In 1996 world leaders, gathered at the World Food Summit in Rome, committed their countries to halving the number of hungry by the year 2015. Achieving this goal will require concerted action by many, and on a broad front. FAO, which convened the Summit, has a major role to play in encouraging and monitoring progress, and an important and direct contribution to make through its own programmes for providing assistance to Members.

This Strategic Framework was approved by the FAO Conference, at its 30th Session in November 1999, to guide the work of FAO until the year 2015. It provides the authoritative framework for the Organization's future programmes, which will be developed through successive Medium-Term Plans and Programmes of Work and Budget.

It has been formulated through extensive consultations with FAO's stakeholders:

Taking into account developments expected in the external environment over the coming years, and in the light of the Organization's mandate and mission, the Strategic Framework for the period 2000-2015 defines a set of strategies that are based on the principles of interdisciplinarity and partnership. These strategies will serve as the platform for our ongoing drive to ensure that, at the beginning of this new millennium, the Organization meets a major challenge: that of combining continuity of purpose with flexibility of approach in a changing world.

I am therefore confident that this document will be viewed by our Members as the blueprint they have set out for the Organization to build upon, by our partners as a statement of FAO's intent to broaden and strengthen mutual links, and by the Secretariat staff - at all levels - as the foundation for a truly corporate approach to our work.

Jacques Diouf