The 200 awardees are 100 young and 100 “young at heart” employees who were selected by a poll out of 600 nominations from FAO offices based in over 80 countries, more than 90 nationalities, about one third from the Headquarters in Rome and two thirds from other offices worldwide. The awardees are 58% women and 42% men. All categories and types of contracts were represented. Among the awardees is a Nigerian, Mr. Dayo Fagbenro who has been with the organisation for about two decades. He made the honour list for his outstanding contributions to the organisation.
Addressing the awardees, the FAO Director General, Dr. QU Dongyu said the organisation showed tenacity in the face of COVID-19, reaped many visible and tangible results thanks to efficacy. He added that it also entered into a new era of digital FAO and marked by transformation, development and solidarity making 2020 a year of big family with new dynamics and big empathy.
Dr. Dongyu stressed that the FAO employees are its greatest assets and new gold mine that keep the Organisation vibrant, efficient and dynamic as individuals and teams. “We are here to celebrate you,” he said. “Your integrity, agility and diligence are reshaping this organisation, making it deliver better and with more impact,” he added.
The ten teams that were recognised were: The Digital FAO team, The extended Crisis Management Team, The hand-in hand Initiative team, The locust Control team and The Agri-environment and Food System Team. Others are, The Economic and Social Development Flagships and G20 Team, The One Health Team, The COVID-19 Response and Recovery Team, The Private Sector Strategy formulation Team and The Country teams in Level 3 crisis contexts.
The Director- General in closing presented the award in two designs with his handwriting in Chinese calligraphy congratulating them; one for the individual recipient and the other for each team. He urged them to sign their names, print and frame as they like.The event which was moderated by FAO staff from various countries had many performances by the employees who showed their artistic talents in singing, acting, reading, and comedy. Those that featured were Maria Infante and Gianluca, Alesandro Pastori, FAOORLC, Brian Langbaya, Susan Yarrow, Mamoka Tamura and Naoko among others. About 1,500 people from all over the world joined the event online. The Recognition Award is an annual initiative launched by Dr, Dongyu last year.