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40 years of permanent presence in the field

05/10/2017 - 

FAO country offices to hold special events to celebrate four decades of permanent country-level presence

FAO established its first country representations forty years ago. This year, these offices are celebrating their 40th anniversaries to highlight the importance of FAO’s ongoing collaboration with and presence in these countries.

Between 1977 and 1979 a large number of representations were established, beginning in Lebanon. Now there are 85 fully-fledged FAO representations or country offices worldwide, while the decentralized office network spans a total of 152 countries, and nearly half of FAO staff (45 percent) are located in these decentralized offices.

To celebrate 40 years, many of the decentralized offices are joining forces with host governments to stage special activities to celebrate their longstanding mutual collaboration, and partnerships with other partners, providing an opportunity to highlight joint milestones achieved over the past four decades. This strong focus on the Organization’s field-level activities is particularly valuable as we work towards the shared goal of Zero Hunger and the other SDGs.

At the regional level, special 40th anniversary events are planned for the 2018 FAO Regional Conferences.

October promises to be an important month for celebrations, as FAO Myanmar, FAO Nepal, FAO Philippines and FAO Mexico, to name but a few, are centrering events on World Food Day. Many country offices have already begun producing communication materials and organizing outreach activities, sometimes linking them with other major occasions such as World Food Day and the Director-General’s official country visits. 

FAO Niger, for example, have already published a book for the occasion, FAO Lebanon organized a timeline photo exhibition, and its FAO Representative, Maurice Emile Saade, hosted an Iftar event, with participation from current and former Ministers of Agriculture as well as other high-level government officials and partners from UN agencies. Meanwhile, both FAO Kenya and FAO Tanzania held special events in September.