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04 June 2014                                                           


Signature Ceremony of Second Phase of FAO Turkey Partnership Programme


Your Excellency Mehmet Mehdi Eker, Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock of Turkey,


Distinguished members of the Press,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me begin by expressing my gratitude to the Turkish Government for their warm and friendly welcome.

Turkey is one of the world’s main agricultural producers. Turkey is a top producer and exporter of crops ranging from nuts to fruits to tea. And the sector continues to grow.

I am pleased to see that Turkey’s commitment to food security and sustainable development is not limited to its national boundaries.

I am also very glad to see that nutrition is part of our common agenda. I would like to take the opportunity to again invite Minister Eker to the second International Conference on Nutrition that will take place in FAO Headquarters, next November in Rome. And I would like to extend the invitation to all of you present here today.

As you know, the second phase of the Partnership Programme (FTPP) has just been agreed upon by FAO and the Government of Turkey.

This important step will increase support to South-South Cooperation between Turkey and the region, opening the door to work more closely with Turkish experts.

FAO’s intention is to enlarge and reinforce FAO’s Sub-Regional Office, assisting more countries in the region with experts from within the region, to be effective this year.

This effort builds on the successful partnership program we have developed with the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock of Turkey over the last 5 years.

Overall, the program funds a total of 29 national and international projects worth a total of 10 million dollars.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to take this opportunity to express once more my very deep gratitude to the Turkish Government for the excellent collaboration and the extensive support given to FAO in general, and specifically, to the Sub-Regional Office for Central Asia.

I am convinced that the Partnership Program will fulfil the expectations of all partners and contribute to our common efforts for sustainable food security to the benefit of Turkey, the countries in this region, and beyond.

Thank you for your attention.