Members of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have started voting to elect the new head of the U.N. food agency, and China’s candidate is seen as the front-runner.
The 194 member countries, convened at the FAO’s headquarters in Rome for the agency’s 41st conference, were picking the new director general on Sunday among three candidates from China, France and Georgia who all have extensive experience in the sector. The candidates for the first time include a woman.
China has nominated its agricultural deputy minister Qu Dongyu, who, if elected, would be the first person from a Communist country to hold the FAO director-general’s chair.
The U.S. backs Davit Kirvalidze, the former Georgian minister of agriculture, while Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle, former head of France’s agricultural ministry, is the European Union’s candidate.