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Press Release 01/87 C11

FAO'S MEMBERS END CYCLE OF BUDGET CUTS WITH NOMINAL INCREASE FOR 2002-2003


Rome, 9 November - For the first time after eight years, the member countries of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have approved a nominal budget increase for the Rome-based UN agency. FAO's budget will total US$651.8 million for the years 2002-2003, the governing FAO conference decided on Friday. 107 Countries voted for the increase, with 2 abstaining. This increase maintains the budget in real terms.

FAO's budget had been kept at US$650 million per biennium since 1995, forcing the Organization to absorb estimated cost increases of about US$95 million. FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf had proposed a real growth budget for 2002-2003 of $688.7 million, an increase of some $38 million above the 2000-2001 budget, but this was not accepted by the membership.

The Conference also noted that additional funds may become available during the biennium 2002-2003 in the form of payments of arrears, in particular by the biggest contributor to the FAO budget, the United States. Total payments of arrears in assessed contributions owing from the major contributor amount to US$95 million.

The Conference authorized FAO's Director-General to use the arrears for one time programme activities in the areas of biotechnology and biosecurity, natural resource assessement and conservation, multilateral trade, fisheries, information technology infrastructure, statistical data and translation services.

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Many of the documents under discussion at the Conference are available on the FAO Web site at: http://www.fao.org/unfao/bodies/conf/c2001/c2001-e.htm

Contact: The FAO Media Relations Office

Tel. (39) 06 5705-3105
e-mail: erwin.northoff@fao.org


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