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C 99/12


Thirtieth Session

Rome, 12-23 November 1999

2000 - 2015
Version 4.0

This document contains the fourth draft of a proposed Strategic Framework to guide the work of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations during the period 2000-2015.

It is submitted in response to the request by the Conference, at its Twenty-ninth Session, to develop a Strategic Framework document during the present biennium, along with a modified approach to the formulation of the Medium Term Plan and to the Programme of Work and Budget. The Conference agreed that "this set of complementary documents should facilitate the task of the Governing Bodies in shaping the course of the Organization in the years ahead" (C 97/REP, para. 100).

Version 4.0 of the Strategic Framework is the product of a structured process of consultations among FAO Members between September 1998 and June 1999. Following an intensive preparatory process within the Secretariat, successive drafts of the document have been examined by the Programme and Finance Committees and the Council in 1998 (Version 1.0), by the Technical Committees of FAO (the Committees on Commodity Problems, on Agriculture, on Fisheries and on Forestry) and the Ministerial Meetings on Fisheries and on Forestry (Version 2.0) in early 1999, and by the Programme and Finance Committees and the Council in spring 1999 (Version 3.0). Additional stakeholder consultations took place through a questionnaire sent to all Members and by canvassing of other organizations, within and outside the UN system, with which FAO works.

The document is therefore the result of an iterative and interactive process, involving the full Membership and the Secretariat of FAO and drawing on the wealth of knowledge and insight of the Organization's partners.

Version 4.0 has the following structure:

Part I, the Overall Strategic Framework, alludes to the challenges facing the Organization in the coming 15 years. It then recalls the purpose of FAO, and the goals of Members to which FAO is expected to contribute. Finally, it presents statements of values, mission and vision.

Part II, Corporate Strategies, spells out in more depth the strategic orientations which derive from the overall analysis. In its first section, it proposes five major corporate strategies, to address Members' needs in the medium to long term, defining within each area two or three strategic objectives. The second section of Part II proposes six corporate strategies to respond to major strategic issues of a cross-organizational nature.

Part III gives the Implementation Programme for the Strategic Framework, as requested in Conference Resolution 6/97 (see below). After situating the Strategic Framework within the broader planning framework now approved for FAO, this part explains the planning methodology to be adopted and covers the question of priority setting in the context of the new planning framework. Finally, a schedule is given for implementation following Conference approval in November 1999.

The revisions introduced in Version 4.0 follow the Council's guidance on Version 3.0. While some changes have been made in Parts I and III, most are contained in Part II. Considering this the "heart of the document," the Council recommended that for Version 4.0 greater focus and coherence be introduced in the presentation of the strategies to address Members' needs, through a consolidation of elements and clarification of FAO's comparative advantages. Stress was also placed on the need to specify the nature of the partnerships envisaged.

To accommodate these and other concerns expressed by Members, the Secretariat has carried out a further round of inter-departmental discussions on all of the corporate strategies. Those to address Members' needs have been further refined in content; the largely disciplinary strategy elements have been consolidated in a smaller number of inter-disciplinary components, and under each strategic objective FAO's comparative advantages and the nature of its partnerships have been spelled out. The strategies to address cross-organizational issues have been further developed in response to the comments and suggestions made by Members.

In response to the recommendation of the Programme and Finance Committees, endorsed by the Council, supporting material is presented separately.

Document C 99/12-Sup.1 contains material prepared by the Secretariat which may facilitate review of the proposals but which is not submitted for approval. Included in it are the analysis of external partnerships, the background to and rationale for the proposals and the sequence of events leading to the approval and publication of the Strategic Framework.

Document C 99/12-Sup. 2 will complement the proposals made in Part II of the Strategic Framework, by giving more specific regional perspectives for each of the 12 strategic objectives. The document will be a revision of the table presented in Version 3.0., based on comments expected from Regional Groups subsequent to the One Hundred and Sixteenth Session of the Council. It will be issued as soon as possible following receipt of comments from all groups.

Version 4.0 is submitted in accordance with Conference Resolution 6/97, reproduced below:


Strengthening the FAO 2000 Project


Reaffirming the commitment in the Rome Declaration on World Food Security and the World Food Plan of Action to reduce the number of undernourished people to half their present level no later than 2015,

Welcoming the proposals by the Director-General to strengthen the strategic management of FAO, especially the formulation of a long-term Strategic Framework and consequently modified Medium-Term Plan and Programme of Work and Budget (the FAO 2000 project):

  1. Requests the Director-General to further the process leading to the development of a Strategic Vision for the FAO for the years 2000-2015, including inter alia, a set of core strategic objectives and an Implementation Programme;
  2. Decides that the process should be, in the framework of existing structures, a full participatory process, involving not only the Secretariat but also the full membership of FAO;
  3. Decides further that this process should recognize that a prime responsibility of the CFS is to monitor the implementation of the World Food Plan of Action;
  4. Requests the Director-General to prepare an appropriate progress report for consideration in the FAO Council in November 1998.

(Adopted on 18 November 1997)

Action on Version 4.0

The present document, Version 4.0, constitutes the third revision of the draft Strategic Framework, and is submitted for the views and comments of the Programme and Finance Committees and the Council, and finally for discussion and approval by the Conference at its Thirtieth Session in November 1999.




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