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FAO celebrates 40 years of Representation in countries across the Asia-Pacific region – working together to eliminate hunger, malnutrition and poverty

11/04/2018 Nadi, Fiji

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations today hailed 40 years of close on-the-ground presence and support to ten of its member countries in Asia and the Pacific.

Between 1977 and 1979, at the suggestion of FAO, ten countries agreed to host FAO Representation offices in their capitals. The ten were Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Viet Nam.

During a side event at the 34th Session of the FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific, in Nadi, Fiji, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, said the beginning of this decentralized strategy to the Organization’s work had “today become a cornerstone of our efforts to work closer to countries in our common quest to eliminate poverty, hunger, malnutrition and promote sustainable agriculture and food systems.” 

“When I took over as Director-General in 2012, I affirmed that FAO must be a knowledge Organization with its feet on the ground,” Graziano said. “Since then we have been reinforcing our decentralization process to better support countries to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 2 on eliminating hunger and all forms of malnutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture.”

The Director-General noted that in the Asia and the Pacific region, FAO has prioritized improvements to nutrition and has taken action to ensure food security in the face of challenges posed by climate change and natural disasters. The development and implementation of Country Programming Frameworks (CPFs) have given greater focus to our technical and policy expertise, ensuring that country programmes are closely aligned with government priorities. 

“We cannot manage FAO (exclusively) from Rome,’ he said, adding FAO needed to expand its Representations in Asia and particularly in the Pacific” Graziano said. “We recently opened an office in Fiji (which has) given us direct contact with the country.”  

Graziano thanked all 10 countries for welcoming FAO to their lands as a trusted partner on the ground and assured them that FAO would continue to work closely with them to ensure the future of agriculture and the safety and sustainability of food production.

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