FAO’s special relationship with Italy, the UN agency’s host country, and joint efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development goals, topped the agenda during talks between Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu.
Qu, who took office as the UN agency’s chief just last week, met Conte at the Italian Prime Minister’s office, Palazzo Chigi.
Conte reaffirmed Italy’s partnership with FAO and agreed to visit the agency’s headquarters soon.
Qu stressed the importance of Italy’s collaboration with FAO, in particular on achieving Zero Hunger and eradicating malnutrition, and underscored his desire to build on this strategic partnership during his four-year mandate as Director-General.
Italy ranks as one of FAO’s largest resource partners and the Director-General welcomed Italy’s growing commitment to support FAO financially in several key areas, such as nutrition, migration and healthy diets, as well as joint efforts to address food security, especially in Africa.
Looking ahead, both sides committed to collaborating on various multilateral events, inter alia, Italy’s Presidency of the G-20 in 2021, which the Director General described as an excellent opportunity to promote initiatives stemming from FAO’s mandate.
Qu expressed his commitment to ensure for FAO to continue working together with the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) on topics related to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to reinforce the UN food hub in Rome.
He also informed the Italian Prime Minister of FAO’s intention, together with IFAD and WFP, to organize, in 2021, a UN Summit on Food Systems.