The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) continues to be the only global forum and institution, which addresses the fields of agriculture and rural development, fisheries and forestry, supporting not only the collection, analysis and spreading of information, but also supporting the capacity of sector development and dealing efficiently with the problem of chronic lack of food security. The Republic of Estonia became a member of FAO on 11 November 1991. FAO belongs to the field of shared governance of the European Union, where the main responsibility concerning issues, which belong to the exclusive competence of the European Community, is held by the European Commission and in all other issues, by the Member States.
It is extremely important to specify and preserve the centre of attention of FAO normative and implementative programmes on supporting agriculture and rural development. In most cases, institutional capability development and technical aid is needed to carry out normative work and include international rules in national legislation (including Codex Alimentarius, conventions and guidelines in the sectors of fisheries and forestry). Estonian experience and knowledge offers us a good opportunity to give political advice and know-how in connection with the strengthening of the capabilities of states. The representation of the Ministry of Agriculture of Estonia to FAO in Rome enables us to increase the efficiency of analysis preparation processes, our representation in bigger committees and working groups and to introduce and create prerequisites for the engagement of Estonian experts in fields, which studies and analysis results would benefit Estonia.
Additionally, Estonia finds it important to increase step-by-step the role of development aid and transform from a country in need, into a donor country helping others, which is an inseparable part of following the European values. In order to achieve the fulfillment of this task, more cooperation has to be done with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in targeting development aid resources, especially in connection with the significant global increase of agricultural aid’s relative importance during the last years. In light of the increase of food prices, this trend can be assumed to be a continuing one in the medium-term perspective. In case of FAO development aid, the experiences of Estonian experts have to be used more. One possibility for the implementation of this proposal would be the establishment of the Estonian trust fund to FAO. Also, Estonia has to consider joining the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in the near future, which would ensure to contribute more to development aid.
The Ministry of Agriculture supports the efforts of FAO to increase its efficiency and influence in carrying out their tasks and its role as an active and visible partner in the UN family. As a client, we expect FAO to offer us quality services, especially in the fields of normative activities, political and strategic counseling, increasing capability and data collection.
last update: 15.05.2009