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China's role in global food security hailed

China Daily | Updated: 2023-07-04 07:46

Qu Dongyu's reelection as FAO chief to boost cooperation with member states

ROME — Delegates from member nations of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization praised China's remarkable contributions to global food security, and expressed anticipation for closer collaboration in the fight against poverty and for zero hunger.

The remarks came after Qu Dongyu, incumbent FAO director-general, was reelected earlier on Sunday, winning 168 of 182 votes cast during the 43rd session of the FAO Conference, the highest governing body of the Rome-based UN agency. His second term will run from Aug 1, 2023, to July 31, 2027.

Qu, who was elected in June 2019 to head the UN agency and the first Chinese national to serve in the position, is expected to further boost China's cooperation with the FAO and its member nations in the coming years, said delegates to the session on Sunday.

China's efforts in eliminating poverty and ending hunger have greatly impressed many delegates, including Bassam Essam Rady Abdelhamid Rady, Egypt's permanent representative ambassador to the FAO.

"I think China has made a tremendous job during the past years and it will continue to make progress, especially at this critical moment that the world is witnessing, after the crisis of COVID-19 and the crisis of Russia-Ukraine," said Rady.

Egypt, an active participant in FAO's South-South Cooperation Program, appreciates China's "major and pivotal role" in this field, he said.

Since the South-South Cooperation was launched by the FAO in 1996, China has always been actively involved and played a very important role in the SSC and has donated $130 million to the FAO since 2009, exclusively for South-South and Triangular Cooperation.

The Chinese government has also provided considerable agricultural technical assistance to developing countries. To date, China has dispatched more than 1,000 Chinese experts and technicians, through the FAO, to Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the South Pacific.

Egypt is honored to have a part in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative by aligning the initiative with Egypt's national projects in the seaports and Suez Canal, said Rady.

The collaboration serves not only the interests of the two countries, but also that of the world and all humanity, he added.

Exploring new areas

"Bangladesh and China enjoy extremely cordial bilateral relations, and we have a multifaceted collaboration," said Shameem Ahsan, Bangladeshi permanent representative to the FAO. "And I think both countries can immensely benefit by collaborating and even exploring new areas of cooperation."

During the session, the Chinese Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Tang Renjian reaffirmed the country's international responsibilities as a major developing country for global food security.

China will firmly practice multilateralism, and work with other countries to ensure global food security, eradicate poverty, achieve zero hunger, and push to achieve the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, said Tang.

Founded in 1945 in Quebec City, Canada, the FAO is a specialized UN agency leading international efforts to defeat hunger. It has been headquartered in Rome, Italy, since 1951.

Its goal is to achieve food security for all and ensure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. With 195 members, including 194 countries and the EU, the FAO works in more than 130 countries worldwide.

China is one of the founding members of the FAO. Since resuming its seat in the organization in 1973, China has maintained close cooperation with the UN agency, broadly joining and supporting its campaigns.

FAO's partnership with China has covered many of the country's food and agricultural development priorities. Around 500 FAO projects have been launched across the country since 1978.


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