Hungary and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization are celebrating the ten-year anniversary of the FAO's European and Central Asian regional office and Joint Service Centre moving to Hungary. The event, entitled "FAO 10 years in Hungary", was officially opened by Minister of Agriculture Sándor Fazekas.

In his opening speech, Mr. Sándor Fazekas said that over the last decade Hungary’s international development and the work of the organisation have been deeply intertwined. “The values that the FAO professes are important to Hungary, so it is no coincidence that we have implemented so many joint projects, events and other professional programmes” the Minister of Agriculture emphasised. “Hungary became a member of the FAO 50 years ago, in 1967. We agree with the FAO's main objectives and remain committed to supporting the organisation's work. Within the framework of the 2007 agreement, Hungary is seeking to contribute to the food security of developing countries”, Mr. Fazekas said.

The Minister explained that agriculture has always played a decisive role in Hungary. “Our country is in a good position because we are able to produce enough food for the people of Hungary. At the same time, this is not the case everywhere on Earth, famine and malnutrition are affecting more and more people on the planet. Military conflicts and natural disasters, which are often the result of climate change, make it difficult for millions to access food. Accordingly, the work of the FAO which is primarily aimed at eradicating world, is of the utmost importance”, the Minister highlighted.

FAO Deputy Director-General and Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia, Vladimir Rakhmanin thanked the Government of Hungary for its cooperation. He drew attention to Hungary’s excellent agricultural practices and expertise, and expressed his pleasure that Hungary also shares his knowledge within this field.

The offices have been continuously expanding, with more than 200 FAO employees and 1,000 UN employees currently working in Budapest. The FAO was the pioneer of moving such organisations to Budapest.

(Ministry of Agriculture Press Office)