17 June 2020, Rome – The FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu today delivered closing remarks in the final session of the Joint Meeting of the UN agency’s Programme and Finance Committees. Over the last 10 days, Members of both committees discussed programmatic and budgetary matters as well as substantive thematic work subjects to FAO’s work, including further adjustments to the Programme of Work and Budget 2020-21, ahead of the 164th Session of FAO Council (6-10 July 2020). 

Qu thanked Members and FAO senior managers for their hard work and contribution and welcomed the open, professional and frank dialogues for governance. He highlighted that all sessions of the Finance and Programme Committees were internally webcasted for the first time in FAO’s history, adding that they were followed by many observers, which contributed substantially to promoting full transparency and accountability throughout the Organization.

The Director-General also stressed that Members and the Organization are all in the same boat to face the challenges ahead and making endeavors to reach the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 1 (ending poverty) and SDG 2 (eradicating hunger and malnutrition). For that, “we need a new FAO that is demand and challenge-driven, professional and innovation based, and result and impact oriented, get talents with merits and respects, good infrastructure with digital advantage, more resources with efficient visibility. ” Qu said.

The process of building a new FAO that is more efficient, dynamic, inclusive, transparent, accountable and agile, requires “changing the mindset and accepting new things, as well as seeking truth from facts and looking forward, based on solidarity and inclusiveness to achieve solutions and results,” the Director-General highlighted.

The Joint Meeting of the 128th Session of the Programme Committee and of the 180th Session of the Finance Committee was Chaired by H.E Imelda Smolcic, the Alternate Permanent Representative of Uruguay, Chairperson of the Finance Committee.

Further adjustments to FAO’s 2020-2021 PWB

The next Session of the FAO Council will consider further adjustments to the PWB 2020-21.

A key point is the creation of a more modular and flexible management structure by grouping the core leadership team at the centre of the Organization. The team will consist of three Deputy Directors-General, the Chief Economist and the Chief Scientist, who will support the Director-General in all areas of FAO’s mandate.

The proposed adjustments also aim at strengthening the accountability of the heads of Offices, Centres and Divisions, who will report directly to the core leadership as experts in their respective areas.

Other key proposals include: the creation of a new Office of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); a new Division of Food Systems and Food Safety; and the strengthening of the Organizations’ three centres of cooperation – the Investment Centre, the Joint FAO/IAEA Centre and the Joint FAO/WHO Centre.

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