1 August 2019, Rome – The new FAO Director-General (DG), Dr. Dongyu QU, paid an official visit to the IPPC Secretariat on his first day as the FAO Director-General. The new DG was accompanied by the FAO Deputy Director-General for Natural Resource (DDGN), Ms Helena Maria SEMEDO, the FAO Assistant Director-General for AG Department (ADG-AG), Mr. Bukar TIJANI, and other FAO Senior Officers.
On behalf of the IPPC Community and the entire IPPC Secretariat, Dr. Jingyuan XIA, the IPPC Secretary, expressed his warmest welcome the new FAO DG Dr. QU to pay an official visit to the IPPC Secretariat. The IPPC Secretary Dr. Xia briefed to Dr. QU about the history, mission and the role of the IPPC, the network of the IPPC Community, as well as the structure, staffing and the core activities of the IPPC Secretariat. Dr. Xia also raised two very important issues that are requiring special attention and strong support from the new FAO DG: i) promotion of the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH) in 2020; and ii) a large-scale demonstration and extension of the IPPC ePhtyto solutions (Hub and GeNs), which is the most advanced digital technology of the IPPC.
As matter of fact, the new FAO DG Dr. Qu has gained excellent understating and extensive knowledge about the importance of plant health and IPPC work programme. During his tenure as the Vice Minister of the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MORA), he ever supported and approved the first IPPC Global Project on Capacity Development under the Framework of the FAO-China South-South Cooperation (SSC) Progamme. The overall objective of this global project is to bring more innovative ways and means for strengthening capacity of IPPC developing Contracting Particles (CPs) to further implement the IPPC and its international standards. The project covers four work packages, with a total investment of over USD 2 million.
In his speech at the 41st Session of the FAO Conference held on 22 June 2019 in Rome, Italy, Dr. QU promised that “I will also lead FAO to work with Member Countries for strengthening technical cooperation, capacity building and joint training, and transform policies, norm setting (Codex, IPPC, etc.) and technologies into practical outputs driving the development”.
The IPPC Secretariat’s staff have been very much encouraged, inspired and motivated through the official visit by the new FAO DG Dr. Qu.