Saouma Seeking Third Term at FAO
ROME (AP) _ The head of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization has filed to run for a third, six-year term, diplomatic sources said Friday.
Edouard Saouma’s bid for a third term goes against last year’s recommendation by the so-called Geneva Group, 11 countries which make major contributions to the U.N. budget. They endorsed the principle that heads of U.N. agencies should be limited to serving no more than two terms.
Saouma, 60, of Lebanon, was one of three candidates whose nominations were received at the FAO Secretariat by the 5:30 p.m. deadline, said the sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.
FAO officials have said they cannot release names until all 158 members of the agency are notified by April 27. The election is scheduled for November.
The sources said the other candidates are Moise Christophe Mensah, 53, of Benin, assistant president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and Gonzalo Bula Hoyos, 57, Colombia’s ambassador to the FAO.
Saouma, who was out of the country Friday, has declined to publicly declare whether he would run again.
The FAO, founded in 1945, is the largest U.N. agency with about 7,000 employees and a biennual budget of $437 million.
Saouma was first elected to the FAO post in 1975 and re-elected in 1981.
According to FAO, the director general earns an annual salary of $78,430 plus benefits and allowances of $57,000.
Mensah, born in the Ivory Coast, worked at FAO for 11 years. Bula Hoyos has been with Colombia’s diplomatic mission to the FAO since 1959.