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Minister Brendan Smith announces funding of €40,000 targeted at Independent External Evaluation of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)

Mr Brendan Smith TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food, with special responsibility for Food today announced a voluntary donation of €40,000 to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in support of an Independent External Evaluation (IEE) of the organisation. This donation is in addition to an earlier donation and brings total funding provided by Ireland to the IEE to some €74,000.

Minister Smith stressed the importance of the evaluation as part of the overall process of reform throughout the UN. He stated that "the FAO has an important role to play in helping governments achieve the goals of the Millennium Declaration. I am hopeful the IEE will help FAO to be as effective an organisation as possible."

The Independent External Evaluation is intended to undertake a complete assessment of FAO and is expected to produce findings and recommendations that would allow the Membership of FAO to chart the way forward and to better meet the challenges of the future in an evolving global environment based on its strengths and comparative advantages.

Stressing the importance of FAO's mandate of improving food security for all, raising nutrition levels, increasing agricultural productivity and promoting sustainable development worldwide, Minister Smith noted that "given the scale and scope of FAO, there has been concern from developing and developed-country members over whether the organisation is realising its potential. This evaluation will generate a series of independent findings helpful in assessing the full potential of FAO and focusing the organisation on meeting the challenges of the twenty first century".

22 December 2006

Date Released: 22 December 2006