FOOD and AGRICULTURE Organization

Secretary - General Mr. Ban Ki-moon | President of the General Assembly Mr. Vuk Jeremic | Member States 1945 : 51 | 2011 : 193 Member States


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Food and Agriculture Organization | FAO

Director - General of The United Nations FAO is Dr. Graziano da Silva

Dr. Graziano da Silva joined FAO in 2006 as the head of FAO’s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Serving as Regional Representative until 2011, he actively supported the “Hunger-Free Latin America and the Caribbean Initiative” - which made the region the first in the world to commit to the total eradication of hunger by 2025 - and highlighted the importance of family farming, rural development, and strengthening rural institutions to guarantee food security.

Graziano da Silva was elected Director-General of FAO on 26 June 2011 and took up office on 1 January 2012.

At the helm, Graziano da Silva has been working to transform FAO into a knowledge Organization with its feet on the ground, strengthening FAO’s field presence and pushing for a more decentralized approach.

He has also emphasized the importance of addressing the connections between social, economic, and environmental factors that can lead to hunger and malnutrition.

Graziano da Silva has sharpened the Organization’s strategic focus to transform into reality the vision of a hunger-free and sustainable world, utilizing FAO’s world-class technical know-how to achieve reformulated and clearly defined strategic objectives aimed at guaranteeing food security, promoting sustainable production, reducing rural poverty, improving food systems, and building resilience, while maintaining the technical quality of FAO´s global and normative work and services. He is also instilling a value-for-money culture in the Organization.

At the international level, he is working to build consensus on food security-related issues. This includes actively supporting the Committee on World Food Security, the United Nations High-Level Task Force on Global Food Security (in which he serves as Vice-Chair) and the Zero Hunger Challenge launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Graziano da Silva has also encouraged closer cooperation with development partners, supports South-South cooperation, and has increased collaboration with civil society and private sector entities, including farmer organizations and cooperatives. 


Director - General of The United Nations FAO Dr. Graziano da Silva

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The idea of an international organization for food and agriculture emerged in the late 19th and early 20th century. In May–June 1905, an international conference was held in Rome, Italy, which lead to the creation of the International Institute of Agriculture.

Later in 1943, the United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt called a United Nations Conference on Food and Agriculture. Representatives from forty four governments gathered at The Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia from 18 May to 3 June. They committed themselves to founding a permanent organization for food and agriculture, which happened in Quebec City,Canada on October 16, 1945 with the conclusion of the Constitution of the Food and Agriculture Organization. The First Session of the FAO Conference was held in the Chateau Frontenac at Quebec, Canada, from 16 October to 1 November 1945

The Second World War effectively ended the International Agricultural Institute, though it was only officially dissolved by resolution of its Permanent Committee on February 27, 1948. Its functions were then transferred to the recently established FAO.

Structure and Finance

FAO was established on 16 October 1945, in Quebec CityQuebecCanada. In 1951, its headquarters were moved from Washington, D.C.United States, to RomeItaly. The agency is directed by the Conference of Member Nations, which meets every two years to review the work carried out by the organization and to approve a Programme of Work and Budget for the next two-year period. The Conference elects a council of 49 member states (serve three-year rotating terms) that acts as an interim governing body, and the Director-General, that heads the agency.

FAO is composed of seven departments: Administration and Finance, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, Economic and Social Development, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Forestry, Natural Resource Management and Environment, and Technical Cooperation.

Beginning in 1994, FAO underwent the most significant restructuring since its founding, to decentralize operations, streamline procedures and reduce costs. As result, savings of about US$50 million, €35 million a year were realized.


FAO's Regular Programme budget is funded by its members, through contributions set at the FAO Conference. This budget covers core technical work, cooperation and partnerships including the Technical Cooperation Programme, knowledge exchange, policy and advocacy, direction and administration, governance and security.

The FAO regular budget for 2012 - 2013 biennium is US$1,005.6 million. The voluntary contributions provided by members and other partners support mechanical and emergency (including rehabilitation) assistance to governments for clearly defined purposes linked to the results framework, as well as direct support to FAO's core work. the voluntary contributions are expected to reach approximately US$1.4 billion in 2012 - 2013.

This overall budget covers core technical work, cooperation and partnerships, leading to Food and Agriculture Outcomes by 71%; Core Functions by 11%; the Country Office Network by 5%; Capital and Security Expenditure by 2%; Administration by 6%; and Technical and Cooperation Program by 5%.

How is FAO funded?
The total FAO Budget planned for 2012-13 is USD 2.4 billion. Of this amount, 42 percent comes from assessed contributions paid by member countries, while 58 percent will be mobilized through voluntary contributions from Members and other partners.
Regular programme country contributions
FAO's overall programme of work is funded by assessed and voluntary contributions. The assessed contributions are Member countries' contributions, set at the biennial FAO Conference. The FAO regular budget for the 2012-13 biennium is USD 1,005.6 million.
Voluntary Contributions
The voluntary contributions provided by Members and other partners support technical and emergency (including rehabilitation) assistance to governments for clearly defined purposes linked to the results framework, as well as direct support to FAO's core work. The voluntary contributions are expected to reach approximately USD 1,4 billion in 2012-13.



World headquarters

The world headquarters are located in Rome, in the former seat of the Department of Italian East Africa. One of the most notable features of the building was the Axum Obelisk which stood in front of the agency seat, although just outside of the territory allocated to FAO by the Italian Government. It was taken from Ethiopia by Benito Mussolini's troops in 1937 as a war chest, and returned on 18 April 2005.

Regional offices

Sub-regional offices




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