FAO conference approves biennium budget of FAO
Countries agree on timetable to develop an action plan to implement reforms
26 November 2007, Rome – The 34th FAO Conference has approved a budget that allows the Organization to continue its work and prepare a plan of action to implement far-reaching reforms in a new world environment, where agriculture has taken centre stage.
The Conference agreed on a budget level of US$867.6 million for the 2008-09 biennium; the budget for 2006-07 amounted to US$765.7 million. The change in the budget mainly covers cost increases and will therefore allow the Organization to maintain its current level of operations and serve its constituents without major disruption during an important period of renewal.
The budget resolution also foresees significant additional efficiency savings amounting to US$22 million and includes the phased introduction of Russian as a language of the Organization.
The Conference adopted the budget resolution by 122 votes to four.
“I am delighted that the membership of FAO has recognised the need for adequate funding and has put an end to the steady decline over the last 14 years of regular programme resources of the Organization,” said FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf. “The budget will help to stabilize the Organization in a period of financial constraints and ensure a better balance with voluntary trust funds, which reached more than US$ one billion in 2006-07. We will spare no efforts to make significant additional efficiency savings. We are committed to working closely with the member countries on reforming FAO to adapt to new challenges.”
The Conference decided to set up a committee that will review the reform proposals of the Independent External Evaluation (IEE) of FAO over the coming months. A plan of action will adress issues such as FAO’s vision and programme priorities, reform in governance, culture change, administrative and management systems, restructuring and efficiency measures. The plan of action will be submitted to a special session of the Conference in November 2008, which will re-examine the budget level in view of adjustments required as a result of the implementation of agreed recommendations of the IEE.
The Conference also commended the efforts made by the Organization to redress geographical and gender imbalances in the Professional Staff structure. It requested the Director-General to pursue actively such efforts in accordance with the basic texts of the Organization and the decisions of the Conference.
Director, FAO Communication Division
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