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Emerging from global crises by shaping sustainable, resilient, healthy, and inclusive food systems


Ha Noi, Viet Nam
24-27 April 2023

Session 1: Opening and setting the scene


24 April
10:30-11:30 (GMT+7)

This session will set the scene for the conference. Speakers will welcome the participants, highlight the need for truly transformative approaches to address the interlinked crises through achieving sustainable and resilient food systems by 2030, and outline the expected outcomes of the conference in support of the 2023 Stock-Taking Moment, while presenting their own efforts in support of food systems transformation.




H.E. Mr. Tran Luu Quang

 Deputy Prime Minister, Viet Nam

H.E. Tran Luu Quang recently has been appointed as the Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of Vietnam since January 5, 2023. He was previously the Member of the Party Central Committee, Secretary of the Hai Phong City Party Committee. He was born in Tay Ninh province. He had a Master Degree on of Public Management, and a Bachelor Degree on Mechanical Engineer.  

Mr. Tran Luu Quang has nearly 30 years of working experiences in many different positions in the localities (Tay Ninh, Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong City...). He was assigned many important positions: member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, member of National Assembly, Secretary of provincial Party Committee. 



H.E. San Vanty

Secretary of State

Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Cambodia

H.E. San Vanty is the Secretary of State of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and was born in 1967 in Phnom Penh, the Capital City of Cambodia. Excellency gained Master’s Degree from Khon Kaen University of Thailand. Before holding the position of Secretary of State in April, 2023, Excellency has held a prominent position as Under Secretary of State of MAFF for many years, who has overseen the international cooperation affairs, including the bilateral and multilateral dialogues and discussion for the agreements and MOUs with many countries and donors. Excellency also has been playing a vital role within ASEAN and GMS collaboration framework for agriculture.  



H.E. Ildephonse Musafiri

Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Rwanda 

Hon. Dr. Ildephonse Musafiri is the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources in Rwanda. Prior to that, Hon. Musafiri was the Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI), a position he sworn in on August 2nd, 2022, by His Excellency Paul Kagame, the President of the Republic of Rwanda. 

On March 2nd, 2023, He was appointed the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources by the cabinet.  

Over the past 6 years, Dr. Musafiri was the Executive Director of the Strategy and Policy Council (SPC) in the Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. 

Formerly a member of the board of directors of the National Bank of Rwanda since April 2018, he is also an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Rwanda, College of Business and Economics, where he previously served as Lecturer and Head of the Economics Department. 

His research has focused on development economics and policy, particularly the analysis of poverty and inequality, agricultural growth, and food policy 

Dr. Musafiri earned his Ph.D. in agricultural economics from the University of Bonn (Germany) and a M.Sc. in applied economics from the University of Rwanda. He is fluent in English, French, and Kinyarwanda, and has a working knowledge of German. 



H.E. Meles Mekonen

State Minister for Agriculture, Ethiopia 

Dr. Meles Mekonen Yimer graduated with a PhD degree in Crop physiology and Agronomy from Haramaya University and has extensive experiences in various fields as being Lecturer, Department Head, College Dean for College of Agriculture and Vice-President of Wollo University. And also served as Head and Vice-head of Administration Board for different universities; and Business & Development Enterprises of Amhara National Regional State. 

Beyond serving as Mayor of Dessie city administration (a metropolitan city), his long years rich experiences as Bureau Head of Agriculture and Natural Resource Development Sector of Amhara Regional State made him to lead the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the 10-year agriculture sector plan both at regional and national levels. 

Dr. Meles Mekonen is currently working at the Capacity of a State Minister for the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Sector. To this end, the significant contribution to directly involve in leading the Agriculture and Horticulture Development sector would have a far reaching impact towards the attainment of the strategic objectives of the Ministry (i.e., achieving food and nutrition security at household and national level, enhancing export promotion and diversification, promoting import substitution and increasing the supply side for agro-processing industries; and creating job opportunity to rural youth and women).    




H.E. Lê Minh Hoan

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Viet Nam


H.E. LE MINH HOAN recently has been appointed Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Viet Nam since 8 April 2021. He was previously Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development from September 2020 to 8 April 2021. He was born in Dong Thap Province with a passion to develop his hometown. He was experienced with a wide range of technical and political positions in province including Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee and Head of National Assembly Delegation of Dong Thap. 

The Minister is also well-known as a favorite writer with many attractive articles on agriculture and rural development with comprehensive and multi-angle views.



H.E. Victor Carvajal Porras

Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock,  Costa Rica




H.E. Samuel Kawale

Minister of Agriculture, Malawi 

Hon Minister of Agriculture Samuel Dalitso Kawale took this position in October 2022. Prior to that, he was a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources since 2019. Hon Samuel Kawale also held the position of Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development. He has been a Member of Parliament since 2014 participating in different leadership positions since he was elected. In addition, Hon Samuel Kawale has extensive experience in development cooperation and communications. From 2003 through 2008, he held various positions as radio producer at Trans World Radio and manager at Plan Malawi. He holds an MBA from ESAMI in Tanzania (2018) and a B.A in Biblical Studies Biblical Studies and Communications with African Bible Colleges, Lilongwe, Malawi (2003). He is currently pursuing Doctorate in Transformation Leadership with Bakke Graduate University 




H.E. Christian Hofer

State Secretary for Agriculture, Switzerland 


Christian Hofer has been the Director-General of the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) since 1 December 2019. He was previously Head of the Bern Cantonal Office for Agriculture and Nature (LANAT) for almost two years. From 2009 to 2017, he served as an Assistant Director of the FOAG, responsible for the Direct Payments and Rural Development Directorate. He studied Agronomic Engineering (specialising in crop production) at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, graduating in1998. He also qualified as a teacher and worked as an agricultural consultant at Inforama Rütti (Bern). From 2000 to 2003, he managed the Profi Lait office and also worked as a scientist for the Swiss Grassland Society (AGFF). In 2003, he became Head of Sales (Switzerland) at DeLaval – the Swedish manufacturer of dairy farming equipment – in Sursee (Lucerne). He also obtained an MBA in Integrated Management from Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH). 



H.E. Saboto Caesar

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation, Industry & Labour, St. Vincent and the Grenadines 

Hon. Saboto Scofield Caesar is a former Island Scholar, an attorney at law, and a member of Parliament of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. He currently serves as the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation, Industry, and Labour in the Dr. Hon. Ralph Gonsalves', Unity Labour Party-led administration. Over the past twelve years as Minister, he has championed with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations a sub-regional Zero Hunger Initiative. The Minister is well-known throughout the region as an agriculture activist and was recently recognized by the Inter-American Institution for Cooperation on Agriculture for his dedication to maintaining food security and resilience in the agriculture sector. He is a former Minister of Tourism and Minister of Housing, Lands and Surveys, Local Government, and Informal Human Settlement. He holds a Master of Laws degree from the University of London, with a specialization in Banking and Finance Law, and a Bachelor of Laws degree, from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus. He was a student at the UWI Law Faculty from the year 2000-2003. He was the Class Representative for the first-year students at the faculty. He continued in student government at the Hugh Wooding Law School, where he served as the President of the Student Representative Council from 2004-2005. Minister Caesar went on to successfully contest three (3) general elections in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in 2010, 2015, and 2020. He is forty-three (43) years old. He is called to the Bar in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and served as a Crown Counsel in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions; and Attorney General's Chambers; before taking up the role of Acting Registrar of the High Court of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. 



Qu Dongyu

 Director-General, FAO

Qu Dongyu, who took office on 1 August 2019 as Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, has spent his life working on how to make sure the world is fed.

Born in 1963 to a rice-growing family in China’s Hunan Province, Qu studied horticultural science at Hunan Agricultural University and then plant breeding and genetics at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. He later added environmental science to his knowledge portfolio while earning a PhD at Wageningen University, in the Netherlands.

He then progressed through a range of national and international activities, engaged simultaneously in science and management, all during a time when China’s reform and opening-up process led the country to dramatically reduce poverty and hunger in a country with 20 percent of the global population, 9 percent of the world’s cultivated land, and where over 90 percent of the rural population is engaged in small holder farm operations working less than 3 hectares.

His vision is founded on the belief that freedom from hunger is a basic human right, and that in the 21st century we have the capability to eradicate chronic food insecurity. While challenges loom, Qu’s cardinal principle is that “problems can also be the source of progress”.

Before coming to FAO, Qu served as China’s Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, where one of his achievements was to promote inclusive and innovative development and make sure information and communication technologies (ICT) were available in rural areas so that more than 400 million farmers could use their smartphones as a new farming tool.

That vision has been consistent across a professional career that includes periods in central and local government, in and leading research institutes, and as a human resources leader at the China Three Gorges Project Development Corporation, a $40 billion investment project.

Among his national initiatives has been to improve reporting of wholesale prices for agricultural products in China and foster the establishment of more than 100 specialty production areas geared to making local comparative advantages work to the benefit of local farmers. As Vice Governor of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, one of China’s landlocked and poorest areas, Qu formulated action plans aimed at poverty reduction, disaster reduction and prevention, women empowerment, agritourism and mutual learning platforms designed to boost trust between ethnic groups.

Qu says he represents the combination of an “Asian soul” and a “global mind”. Recognized for scientific innovation as a young scholar, Qu has for 30 years been involved in international exchanges and orchestrated major events including the World Potato Congress, the International Rice Congress and the International Conference on Plant Protection, and participated in multilateral initiatives such as the World Trade Organization and the G20 as well as numerous bilateral initiatives involving Asia, Africa and Latin America. He has also directly helped design flagship South-South Cooperation projects with FAO and the World Bank.

His motto is “Simple life, but not simple work”.

He is married, and has one daughter.



Estrella Penunia

Secretary-General, Asian Farmer’s Association


Ms. Ma. Estrella Penunia, is Secretary General of the Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA) , a regional alliance of national farmers organizations or FOs  in Asia. AFA is currently composed of 22 national FOs in 16 countries, representing around 13 million small scale men , women and young family farmers, engaged in crops, livestock, fisheries, forestry, herding and pastoralism.   AFA promotes farmers’ rights to lands, waters, forests and seeds, sustainable, climate-resilient agro ecological approaches in farms , fisheries and forests, strengthening farmers cooperatives and their enterprises, women empowerment ,  attracting the youth to agriculture, and effective governance of FOs through an integrated program on  movement building, policy advocacy, capacity building,  knowledge management,  and business development servicing. 



Joao Campari

Global Food Lead, WWF

Senior professional with 25+ years of experience in international development. Currently, Joao is Global Leader of WWF's Food Practice, leading the Network´s efforts to enhance the sustainability of the global food system, including responsible production, sustainable diets and reduction of food waste and post-harvest loss. Prior to WWF, Joao held the position of Special Environmental and Sustainability Advisor to Brazil ́s Minister of Agriculture. In that role, he served as President of the Low-Carbon Agriculture Platform and as Executive Secretary of the Agribusiness Commission on Sustainable Development. Joao has held technical and executive positions in multilateral and bilateral agencies (World Bank, UNDP and DFID), in the federal government of Brazil (Ministry of the Environment) and has advised national and sub-national governments (in Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay) on the design and implementation of regional development policies, combining socio-economic growth with conservation. Prior to the Ministry of Agriculture, he worked for The Nature Conservancy as Program Director in Latin America, Executive Director in Brazil and Lead Economist of the Global Lands program. Joao holds a bachelor ́s degree in international relations and economics, master ́s and Ph.D. degrees in economics and a degree in General Management from the Harvard Business School. He has published two books on the economics of deforestation and co-authored the most comprehensive study assessing the carbon mitigation potential of low-cost improvements in land management. In 2014, he was nominated among the top 100 Brazilian leaders in the agricultural sector for the disruptive work conducted on agriculture and conservation. Joao serves on the advisory boards of NGOs, agri-food platforms and companies.