The incumbent director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Dr Jacques Diouf, will be the sole candidate in the November 2005 election for head of the UN agency, FAO announced today (Wednesday).
Dr Diouf was nominated by his country Senegal and co-sponsored by Mali. At the date of closure of nominations on 8 April 2005, no other country had presented a candidate.
Dr Diouf’s candidacy was endorsed by the executive council of the African Union in Addis Ababa in March 2004, by the foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Conference in Istanbul in June 2004, by the third assembly of the heads of state and government of the African Union in Addis Ababa in July 2004, by the conference of heads of government of the Caribbean Community in Grenada in July 2004, by the council of the League of Arab States in Cairo in September 2004, by the ministerial meeting of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf in Kuwait City in October 2004, and by the Latin America and the Caribbean Group in Rome in November 2004.
The 187-nation biennial conference of FAO will elect the director-general at its next session on 19 November 2005.
Dr Diouf was first elected as FAO director-general in 1993 by 90 votes against 72 and re-elected in 1999 by 137 votes against 26.
Before becoming the head of FAO, Dr. Diouf was Senegal’s ambassador to the United Nations in New York, and secretary-general of the Central Bank for West African States at its headquarters in Dakar (Senegal). Secretary of state for science and technology in the government of Senegal, he was also member of parliament and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. Earlier Dr Diouf was executive secretary of the West Africa Rice Development Association and of the African Groundnut Council.