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FAO in North America
The Homestead at Hot Springs, Virginia, USA, where a Conference on Food and Agriculture in 1943 laid the foundation for FAO

A Special Relationship with North America

FAO’s headquarters was first located on 2841 McGill Terrace NW, Washington DC

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has deep roots in North America. The Organization was conceived in Hot Springs, Virginia in 1943, when 44 governments gathered and agreed on the need for a permanent organization in the field of food, agriculture and nutrition. On 16 October 1945, FAO was established as a specialized agency of the newly created United Nations at a historic meeting in Chateau Frontenac in Quebec, Canada. “Fiat panis” (Let there be bread) was selected as the FAO motto by the first Director-General, Sir John Boyd Orr. FAO’s first headquarters was based in Washington, D.C., until it was moved to Rome, Italy in 1951.

FAO’s mandate is to raise levels of nutrition, improve agriculture productivity and better the lives of rural populations. FAO shares a common vision with Canada and the United States of achieving a world without hunger and poverty. Both member states have played a leadership role in FAO since its inception more than 70 years ago, and are also among the Organization’s largest financial supporters. FAO continues to work closely with both countries with the support of the Liaison Office for North America based in Washington, D.C.

About our office

The FAO Liaison Office for North America, located in Washington, D.C., plays a key role in advancing FAO’s mandate to end hunger, malnutrition and poverty worldwide, while achieving the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. Toward this end, the Liaison Office engages in partnership-building, policy dialogue, information sharing, and raising the visibility of the Organization in the region.

The Tax Unit which offers a wide range of financial services including income tax administration for American citizens working for FAO, World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is also housed in the Liaison Office for North America.

FAO also has another Liaison Office located in New York at the UN headquarters, which leads the development and implementation of policies and decisions concerning FAO cooperation and partnerships within the broader UN system.

Our activities

FAO’s Liaison Office for North America seeks to increase awareness of FAO’s mandate to end hunger and to strengthen collaboration with parties who share a common objective. The Liaison Office provides a neutral platform for diverse stakeholders to exchange views and perspectives on key issues. We establish formal collaborations with non-governmental organizations, university and the private sector among other actors to advance our mission.

We also support the Informal North America Regional Conference (INARC), which convenes every two years by Canada and the United States. The Conference serves as an important opportunity for both countries to highlight their priorities and FAO’s role in supporting them.

FAO’s outreach efforts in North America focus on: food security and nutrition; food loss and waste; the one world, one health agenda; trade; gender; climate change; and resilience building.

Contact Us

FAO Liaison Office for North America
2121 K Street, Suite 800B
Washington, DC 20037, USA
Phone : (202) 653-2400
Email: faolow@fao.org