FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia to open in Budapest
Agreement also sets up FAO Shared Services Centre
27 March 2007, Budapest/Rome - FAO and the Government of Hungary today signed an agreement to open two new FAO offices in Budapest, Hungary. The FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia and the FAO Shared Services Centre will join the Organization’s Subregional Office for Central and Eastern Europe, which has operated in Budapest since 1996.
FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia
With the transition of the centrally planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe as well as those of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) to market economies in the early 1990s, FAO's activities in the region have grown in importance. The Agency's regional office for Europe implements rural development and income-generating projects in the Western Balkans and provides policy advice on agricultural and agrarian reform in selected CIS countries. The office also provides secretariat for three FAO statutory bodies: the FAO Regional Conference for Europe, the European Commission on Agriculture and the Working Party on Women and the Family in Rural Development. It also supports the European System of Cooperative Research Networks in Agriculture, an umbrella organization for cooperation between research institutes on food, fibre and agriculture.
Shared Services Centre to administer several regions
The Shared Services Centre carries out administrative services for the FAO European, Middle Eastern and African regions in fields such as management, human resources policy, finances, travelling and acquisitions. The relocation of the Centre to Budapest will be implemented in three phases from 2007 through 2009. Hungary will provide office premises for the centre.
The FAO Services Centre is expected to employ some 86 highly skilled Hungarian specialists. Other economic benefits include local acquisition and purchases as well as local spending generated by major international conferences.
Partnership Framework Agreement
The agreement between FAO and the Government of Hungary also includes a Partnership Framework Agreement, under which Hungary will contribute to the implementation of projects serving food safety, sustainable rural development and the Millennium Development Goals. Hungary will also ensure scholarship possibilities for students from transition economies and developing countries.
The agreement was signed by FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf and Hungary’s Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, József Gráf.
In 1996, FAO’s decentralization process led to the establishment of the FAO Subregional Office for Central and Eastern Europe in Budapest. The proposal to relocate the FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia to joint premises with the Subregional Office was a further development of this process. The move is expected to increase the Organization’s efficiency and cost savings. The relocation of a part of the administrative services is also expected to result in considerable cost savings for FAO.
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