Dear Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen,
(Cc. Vice-President Timmermans),
The EU being an important member of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations (UN), we are writing to you concerning the unacceptable partnership that FAO has established with CropLife International, the umbrella organisation of the world's biggest pesticide companies.
The partnership between the EU and FAO is very much needed and it is important for FAO to continue its activities to support farmers to develop in third countries in an autonomous manner. We are nevertheless highly concerned that FAO director general Qu Dongyu signed a letter of intent in October 2020 with CropLife International to officialise a collaboration. In a report2 made to the 49th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, the UN Special Rapporteur Michael Fakhri recommended the FAO Council “to review the agreement with CropLife International with an eye to human rights concerns” and “to consider directing the Director-General of FAO to rescind the agreement.”