United States 'most under-represented country' at FAO

FAO headquarters

ROME — The United States has become the country with the greatest under-representation of professional staff members at the FAO despite being the biggest contributor to the UN agency, providing 22 percent of its member funding, latest figures released by the FAO Human Resources department show.

 In June there were just 99 U.S. professional members at the Rome-Based agency compared to an allocation the FAO HR department acknowledges should be at least 133 and up to 180 based on its calculation factors.

  More than 30 Americans have left or been forced out of professional posts under the leadership of Brazilian director general José Graziano da Silva as he moved to install cronies from Iberian countries in top jobs.

 “Individual Member Nations’ representation status have been indicated on the basis of the desirable ranges of Member Nations determined by the representation calculation factors (FAO Membership, the overall number of PWB positions subject to geographic distribution, the scale of assessed contributions of Member Nations and the Member Nations’population) which are in force during the current biennium,” the FAO HR department says in explanation of its figures, a copy of which was made available to the Italian Insider.

 Also underrepresented among professional staff are Japan with only 28 posts compared to the 66 to 90 the HR department says it deserves (given that Tokyo pays more than 10 percent of the FAO member funding), China with 27 professionals compared to deserving 42 to 57 posts, Australia with 13 posts compared to 14-20 deserved, Poland with just four instead of the 8-11 jobs it deserves and Venezuela with only four compared to the six to nine it should receive, as well as Israel with only two posts compared to the four to seven jobs FAO admits it deserves.

  Vastly overrepresented is Italy with 64 professional jobs compared to the 29 to 39 it deserves, underlining Graziano’s determination to keep the host country happy by allowing the Italian foreign ministry and other government areas to give jobs to the boys at the FAO in return for various advantages and privileges.

 Former U.S. Ambassador to FAO David Lane was removed from his post in August by the State Department that was concerned the decline in U.S, representation was partly a result of his failing to defend U.S. interests at the FAO, probably because he was jockeying to become deputy director general to replace American Dan Gustafson.