Chairperson of the Steering Committee, High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) on Food Security and Nutrition, endorses Dr David Nabarro as next Director-General of the World Health Organization.
I first had the chance to meet with Dr David Nabarro almost 10 years ago and I worked with him in different circumstances. We exchanged and shared ideas when he was responsible for the High Level Task Force on Global Food Security and Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Food Security and Nutrition. I was then General Director of Cirad, a French public research institute, and had a chance to invite him to address an introductory conference during our annual meetings week. We continued our collaboration when he was requested by the United Nations Secretary-General to design a Global Alliance on Climate Smart Agriculture, which was finally launched in September 2014 in New York. We had a third opportunity to work together when Dr Nabarro, as Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change, took the lead in creating the Milano Group, a task force aiming at addressing the nexus food security — climate — agriculture in the context of the Agenda 2030, inviting me to be part of the Group.
I consider myself lucky for benefiting from such opportunities. Meeting and working with Dr Nabarro is part of those impressive experiences one never forgets in life. For different reasons, Dr Nabarro is a unique person and every opportunity to engage with him is changing something in your personal and professional live. I would underline three characteristics of Dr Nabarro. The first one lies in his incredible capacity of providing and sharing a vision of current changes and for the future. His propensity to adopt holistic views, to break the silos and to look at the future makes this capacity unique and irreplaceable. Second is his ability to make people work together through inclusive processes. I never met another person who deploys such a charisma and a talent in building trust among people with distinct views and stakes, and in forging alliances as a consequence. Third is his incomparable capacity to engage and commit himself with action. When addressing an issue, especially in the circumsatances of crisis and adverse conditions, he makes a difference. Under his alchemist leadership, and because of his vision, his partnering skills and his engagement in the general interest and the provision of public goods, unlikely things can easily happen.
Because of his outstanding achievements, of his unique abilities and skills, and of his personal qualities: his commitment, charisma and inter-individual and institutional respect, I strongly commend Dr David Nabarro as a fantastic profile for the position General Director of the World Health Organization.
Chairperson of the Steering Committee, High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) on Food Security and Nutrition