At the annual conference of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome, Italy, on Monday (10 November), Dr.
At the annual conference of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome, Italy, on Monday (10 November), Dr. Edouard Saouma, of Lebanon was elected as the new Director General of the Organisation for a six year term. Dr. Saouma, who is 48, replaces Dr. Addake Boerma who retires from the Organisation at the end of the year after 25 years - eight of them as Director General.
Dr. Saouma, who is a former Lebanese Minister of Agriculture, is currently the Director of the FAO's Fowls Land and Water Development division. There was a move to make his electing unanimous by acclamation after he had headed the first ballot of six candidates with 62 votes. But the rules of the 133-member Organisation dictated that a second secret ballot should take place. This gave the new Director General 121 votes, with seven abstentions.
The outgoing Director General, Dr. Boerma, strongly criticised the Soviet Union for not joining the Organisation even though it was a major agricultural nation. In his farewell address to the conference, Dr. Boerma said that universality of membership was essential if the FAD was to lead the attack on world hunger. He stressed that one of his main sources of satisfaction during his term of office had been the decision of China to rejoin the organisation.