China's Qu Dongyu elected as new head of FAO in Rome

Qu Dongyu becomes ninth director-general of UN food agency.

Qu Dongyu, China's deputy agriculture minister, was elected director-general of the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on 23 June.

The four-year post of the new FAO director-general, who will succeed Brazil’s José Graziano da Silva, is effective from 1 August 2019 until 31 July 2023.

Qu Dongyu received a total of 108 votes out of 191 cast, beating the EU-backed French candidate Catherine Geslain-Lanèelle, who received 71 votes, and the US-backed Georgian candidate Davit Kirvalize who obtained 12 votes.

The 55-year-old Qu Dongyu has a background in agricultural science and genetics. In his role as China's deputy agriculture minister he has focused on innovation research, raising rural income, reducing poverty through science and technology, and building a quality assessment system for agro-produce, according to his official presentation as candidate for the top FAO post.

Qu Dongyu will be FAO's ninth director-general since the agency was founded in 1945. He will also become the first person from a communist country to hold the influential FAO post. His eight predecessors at FAO have come from the UK, US (two), India, Netherlands, Lebanon, Senegal and Brazil.

The election took place during the 41st session of the FAO Conference, the highest governing body of the organisation, taking place from 22 until 29 June.

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China's Qu Dongyu elected as new head of FAO in Rome

Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Roma RM, Italia

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