoned – for achievements this year in the following areas: innovation; knowledge-sharing; operational effectiveness & efficiency; teamwork & collaboration; as well as diversity & inclusiveness.

These areas are in line with the Organization’s priorities & contribute to FAO’s four betters: better production; better nutrition; a better environment; & a better life.

Behind every success at FAO, there is a team, & this year’s Employee Recognition Awards also recognized ten cross-cutting teams for exceptional performance, commitment & collaboration in 2020.

Opening the event, the FAO Director-General said 2020 was a year in which the organization showed tenacity in the face of COVID-19; reaped many visible & tangible results thanks to efficiency; entered a new era of Digital FAO; & was marked by transformation, development & solidarity. Qu also noted that 2020 was “a year of big family with new dynamics & big empathy”.

“Our employees are our greatest asset & new gold mine…We are here to celebrate all of you today. You keep this organization vibrant, efficient & dynamic. As individuals & as teams,” he added.

“Together, we are building an FAO that is modern & transparent, accountable & deliverable, with a people-centred, people driven approach to our work & success,” the Director-General stated.

Who are the awardees?

The 200 awardees – selected through an FAO-wide poll out of 600 nominations – represent more than 90 nationalities & come from offices based in over 80 countries – about one third from Headquarters & two-thirds from FAO offices worldwide. Forty-two (42) percent are men & fifty-eight (58) percent are women. All categories & types of contract were represented.

The ten teams & some of their key achievements for which they were recognized are:

The Digital FAO team for achievements ranging from making FAO the first champion in the United Nations (UN) to hold global & regional meetings, including all governing body sessions, virtually in all six UN languages to ensuring that the agency was 100 percent operational in virtual mode.

The extended Crisis Management Team (CMT) for excellent crisis management this year, including ensuring timely actions & decisions, & keeping employees safe & updated amidst the pandemic.

The Hand-in-Hand (HiH) Initiative Team for rolling out the Initiative in 34 countries & its outstanding support to all member countries via the HiH Geospatial Platform & Data Lab.

The Locust Control Team at FAO Headquarters & in Africa/Near East & North Africa for mobilizing the rapid roll-out of a massive multi-country desert locust response to help communities battling with the worst locust upsurge in a generation.

The Agri-environment & Food System Team for the impressive scale of resources mobilized ($800 million in three years), engagement with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) secretariat, & developing complex project proposals.

The Economic & Social Development Flagships & G20 Team for outstanding & impactful flagship publications: The State of Food Security & Nutrition in the World 2020 (SOFI 2020); The State of Food & Agriculture 2020 (SOFA 2020); The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets 2020 (SOCO 2020) & technical support to the G20 summits & meetings.

The One Health Team for active & rapid response to COVID-19, & tireless efforts to assess & address the human-animal interface of the virus, engaging with partners (WHO, OIE & IAEA) to ensure that countries’ responses were based on best available evidence.

The COVID-19 Response & Recovery Team for identifying seven priority areas for a global COVID-19 response & creating FAO’s overall COVID-19 Response & Recovery Programme. In six months, $200 million have been mobilized to respond to COVID-19 emergency & recovery needs on the ground.

The Private Sector Strategy formulation Team for its work across the organization, with Member Countries & the private sector, resulting in the successful adoption of the FAO Strategy by its governing Council.

The Country teams in Level 3 crisis contexts for delivering humanitarian, livelihood- & life-saving assistance, despite this year’s challenges, to millions of the most vulnerable people in some of the most challenging parts of the world, & their work to avert disaster, facilitate rapid food production, & build resilience to pull people back from the brink of high levels of acute food insecurity.

“Together we can accomplish the thinkable & the unthinkable!” said the Director-General.

“Your integrity, agility & diligence are reshaping this Organization, making it deliver better & with more impact,” stressed Qu.  

He also encouraged employees to be inspired by one another & open to new ideas; to seek truth from facts; & to let solidarity & inclusiveness be their guides.

In closing, the FAO chief presented the awardees with two beautiful recognitions that he had handwritten himself in Chinese calligraphy – one for the teams & one for the individual awardees – conveying his heartfelt congratulations. Qu invited the awardees to sign their names, print & make these their own on paper, wood or metals.

The FAO core leadership team also conveyed their thanks to colleagues in messages delivered in their respective national languages – Arabic, English, French, Portuguese & Spanish.

The event featured a wide range of performances from singing, dancing to poetry reading – from FAO employees around the world who put their talents to work in recognition of the awardees.

The event was moderated live by FAO employees from Rome, Bangkok, Budapest, Cairo, Juba, Montreal, & Santiago. Some 1,500 people from around the world joined the zoom event with many also following the webcast.

Source:FAO News

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