Uruguay formally announced it will support China's Agriculture and Rural Affairs deputy minister as the next Director-General of FAO to be elected June 2019. The official statement was made by Uruguay's foreign minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa during a meeting with China's Deputy Prime Minister Hu Chunhua in Montevideo.
China is Uruguay's main trade partner and a significant market for beef, soybeans and other agriculture commodities. Likewise there is an increasing scientific and cultural exchange between the two countries.
Chinese companies are also interested in setting up a port for the South Atlantic fishing fleet in Montevideo, a project which has triggered strong reaction from local environmentalist groups and low key warnings from neighboring Argentina.
Deputy minister Qu Dongyu is one of five candidates which have been presented by FAO Member Countries for the post of FAO Director-General, to follow on Brazil's José Graziano da Silva who has held the post for two consecutive four year periods
Election for the agency’s top leadership post with a four-year term of office starting on August 2019 will take place at the 41st Session of FAO’s Conference (Rome, 22-29 June 2019), the highest governing body of the Organization.
The five candidates, each nominated by his/her government, are listed in alphabetical order by country: Médi Moungui (Cameroon), Qu Dongyu (China), Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle (France), Davit Kirvalidze (Georgia) and Ramesh Chand (India).
Members will cast their vote on a one country-one vote basis in a secret ballot which requires a simple majority for a valid outcome.
The next Director-General of FAO will be appointed for the period 1 August 2019 to 31 July 2023. The Director-General will be eligible for only one additional mandate of four years.
The new Director-General will succeed José Graziano da Silva, who was first elected in 2011 and has served two consecutive terms.