Germany takes over the Presidency of the WFP Executive Board


April, Rome, 16 - 17 April 2020 - For the first time in its membership, Germany will assume the presidency of the Executive Council of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) for one year through Ambassador Dr Ulrich Seidenberger.

Ambassador Ulrich Seidenberger
Ambassador Ulrich Seidenberger© StäV Rom / Katherina Niemann

The Executive Board is currently holding ist first regular Meeting in 2020 - as the first Governing Body of a UN organization to do so virtually due to the nationswide curfew in Italy.

The virtual conduct of the two-day session of the WFP Executive Board ensures that the organization's operational capacity is maintained even in a historic crisis situation for WFP and the United Nations System as a whole.

On the agenda of these first of a total of three Executive Board meetings this year under German chairmanship in particular will be the WFP Global Plan of Organization for COVID-19.

In addition to COVID-19, this first annual session will focus on strategic institutional issues:

  • the implementation of UN reform actions,
  • sustainable human resources planning at WFP to keep pace with the exponential growth of the organization in recent years; and
  • WFP's the capacity  to respond to emergencies.

Another key point under the keyword “Strategic Measures” will be the discussion on delegating specific decision-making powers to the WFP Executive Director.

This is aimed at ensuring that WFP is able to act more quickly in crisis situations.

Background information

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is managed by an Executive Board consisting of 36 member states.

It supports WFP in strategy development and monitors its programmes.

The Executive Council is chaired by the President, who ensures efficient operation and, with the help of a representative Bureau, is responsible for building consensus.

The Bureau of the Executive Board shall consist of one representative of each of the five Member State regional and donor groups.

WFP is managed by the Executive Director. Since 2017 this has been David Beasley.

WFP is guided by its Strategic Plan, which is prepared in consultation with the Executive Board and renewed every four years.

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