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 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.”
The Framework 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 diseases.
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
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