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FAO Representation in Colombia raises its status

FAO Director-General and Minister of Agriculture of Colombia signed an agreement that turns the FAO Representation in Colombia into a Partnership and Liaison office Office.

FAO Director-General and Minister of Agriculture of Colombia at the Regional FAO Conference in Jamaica.

March 6, 2018 - Montego Bay, Jamaica - Greater focus on resource mobilization and a more significant role for Colombia in the development of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Those are some of the changes that will be posible thanks to an agreement signed today at the Regional Conference of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and Agriculture (FAO).

The agreement converts the current FAO Representation in the country into the first FAO Partnership and Liaison Office in South America.

"This recognizes the enormous strength of Colombia, which has worked for four decades with FAO, and the new role that the country can play to end hunger and malnutrition, achieve peace and rural development, not only in its own territory but also in the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean,”, said FAO’s Director-General, José Graziano da Silva.

The agreement was signed by Graziano da Silva and the Minister of Agriculture of Colombia, Juan Guillermo Zuluaga, during the second day of FAO’ Regional Conference, which takes place in Montego Bay, Jamaica, from 5-8 of March.

"This agreement is a clear fruit of peace and of the support that FAO has provided since the beginning of our country’s peace process,” said the Minister of Agriculture of Colombia.

Partnership and Liaison Office: a new approach

In recent decades, many countries have improved their economic conditions and transitioned to becoming middle or high income countries. To respond to their new demands, FAO created a new type of national presence: the Parnership and Liaison Offices.

These offices are specifically designed to provide technical assistance, both to the host country and to others, through fiduciary funds, South-South cooperation and alliances.

Its main functions are to coordinate with the local government, improve the possibilities of cooperation of the country with other nations, provide technical assistance and promote alliances with the private sector, academia and civil society.

Mexico was the first country in Latin America and the Caribbean to make this transition, in October 2017, and today Colombia is the first country in South America.

FAO and Colombia: partners for peace

Colombia is a founding member of FAO and its National Representation was established in Colombia forty years ago, on March 15, 1977.

This extensive experience was fundamental for Colombia to request the Organization to accompany the country’s peace agreement between the Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), together with the European Union, the United Nations Development Program and Via Campesina.

 FAO is currently developing 35 projects to support the peace process, with multiple partners on topics such as rural development, poverty reduction and social protection and food security.

At present, FAO in Colombia has about 600 professionals at the service of sustainable rural development and peacebuilding in Colombia, working from Bogotá and 8 territorial offices located in the departments of Antioquia, Nariño, Chocó, Putumayo, Cauca , Córdoba, Guajira and Bolívar plus 10 satellite offices, with which it covers a wide territorial presence that services 22 departments and more than 150 municipalities in the country.

 

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