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Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Process Update

FAO Director-General’s Reform Process

In November 2005, the 33rd Session of the Food and Agriculture Organisation's (FAO) Governing Body adopted a decision on the reform package proposed by the FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf. The reform package aims to flatten the bureaucracy of the Organisation, making it more flexible and responsive to members’ needs. The Governing Body gave support to several key elements of the Director-General's plan, including: streamlining administrative and financial processes, and the establishment of a “Shared Services Centre” serving Headquarters and the regions; initial steps towards organisational restructuring at Headquarters; using one geographic region as a pilot case for implementing proposals for greater decentralisation, and establishing one new subregional office in another region. Many of the changes authorised for Headquarters are already in effect; Africa with its subregions has been selected for the piloting of improved decentralisation, and the countries of Central Asia have been identified for coverage by a new subregional office. The Director-General has since updated part of his reform package and since December 2005 has held consultations with Member States in Rome regarding the submission of modified reform proposals to the Governing Bodies. According to the FAO, following the Director-General's consultations, “it was concluded that there was no need for an extraordinary session of the Council at the end of June or early July 2006, but that modified reform proposals could be submitted to and considered by the September 2006 sessions of the Programme and Finance Committees and the November 2006 Council.” These proposals would seek authorisation to fully implement the decentralisation proposals made in the Director-General's earlier reform proposals, which would, inter alia, entail the creation of four further subregional offices in new locations and reconfiguration of the hitherto unaffected Regional Offices and Subregional Offices. Regarding headquarters, in line with the Conference's recommendation that further changes to the structure should be maintained within the existing number of departments, a possible structure for presentation to the November 2006 Council has been prepared. In addition, the Director-General is addressing each of the FAO Regional Conferences, in the first half of 2006, on the reform proposals, and seeking their reactions

The Hundred and Thirty-first Session of the FAO Council will meet in Rome from 20-25 November 2006 to discuss a detailed document on the Implementation of Conference Decisions and Proposals from the Director-General

Special Forum on Mid-Term Review of the progress towards the WFS Summit goals

Commitment Seven of the World Food Summit Plan of Action states that: “We will implement, monitor, and follow-up this Plan of Action at all levels in cooperation with the international community.” In addition the Plan of Action states that “by 2006, undertake, in the CFS and within available resources, a major broad-based progress assessment of the implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action and a mid-term review of achieving the target of reducing the number of undernourished people to half their present level no later than 2015.  This progress assessment and review should be in the context of a special forum of a regular session of the CFS and involve active participation from governments, relevant international organizations and actors of civil society.” At its 30th Session, the Committee on Food Security reaffirmed that the broad objective of the Special Forum would be to undertake a major broad-based mid-term review of the implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action and the progress towards the Summit target of reducing by half the number of undernourished people no later than 2015. At its Hundred and Twenty-Eighth Session held in June 2005, the FAO Council  agreed to hold a Special Forum in 2006 on the Mid-Term Review of the progress towards the WFS Summit goal. The Council also anticipated a broad and in-depth analysis on the progress of the Plan of Action by the Secretariat for the Mid-Term Review. Two days will be fully devoted to the Special Forum. The Special Forum will submit its findings and recommendations to the Committee on Food Security for decision in the form of a Chairperson’s summary. The Special Forum takes place during the 32nd session of the Committee on Food Security (Rome, 30 October - 4 November 2006).

32nd Session of the Committee on Food Security

Monitoring progress since the World Food Summit

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