India withdrew its candidature fearing stiff competition from China and certain defeat
AgriNation News Network (ANN)
Qu Dongyu, China’s vice minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs was elected as 9th Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) here on Sunday during the ongoing 41st FAO Conference at Rome.
The term of the new Director-General, who will succeed Brazil’s José Graziano da Silva, will start on 1 August 2019 and run to 31 July 2023. He has become the first Chinese national to be elected as FAO Director-General.
Out of the 191 votes casted, he received a large majority of 108 votes, winning over French Catherine Geslain-Laneelle, who received 71 votes, and Georgian Davit Kirvalidze, who got 12 votes. Delegates from all the 194 member countries were involved in voting and only one abstention was registered.
India did not run for the coveted post as it had withdrawn its candidate NITI Aayog member Ramesh Chand earlier this month fearing stiff competition from China and certain defeat.
The only Indian to hold the post of Director General of FAO was Binay Ranjan Sen. He held the position from 1956 to 1967.
The FAO was founded in 1945, and it comprises of 194 member states, plus one-member organization (the European Union) and two associate members (the Faroe Islands and Tokelau).
Director Generals since the establishment of FAO in 1945
- Sir John Boyd Orr, United Kingdom, 1945-1948
- Norris E. Dodd, United States, 1948-1954
- Philip Vincent Cardon, United States, 1954-1956
- Binay Ranjan Sen, India, 1956-1967
- Addeke Hendrik Boerma, Netherlands, 1968-1975
- Edouard Saouma, Lebanon, 1976-1993
- Jacques Diouf, Senegal, 1994-2011
- José Graziano da Silva, Brazil, 2011-2019