European Union External Action

EU candidate for FAO Director-General, Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle, visits Geneva

05/03/2019 - 00:00
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Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle is the first ever official candidate that is presented jointly by the EU for the position of Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), based in Rome. She was identified by the Council of the European Union on 15 October 2018 as the common EU candidate. The next Director General of the FAO will be elected by the 194 Member States of the Organisation during its 41st Conference in June 2019.

As part of her campaign, Ms Geslain-Lanéelle  visited Geneva to underline her vision of closer cooperation with Member Countries as well as developing more synergies with Geneva-based UN organisations. "The FAO plays a key role in eradicating hunger and poverty as well as in supporting the sustainable adaption and transformation of our food systems. I am committed to working openly and effectively with all stakeholders. I will ensure that the FAO's impact or added value is increased for the Member States and to sustainably improve food and nutrition security for all, in line with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development," she explained.

With a background as engineer in agronomy and engineer in civil, water and forestry, Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle has dedicated the past 30 years to issues surrounding agriculture, food, forestry and rural development which gave her a strong knowledge about how food systems work as well as the related economic, environmental, health and social issues. She has experience in designing, implementing and evaluating public policies at national, European and international levels, having been at the helm of large organizations in France and Europe in the past 18 years, working in a multicultural environment on complex challenges in the fields of agriculture, food, nutrition, rural development and forestry.

After a warm welcome by the Heads of Missions of EU Member States in Geneva, Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle stressed the importance of multilateralism as well as international and cross-stakeholder cooperation in developing the FAO as UN organisation. Describing her vision for the FAO, Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle highlighted in particular two components:  producing more and better quality food in order to combat hunger globally, and developing food value chains in rural areas to alleviate poverty, counteract increasing urbanization and control immigration flows.

EU Member States reiterated their full support to the candidacy of Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle and commended her on her leadership vision for the FAO.

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