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Press Release 00/39


Rome, 4 July 2000 .- "The reform process carried out by FAO since 1994 has provided a solid foundation to face the challenges of the new millennium," said Director-General Jacques Diouf at a news conference today.

The head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) underlined that the reform programme had produced clear priorities, decentralized operations, modernized management and streamlined procedures while fostering recognition that FAO can achieve its mission only if it makes reform an ongoing process.

In a rapidly changing world, FAO has sharpened its focus, with food security as the guiding theme of its programmes. In 1994, Dr. Diouf launched the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS) to help low-income food-deficit countries increase food production and improve access to food using an environmentally sustainable participatory approach. FAO also targeted pest prevention and control, sustainable agriculture and the promotion of international standards as they relate to food security.

An important aspect of the reforms was the enhancement of FAO's relations with civil society. In recent years, the exchange of information with non-governmental and civil society organizations has increased, facilitated by the development of electronic communications, Dr. Diouf said.

Equally important, FAO is implementing a policy of expanded cooperation with the private sector. Partnerships with private institutions stimulate and support collaborative activities, said Dr. Diouf. Since 1996, FAO has increased private sector participation in all programmes involving partnership activities.

An important element in the reform programme was the adoption of the Corporate Communication Policy and Strategy that established a more coherent approach to communication. "The purpose is to ensure the consistency of the Organization's messages and the quality of its information products," Dr. Diouf said.

FAO is also expanding continuously the use of Internet technologies in order to provide users with increased access to information and data on food, agriculture, fisheries, forestry and rural development. The FAO website is already receiving about 10 million hits per month and an average of 18 million statistical records are downloaded every month from its databases.

Another key aspect of the reform process has been the widespread deployment of modern office and information technologies throughout the Organization. This has required a considerable investment in human and financial resources, but it has resulted in efficient decentralization and has improved the speed and quality of work

Following on the reform process, FAO undertook a major review to identify the challenges it would face in the future and to map out appropriate strategies. The results of this review are contained in The Strategic Framework for FAO: 2000-2015 *, which outlines a clear vision of the direction to be taken by the Organization up to 2015. The goal is "to help build a food-secure world for present and future generations," Dr. Diouf said.


* For further details on the Strategic Framework for FAO: 2000-2015 please consult FAO's website: or contact FAO's Media Relations Branch, tel: 0039.06.57053625.

FAO's actions and priorities in 2000 and beyond: Mr. Jacques Diouf, FAO Directeur-General, meeting the Media at Headquarters in Rome, Tuesday 4 July 2000.

You can listen to or download the following selected excerpts:

1. FAO Director-General's introductory remarks: Strategic Changes in a new world environment

In Realaudio (Instant play)

In mp3 (Broadcast quality, to be downloaded)

2. Mr. J. Diouf answers different questions by the journalists on food and agricultural related-issues:

#Question by Eric Lyman, Bureau of National Affairs, Washington: FAO and the Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

In Realaudio (Instant play)

In mp3 (Broadcast quality, to be downloaded)

#Question by Mitsuo Sakuri, KYODO News-Japan: Agricultural co-operation between South and North Korea

In Realaudio (Instant play)

In mp3 (Broadcast quality, to be downloaded)

Instructions for listening to audio files:

- To play the RealAudio files requires the RealPlayer software, see (RealPlayer 7 Basic is free)

- To play the mp3 files requires any mp3 player software: Winamp, Windows Media player, Quicktime 4.0;RealplayerG2, etc...

All free on the Web:;;

If you can't download, please call for a feed: Eric Deleu (radio unit) 039-06-5705 3749 / 3223

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