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Russian Federation Joins UN FAO

Russian Federation Joins UN Food And Agricultural Organization

New York, Apr 13 2006

The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), which helps developing countries fight hunger, today announced that Russia has become a member, more than 60 years after the agency’s founding.

“I warmly welcome the Russian Federation’s historic decision to take up its membership,” FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf said, noting that the Rome-based agency now has 189 member countries and one member organization, the European Community.

“Russia is a major agricultural economy and membership of FAO will have advantages both for itself and for the Organization as a whole,” he added.

Before becoming a member of FAO, the Russian Federation had the status of Observer, and the agency, following the practice of the UN, recognized the right of the country to take on the rights of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), which was one of 44 original members.

The Federation took on full membership when its Foreign Affairs Minister, Sergei Lavrov, sent a letter to Mr. Diouf informing him of his country’s acceptance of the agency’s Constitution and its willingness to carry out member’s obligations.

The FAO helps developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices towards its stated goal of good nutrition for all. Since its founding in 1945, it has focused special attention on developing rural areas, home to 70 per cent of the world's poor and hungry people.

In a related development, on Tuesday the Russian Federation signed a new cooperation agreement with UN-HABITAT, the agency that aims to achieve sustainable development of human settlements.

According to the agreement, the country will provide at least $400,000 annually and will cooperate in the areas of urban planning, governance and housing rights, among other issues.

ENDS

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