US and FAO: agreement on agriculture
The US and the United Nations' Food and Agriculture
Organisation (FAO) today signed a framework agreement to coordinate technichal
assistance on issues important to agriculture.
The agreement was signed by US agriculture secretary Mike Johanns (photograph)
and FAO director-general Jacques Diouf.
The agreement will help to address
issues such as plant and animal diseases including avian influenza
conservation, genetic resources, chronic hunger and the growing demand for
renewable energy resources.
"This agreement will
facilitate greater international coordination and collaboration on a broad range
of agricultural issues and help to protect our agricultural systems," said
Johanns. "I believe the benefits will be immediate by enhancing the worldwide
response to highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza."
Agreement was approved last fall and formally signed today.
Under the agreement, a Crisis Management Center was formed,
operated by the FAO in close collaboration with the World Organisation for
Animal Health (OIE) and located in Rome.
It provides animal disease
analysis and deploys international resources to prevent and contain animal
The center is currently focused on highly pathogenic H5N1
avian influenza, which continues to spread in parts of the world. Three
specialists of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are currently
assigned to the centre.
â€¢ United States Department of
â€¢ Food and
Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
â€¢ World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)
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