A set of measures to reform the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) was presented by the FAO Director-General QU Dongyu to the FAO Council in early July 2020. These follow the measures approved by the Council in December 2019, aimed at making FAO more agile, efficient and accountable.
A fundamental element is the proposal to implement a modular and more flexible organizational structure, thereby ensuring agility, optimal cross-sectoral collaboration and better responses to emerging needs and priorities, FAO reported. This includes grouping at the centre of the Organization the core leadership team, consisting of the three Deputy Directors-General, the Chief Economist, the Chief Scientist and the Director of Cabinet, who will support the Director-General in all areas of FAO's mandate.
Other proposals include the creation of a new Office of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a new Division on Food Systems and Food Safety, which would provide strategic leadership in the development of more sustainable food systems, an independent Ombudsperson's Office, and the strengthening of the Organization's centres of cooperation.
The centres of cooperation se are the Investment Centre that collaborates with the International Financial Institutions; the Joint FAO/IAEA Centre, which reflects the longstanding strategic partnership in sustainable agriculture development and food security using nuclear science and technology; as well as the Joint FAO/WHO Centre that will house the Codex Alimentarius Commission and address issues related to zoonotic diseases.
The Director-General also intends to strengthen the capacities of FAO country and regional offices. "Our country offices are the backbone of FAO's delivery. We will ensure that they receive adequate support and service on the ground. This empowering will be accompanied by a clear push for more tangible deliverables and by a 360-degree evaluation," he added.
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