F.A.O was established in 1945 as a specialised agency for Food and Agriculture under the auspices of the United Nations. The constitution of the Organization was signed by 44 founded member-states of UN, including Greece, in Quebec of Canada.
The seat of F.A.O was moved to Rome from Washington in 1951.
At present, F.A.O comprises 188 countries, including the European Union, which joined the Organization in 1991 as a full member representing the member – states in committees and councils convened by F.A.O.
Since then and in accordance with the Community’s rules of procedure, the E.U holds coordination meetings in Brussels as well as in Rome prior to committee sessions for the consideration of agenda issues under deliberation in order to formulate a common stance.
Our Ministry closely cooperates with F.A.O via the Directorate of Agricultural Policy and Documentation participating directly with our experts of respective services in specialised fields and projects of scientific, administrative and finance nature, convened and coordinated under the guidance of F.A.O and indirectly via the sessions of respective working parties and Committees of the European Union.
Due to operation of a series of committees and working parties, F.A.O is widely regarded as the most important Organisation addressing issues of agricultural nature with the paramount objective to combat poverty and alleviate hunger, affecting approximately one third of the world population by providing assistance in bettering the conditions of production and the availability of agricultural commodities.
In this context, the Organization provides know-how, financial and technological assistance in projects developmentally oriented.
The structure of F.A.O is built on three pillars:
1) The Conference
2) The Council of the Organization and
3) The Secretariat.
A. The Conference is the principal function of the Organisation, in which each Member Nation is represented by one delegate, and meets once in every two years in regular sessions determining policies programmes of work and budgetary matters. The Conference elects forty-nine (49) delegates from among the member – nations in order to construct the composition of the Council.
B. The Council operates as the executive hand of FAO and makes decisions on matters they need not to be submitted to the Conference.
C. The Secretariat, led by the Director General, operates specialised bodies and in this context various intergovernmental Committees are met, seeking solutions of arising issues and preparing reports to the Council.
The main committees of F.A.O are as follows:
I. Committee of Agriculture
II. Committee of food security
III. Committee of basic commodities
IV. Committee of codex alimentarius
V. Committee of plant genetic resources
VI. Committee of animal genetic resources
VII. Committee of Fisheries
VIII. Committee of Forestry
FAO operates also scientific networks in cooperation with the member countries concerning agriculture (ESCORENA) for products such as grains, rice, cotton, etc, the aim of which is to enhancing quality standards, and having a positive impact on the sustainable development of agriculture, on quality products associated with the geographical region, thus, strengthening the capacity of small farmers. Greece directly participates in aforementioned activities of FAO via National Agricultural Research Foundation (NAGREF).
In charge of FAO affairs:
Constantine Viziotis, Economist, expert of the division for EU affairs, International relations & Commercial Policy