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5. Programme of Work and Budget 1990-91 and Medium-Term Objectives (continued)
5. Programme de travail et budget 1990-91 et objectifs á moyen terme (suite)
5. Programa de Labores y Presupuesto para 1990-91 y objetivos a plazo medio (continuación)

LE PRESIDENT. Honorables delegues, nous reprenons la suite de nos travaux. Je donne la parole á l’honorable delegué du Japon.

Kota HIRAMURA (Japan): Good morning, Mr Chairman. The delegation would like to associate itself with previous speakers in appreciating the Secretariat's efforts to facilitate Member Countries to understanding the budget proposal by introducing new methods of explanation. Our thanks will also be paid to Mr Shah for his recent introduction to this very important agenda item. My delegation would like also to appreciate the Secretariat's work to introduce a new stage of considering the budget outline which has greatly contributed to facilitating to reach consensus on such very important issues, although the discussion at the early stage was confined only to the Programme and Finance Committees members.

Mr Chairman, before going into the discussion on the budget proposal for the next biennium, my delegation would like to briefly touch on the payment of our assessed contribution this year, which is mentioned in Secretariat document CL 96/4, page 33, paragraph 3.47, where it says that the cash flow situation of the Organization had improved temporarily with the recent receipt of the contribution from the second largest contributor. Indeed, the Japanese government paid its contribution on 20 September, a little bit later compared with in the past. Such late payment, however, was caused by the recent severe financial situation of my Government, which was brought about by the rapid weakening of Japanese yen to the US dollar. According to the same Secretariat document, at 25 September, only 51 Member Countries had paid their contribution in full. Two-thirds of the Member Countries were in difficulties to make full payment.

Mr Chairman, in preparing the budget proposal, the FAO Secretariat should have considered such very severe financial situations which are prevailing in most Member Countries and are expected to continue at least during the next biennium. Under such circumstances the budget level should be maintained as low as possible to respond to the urgent needs of Member Countries and to selected high priority areas. The proposed budget level of about a 17 percent increase to the present budget might impose a heavy burden on Member Countries. In this sense, we believe that the real zero growth remains to be a very realistic approach and absorption of cost increase to the maximum extent should be perceived. As to the cost increase, my delegation is extremely disappointed by the new proposal which indicated further increase to the previous proposal at the last Council of June, which was already at the highest level. In this regard, the enhancement of efficiency of implementing programmes should be further pursued, as the enhancement of productivity and agriculture is the main objective of the Organization.

The explanation of the amount of cost increase is that the Director-General's proposal has been improved in comparison with the past, which we highly appreciate. This has not succeeded in convincing us of the necessity of such a high increase in cost. My delegation would therefore like to ask the Secretariat about the cost increase. We should like to know how our high rate of contribution of 15.5 percent, or US $ 76 million, will be absorbed or spent without any programme increase. We should also like to know to what extent the enhancement of efficiency has been taken into account. FAO should remain active and respond quickly to the needs of Member Countries. Such needs change rapidly, and resources to be allocated to FAO are limited. Under such circumstances, and in order to try to respond to such requirements of FAO, our Organization should remain always ready to change. That is the vitality of the Organization. For that purpose, we believe it is essential to reduce programmes which are not urgently needed and to avoid duplication with other international organizations, which means to establish the identity of the Organization, to transfer resources to higher priority areas from lower priority areas, to set up primary implementation periods for new programmes and to reconsider the necessity of continuing present programmes on the basis of their evaluation. This will contribute to keeping the Organization active in facing present and future challenges.

As regards the Technical Cooperation Programme, the programmes of which have already been sufficiently discussed at the various fora, my delegation would simply like to point out the necessity for better and more transparent management of this Programme and consideration of the possibility of its diversified financing, as is given by Italy for the present biennium, and is

suggested by the report of the expert groups of the FAO Review. In this respect my delegation would like to know what the change will be in the actual implementation of this Programme for the next biennium compared with the present budget under the circumstances that the allocation is increased but the share is decreased compared with the present budget.

As to the details of the proposed budget, and especially the priority setting, my delegation has already expressed its support in various fora, and particularly at the last council in June. The priority setting reflects the discussion at meetings called by FAO.

Finally, my delegation will carefully watch the discussion on this issue during this Council and the forthcoming Conference, and its position with regard to the budget proposal will be finalized taking into account the development of these discussions.

Joao Augusto DE MEDICIS (Brazil): As a member of the Finance Committee, Brazil has participated in the process of preparation of the Programme of Work and Budget and thus in the consensus arrived at in the Programme and Finance Committees. My delegation has therefore very little to say and would like only to support what has already been expressed by a number of representatives, in particular by my Latin American colleagues, the Ambassadors of Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba, Peru and Nicaragua.

I should like to thank the Chairmen of the Programme and Finance Committees and Mr Shah for their clear and comprehensive presentation of the issue.

My delegation understands that this issue should be dealt with independent of any constraints that its consideration together with other questions would entail. It goes without saying that, having shared the consensus, Brazil concurs with the priority areas established by the Committees in January and accepts the general thrust of the Programme. We also believe that the priority-setting system adopted this year and the new scheme involving an early adoption of this priority setting to adopt the level of the budget have proved to be helpful and could be continued, on a tentative basis for an extra biennium.

In his presentation, Mr Shah indicated that, due to an extra absorption of costs of around US $ 3 million, the real increase in the budget will not exceed 0.5 percent. We also noticed that the budget proposed does not take into account US $ 45 million of reductions in activities that FAO was forced to make in the last two biennia.

My delegation is particularly sorry that the allocation for TCP has been reduced from 12.8 percent in the previous budget to 11.8 percent in the current proposal. We all know the importance that developing countries attach to TCP. I should like to see this Programme enlarged, improved, and enhanced, and my delegation is ready to participate in initiatives to this end.

Cost increases are the inescapable consequence of world inflation, and world inflation is due to the financial policies of developed countries. Developing countries should therefore not be penalized by them.

As a member of the Finance Committee, I am perfectly satisfied with the information provided by the Secretariat on the percentage of these cost increases, especially in the context of the financial crisis which affects the Organization. On the other hand, zero growth and total absorption of cost increases would, in the long run, result in the paralysis and stagnation of the Organization and in its final destruction.

In conclusion, we support the proposed Programme of Work. However, we believe it will be necessary to draw the attention of the Council, as we have done on previous occasions, to the impact of the budget level on assessed contributions of developing countries facing economic and financial difficulties due, among other factors, to the burden of external debt and to the revised scale of contributions. For the same reasons, my delegation would prefer that no alterations be introduced in the lapse factor as it is currently applied.

Finally, let me refer to some very valid and pertinent questions addressed by some delegations, especially those from developed countries, and let me also address a question to the Secretariat. How can the Organization be expected to be able to implement its Programme with US $ 175 million of contributions delayed and when a single contributor owes FAO an amount corresponding to more than half its annual budget? Does the Secretariat see any hope of change in this bleak picture in the near future?

The Director-General recalled yesterday that in one meeting of the Latin American/Caribbean group, the representative of Venezuela reminded us of the maracayá, an animal living in South America which feeds itaelf from its own liver when it cannot find food. Zero growth is our maracayá. If the Organization insists on feeding itself from its own reserves, it will finish up by destroying itself, as the maracayá ends up by killing itself. Shall we accept this maracayá syndrome?

Sra.Margarita LIZARRAGA SAUCEDO (México): Permítame, Señor Presidente, manifestar la complacencia de nuestra Delegación por tenerlo de nuevo presidiendo nuestros debates. Esto nos da confianza en lograr buenos resultados.

Asimismo queremos por su conducto agradecer al Doctor Shah, al Profesor Mazoyer y al Embajador Bukhari por la calidad de sus presentacione]s, siempre precisas y claras que dan base para un entendimiento entre los miembros del Consejo en torno a la propuesta del Director General del Programa de Labores y Presupuesto para el bienio 1990/91, a la cual mi Gobierno expresa todo su apoyo reconociendo el esfuerzo que ha hecho por conciliar las necesidades crecientes de los países y la limitación de los recursos disponibles.

Nuestra Delegación, Señor Presidente, considera este tema como la esencia de nuestra labor ya que es plasmar los acuerdos sobre el Programa que nuestra Organización deberá cumplir en apoyo de sus países miembros en el ámbito vital de la alimentación y la agricultura.

Es por ello, Señor Presidente, que nos complace el reconocimiento general que hemos escuchado respecto a los serios esfuerzos de la Secretaría para satisfacer de manera equilibrada los requerimientos de los países miembros.

En la presentación y estructura de los documentos, cada vez más clara, didáctica y abundante se reconoce el aumento de la carga de trabajo a la Secretaría, quien no ha escatimado esfuerzos para no poner en duda la transparencia del proceso programático y presupuestal y sus vinculaciones hasta nivel de subprogramas.

Apreciamos, asimismo, la continuación y mejoramiento en las evaluaciones de algunos Programas y las presentaciones analíticas de las nueve prioridades.

Evidentemente, Señor Presidente, cada país, subregión o región en función de sus características y necesidades desea que la asignación presupuestal sea mayor para una u otra prioridad, ya sea a nivel de Programas o Subprogramas, lo cual pone en dificultad ciertamente tanto a la Secretaría como a los Comités del Programa y de Finanzas para lograrlo dentro de estrechos límites presupuéstales. Evidentemente, en las metodologías empleadas podrá haber siempre puntos de vista diferentes según las vogas.

Mi Delegación reitera su reconocimiento a los Comités y a la Secretaría por el riguroso trabajo que desarrollan al elaborar y revisar la propuesta del Programa y Presupuesto, que a través de las instancias establecidas por los textos básicos se va constituyendo, orientando y ajustando hasta llegar hasta su fase final. En ese contexto mi Delegación reitera la necesidad de mantener el proceso conforme a esos principios.

La Delegación mexicana, Señor Presidente, ha considerado oportuno diferir su pronunciamiento detallado sobre los Programas durante la Conferencia, ya que entonces se dispondrá de mayor tiempo. Sin embargo, queremos expresar nuestra preocupación, de una parte, por la asignación regional que es desventajosa para América Latina y el Caribe y, en particular, a la disminución de la asignación al PCT, que es tan importante para nuestros países.

Lamentamos también la diferente percepción respecto al nivel presupuestario que tienen algunos, por fortuna muy pocos, miembros de este Comité, que querrían mayores ajustes tendientes al cero real y para el cual se piden a estas alturas cambios programáticos o fórmulas y mecanismos varios de absorción de costos, que nosotros no compartimos.

En este contexto, apreciamos que hayan matizado su postura con apertura a la flexibilidad, por lo que hacemos un atento llamamiento a un principio básico en el diálogo, que es la de no vincular la posición en este tema con el debate de otros.

Mi Delegación, Señor Presidente, reitera su convencimiento de que el funcionamiento de todo organismo depende de la calidad de su personal, pero también de contar con la plantilla adecuada a su programa. En todas las instancias hemos manifestado nuestra preocupación por los ajustes que han tenido que realizarse, por los problemas de liquidez. Sabíamos de 45 millones de recortes pasados, y ayer nos hemos enterado, por la intervención del Director General, de que se agregan a ellos veintitrés más. Realmente nos preocupa.

El número de publicaciones, reuniones y misiones se nos ha venido disminuyendo, afectando a la buena marcha de importantes programas por los que, en buena parte, se expresa prioridad consensual en el foro, pero que, en todo caso, responden a las necesidades y planes nacionales, los cuales se ven afectados en los insumos de asistencia técnica que esperan de la FAO.

Nosotros podemos decirlo con hechos, y por eso pedimos que se nos entienda, ya que con el mismo esfuerzo equivalente contribuimos al Presupuesto de esta Organización, y, ciertamente con mayor esfuerzo la honoramos. En este sentido, nos unimos a los comentarios hechos por los distinguidos Representante de Brasil, de Venezuela y otros.

Dicho esto, Señor Presidente, reiteramos la aprobación a la propuesta del Director General sobre el Programa de Labores y Presupuesto, y expresamos nuestra esperanza de que pueda usted, a nombre de este Consejo, transmitir a la Conferencia esta versión final del Programa con una posición consensual de este Consejo.

LE PRESIDENT: Je remercie Mme la Représentante du Mexique.

Je voudrais en votre nom souhaiter la bienvenue á M. Omar A.Jallow, Ministre de l’agriculture de Gambie, qui vient de nous rejoindre.

Je donne la parole au Délégué du Pakistan.

Muhammad Saleem KHAN (Pakistan): I would like to start by thanking Mr Shah, Ambassador Bukhari and Prof. Mazoyer for their very succinct introduction to this very important item. We have studied very carefully the documentation on the Programme of Work and Budget for 1990-91 and also the Report of the Programme and Finance Committees. The proposals contained therein are in conformity with the recommendations of the subsidiary bodies of the Council. They were favourably scrutinized at the summary stage in the Ninety-fifth Council Session and exhaustively examined and supported by consensus in the Programme and Finance Committees.

My delegation has complete confidence in the members of the Programme and Finance Committees, who, after all, are from amongst us and we have no hesitation in lending our full support to the Programme of Work and Budget as presented to us. On the approach outlined in the Programme of Work and Budget we agree with the channelling of additional resources to the technical and economic programmes. We feel that over the years TCP has proved to be an extremely important instrument to satisfy the emergent and other needs of Member States, particularly the poor sectors.

Though we are disappointed with the decrease in the allocation for TCP from 12.8 percent in 1988/89 to 11.8 percent in the current biennium, in the interests of consensus we support this proposed allocation and hope that the shortfall will be met through the allocation of extra budgetary resources during the coming biennium. In fact, the TCP has already declined from 14.7 percent in the 1987/88 biennium to only 12.8 percent at the moment. We note that no extra budgetary resources for the next biennium have been earmarked or indicated. Thus, in the framework of the total needs TCP has only a 5 percent share of resources, which we feel is totally inadequate. Therefore, we stress on FAO that it should try to find all possible extra budgetary resources for this valuable programme.

We feel that policy advice is equally important in the sphere of FAO activities, and we are satisfied with the proposed emphasis on this area - particularly in the context of an economic adjustment programme. Likewise, we feel satisfied with the emphasis laid on the available resources, on the environment and sustainable development. We are sure that any further requirements on this account will be met through special funding arrangements.

Biotechnology is another item of interest to our delegation. We attach considerable significance to strengthening national capacities of developing countries in this field. Therefore, we are extremely pleased to note the proposals in the context of biotechnology and hope that their implementation would not be hampered by restrictions and barriers on the flow of technological development to the developing countries.

We also note that despite financial pressures in the present and past biennia, a nominal increase of one percent has been proposed over the recosted budget base. Yesterday Mr Shah explained that if we take into account the absorption of cost increases of US $ 3 million, the programme increase will amount to only 0.45 percent.

Increased contributions to the FAO budget affect the developing countries even more as they are faced with increasing economic difficulties, owing to falling production, debt burdens, balance of payment problems and other economic problems. For us, even a small increase in our payments is extremely painful. But we realize that the magnitude of demands made on FAO definitely requires more than is being requested and proposed now. We are fully prepared to share our part of the burden despite our problems. Likewise, asking FAO to absorb unavoidable costs at the expense of available programmes for the needy and poor in developing countries is a proposition we find difficult to support.

It seems paradoxical that on the one hand we should be asking for rational planning and projections, while on the other we should close our eyes to costs of over US$ 14 million which are inevitable. Nor do we find the absorption of costs advisable in a programme which is already limping under severe cuts of US$ 45 million and cost absorption of US$ 23 million as mentioned by the Director-General yesterday.

We have heard some speakers renewing their calls for the application of the principle of real zero growth and drawing comparisons with other UN organizations on this account. While noting the need for adequate financial support on a general basis to all UN organizations - each of which we feel is highly important in its own respective sphere of work - nevertheless, we must say this sphere of FAO's work relating to the most basic of human needs cautions against any such comparisons and any such universal application of the principle of zero growth.

We have also heard some delegates suggesting the Programme of Work and Budget be discussed at the conclusion of deliberations on the Review of FAO. This is a totally separate item on the agenda. My delegation would certainly look forward to any discussions in this respect under the separate agenda item, but feel strongly that the Programme of Work and Budget has to be considered on its own merits.

Finally, we note that the Finance and Programme Committees have endorsed the use of the additional step in the budgetary process. My delegation would have no hesitation in supporting this endorsement once it has established its utility in the coming Conference.

LE PRESIDENT: Je note qu'il reste encore neuf délégues inscrits sur la liste des orateurs. Je souhaiterais que nous puissions terminer l’examen de ce point de l'ordre du jour avec les réponses du Secrétariat - M. Shah et M. Bonte-Friedheim - a la seance de ce matin. J'aimerais done que l'on tienne compte de cette contrainte dans les interventions a venir.

Sra. Monica DEREGIBUS (Argentina): En primer lugar, permítame usted expresar la satisfacción de la delegación argentina por verlo presidir nuevamente nuestros trabajos con su habitual dinamismo y simpatía. Asimismo, damos por su intermedio una calurosa felicitación a los tres vicepresidentes electos para ayudarle durante este período de sesiones. A todos les auguramos una fructífera tarea y les ofrecemos toda la colaboración de nuestra delegación.

Quisiera también, Sr. Presidente, agradecer al Director General y a su "staff por la clara formulación del Programa de Labores y Presupuesto que nos ha sido presentado; al Sr. Shah por su explicación inicial; y a los presidentes de los Comités del Programa y de Finanzas por ilustrarnos sobre los puntos de vista de dichos órganos.

En cuanto al mismo, expresaremos unos pocos conceptos de índole general a fin de no prolongar demasiado el debate.

En virtud de la brevedad y también por coincidencia de puntos de vista, permítame endosar en su totalidad la declaración que acaba de efectuar el Sr. Embajador del Brasil. El nivel del Programa de Labores y Presupuesto propuesto es considerablemente más elevado que el del bienio anterior. Ello se debe, en su mayor parte, a la incidencia de aumentos de costos derivados en gran medida de factores que ni la Organización ni los Estados Miembros pueden controlar, como la inflación y el incremento de rubros salariales y afines. Durante años han estado congelados los salarios y el ajuste por lugar de destino del personal de la administración pública internacional, produciéndose un notable deterioro de las condiciones de empleo que se le ofrecía. El éxodo de funcionarios capacitados de las organizaciones internacionales ha ido en aumento. Las Naciones Unidas han considerado que ha llegado el momento de revisar esas condiciones de trabajo y las

diversas medidas que adopte deberán ser cumplimentadas por la FAO. Esperamos que ellas aseguren el mantenimiento del personal idóneo y con experiencia, y que permitan asimismo la contratación de nuevos profesionales que puedan llevar conjuntamente adelante los importantes programas de la Organización.

La delegación argentina, señor, participa de la posición que se encuentra reflejada en el párrafo 1.5 del Informe de la Reunión Conjunta de los Comités del Programa y de Finanzas, en la que algunos miembros manifestaron su preocupación por los efectos que podría tener el nivel presupuestario propuesto sobre las cuotas asignadas a los países en desarrollo que se enfrentan con dificultades económicas y financieras debidas, entre otros factores, a la carga de la deuda externa y a la escala revisada de cuotas. Las limitaciones aludidas nos obligan a redoblar esfuerzos en la formulación de prioridades y en la administración de los recursos disponibles.

Dentro de las prioridades elegidas para distribuir los recursos adicionales netos, mi delegación apoya especialmente la biotecnología, la protección de los cultivos, la mujer en el desarrollo agrícola y rural y la acuicultura. Respecto de la primera, lamentamos disentir con la distinguida delegación de los Estados Unidos, pues apoyamos plenamente lo expresado en el párrafo 2.22 y también en el 2.23 del Capítulo: "Líneas Generales del Programa", del Documento 3. En ello, coincidimos con la distinguida delegación de Pakistán.

Otorgamos asimismo, gran importancia a la función de asistencia de la FAO a los países en desarrollo en las actuales negociaciones de la Ronda Uruguay del GATT, como asimismo a su participación técnica en el área de protección sanitaria y fitosanitaria.

Asimismo, privilegiamos el fomento de la investigación y de la tecnología en los países en desarrollo en lugar de los sensibles aumentos previstos para AGRIS y CARIS y de la cooperación técnica entre países en desarrollo. En cuanto al Programa de Cooperación Técnica, coincidimos con los puntos de vista ya expresados por numerosos países en desarrollo. La delegación argentina hubiera querido ver en este Programa de Labores y Presupuesto un reforzaraiento mayor de los programas principales de Pesca y de Montes. En relación al primero, estima que no resulta beneficioso para los países en desarrollo el aparente desvío de fondos desde la asistencia directa a los países para que logren explotar óptimamente sus recursos, hacia aspectos de información y teoría de evaluación, a realizarse centralmente.

En cuanto al segundo, debería privilegiarse la asistencia de la FAO en el reforzamiento de la capacidad nacional de investigación, como asimismo el fortalecimiento institucional y la capacitación. La primera tendrá importantes efectos en la protección del vasto capital de recursos genéticos vegetales y animales de los bosques, especialmente los tropicales. La segunda y la tercera función tenderán a que se eliminen los obstáculos que afronta en la actualidad la efectiva puesta en marcha de los planes nacionales forestales formulados en el marco del PAFT a fin de aumentar la capacidad de absorción de asistencia de los países en desarrollo para que puedan atraer las inversiones necesarias para el desarrollo de sus sectores forestales.

En el programa principal, Agricultura, mi país ve con especial interés los siguientes de los objetivos y estrategias a largo plazo delineados en el documento; 1.- Conservación de los Recursos Naturales y Protección del Medio Ambiente. 2.- Armonización de Políticas y Mejoramiento del Sistema Internacional de Comercio de Productos Básicos Agrícolas.

Vemos sin embargo, con sorpresa, la disminución de las consignaciones para las industrias alimentarias y agrícolas, y en sanidad animal, a la lucha contra las enfermedades infecciosas. Nos sorprende aún más con respecto a las primeras, si se tiene en cuenta que el Comité del Programa, en su sesión de septiembre pasado, al realizar el examen del Programa Ordinario 1988/89 declaró lo siguiente - y cito textualmente de los párrafos 2.16 y 2.17 del documento CL 96/4 -que dicen: "El Comité reconoció la función decisiva del subprograma para promover agroindustrias en los países en desarrollo con el fin de elevar los ingresos y el empleo en las zonas rurales especialmente en beneficio de los pequeños productores y las mujeres. El Comité convino en que era decisiva la existencia futura de la FAO en el sector de las agroindustrias. Dicha asistencia debería promover activamente la integración vertical y una mayor participación del sector privado y de los agricultores. El Comité alentó a que se estudiara la posibilidad de crear una división mixta FAO/ONUDI de agroindustrias."

Jacques WARIN (France): Monsieur le Président, permettez-moi, puisque c'est la première fois que je prends la parole au cours de cette session, de me féliciter d'avoir l'occasion de le faire une nouvelle fois sous votre présidence éclairée et d'adresser en même temps mes félicitations aux trois Vice-Présidents qui ont été élus hier.

J'ai déjà eu l'occasion de dire, en juin dernier, tout le bien que je pensais de la nouvelle procédure d'élaboration et d'examen du budget qui nous permet, en trois coups de projecteur successifs, d'approfondir petit à petit nos réflexions sur la description des dépenses de l'Organisation. Contrairement à ce que disait hier un de mes collègues ici présent, je ne crois pas qu'il y ait là d'effet de répétition. Il me semble, au contraire, que nous avons intérêt à procéder pas à pas afin d'approfondir nos réflexions et, si possible, de rapprocher nos points de vue puisque le but que nous poursuivons est l'adoption du budget par consensus.

Je me propose de revenir évidemment de manière plus approfondie au cours de la Conférence, sur l'examen du budget et, aujourd'hui même en attendant cet examen plus complet que fera la Conférence générale, je voudrais simplement vous faire partager deux séries de réflexions: la première, sur le niveau des ressources et sur leur progression; la seconde, sur le contenu du Programme de travail et sur sa conformité avec les grandes orientations que nous avions fixées au Conseil précédent.

En ce qui concerne tout d'abord le volume des dépenses, le Secrétariat nous propose un budget de l'ordre de 575 millions de dollars, soit une progression de 15% par rapport à l'exercice précédent, ce qui est conforme à la progression enregistrée par d'autres instances des Nations Unies, et de 1% seulement en termes réels, c'est-à-dire après correction due à l'inflation mondiale. Encore que - M. Shah l'a expliqué très clairement - cette progression de 1% se réduise compte tenu d'une proposition d'absorption de coûts sur différents postes (consultants, voyages, etc.) à seulement 0,44 ou 0,45%, ce qui n'est pas loin, on en conviendra, de la fameuse croissance zéro défendue par un certain nombre de mes partenaires du Groupe de Genève et à laquelle je me rallie en principe tout en admettant, comme c'est la règle pour tout principe, qu'il peut y avoir des exceptions.

J'ajoute que la croissance des coûts de l'ordre de 75 millions de dollars est due pour une très large part à des accroissements obligatoires de coûts de personnel et il ne me paraîtrait pas très sain, en une période où les fonctionnaires de la FAO ont du mal à maintenir leur niveau de vie, de les démoraliser en leur refusant les augmentations auxquelles ils ont droit. Sur ce point, je me rallie à ce que disait mon collègue du Liban, M. Abdel Malek, qui exprimait hier son inquiétude face à la dégradation des conditions de vie des fonctionnaires internationaux dans un certain nombre d'organisations internationales.

Je précise enfin que le Comité financier, au cours de sa session de septembre dernier, n'a pas contesté la validité des calculs de croissance des coûts effectués par le Secrétariat.

En ce qui concerne maintenant le contenu du Programme de travail, l'accroissement des dépenses prévues dans un certain nombre de domaines peut recueillir notre soutien. Il en est ainsi des ouvertures de crédits pour la biotechnologie, la formation agricole, le développement rural, l'acquaculture, etc. Deux tendances me paraissent tout particulièrement positives: d'une part, la progression de certains postes à contenu scientifique (télédétection, biotechnologie) qui sont particulièrement intéressants pour le développement du tiers-monde; d'autre part, l'accent qui a été rais sur l'importance du développement rural dont les différentes composantes ont d'ailleurs été très bien analysées dans l'introduction du Directeur général au document que nous étudions.

On peut, certes, regretter la stagnation relative du Programme de coopération technique, comme l'ont fait dans cette salle un certain nombre de délégués. On pourrait aussi s'interroger sur la justification de certaines réductions de crédits qui nous paraissent malencontreuses pour certains postes dont l'intérêt ne va pas s'affaiblissant. Il en va ainsi des politiques agricoles et alimentaires, de l'élevage et de la gestion des ressources forestières, mais il est évident qu'avec des moyens réduits on ne peut pas tout faire et qu'il fallait opérer des choix.

En conclusion, je dirai que le Programme de travail qui nous est proposé, s'il met l'accent sur la continuité des efforts entrepris, révèle en même temps la capacité de l'Organisation de dégager de nouvelles priorités dans le cadre d'un budget en faible progression: moins de 1% en termes réels. C'est pourquoi la délégation française maintient la position de principe favorable qu'elle avait indiquée précédemment à l'égard de ce Programme.

LE PRESIDENT: Je tiens à communiquer que M. Mohammed Ghofran, Ministre de l'agriculture et de la réforme agraire de l'Afghanistan, vient de nous rejoindre à titre d'observateur à la présente session du Conseil. Nous lui souhaitons la bienvenue au Conseil.

Mlle Faouzia BOUMAIZA (Algérie): Monsieur le Président, malgré les consignes contenues dans le document "Méthodes de travail" du Conseil, la délégation algérienne ne peut manquer à l'agréable devoir de vous adresser à nouveau la bienvenue parmi nous, de vous souhaiter plein succès dans votre tâche et de vous assurer également de son soutien fraternel pour la réussite de nos travaux.

Permettez-nous aussi de féliciter les Présidents du Comité financier et du Comité du Programme, M. Bukharl et M. Mazoyer, pour les efforts accomplis durant leur mandat, qui a été bien laborieux.

Enfin, nous adressons également nos félicitations aux trois Vice-Présidents élus, connus parmi nous pour leur qualité de dialogue constructif.

Monsieur Shah, à sa manière habituelle, claire et concise, a présenté hier matin le Programme de travail et budget proposé par le Directeur général pour l'exercice 1990-91 sur lequel notre délégation entend donner son avis de manière préliminaire avant de l'approfondir lors de la Conférence, lorsque nous débattrons sur ce même point. La première remarque, c'est que, dans le document C 89/3, la présentation du Programme de travail et budget est nettement améliorée. Un effort certain a été accompli par le Secrétariat en vue d'en faciliter l'examen et de comprendre plus aisément les éléments du Programme. Quant au fond, notre délégation appuie le programme de travail proposé pour le prochain biennium car les neuf priorités fixées sont conformes aux recommandations des organes de la FAO et, en particulier, des Conférences régionales.

A ce propos, nous avons relevé avec satisfaction que l’agrométéorologie liée à la surveillance des cultures figure parmi les priorités. Notre expérience nationale a démontré que la connaissance des conditions météorologiques contribue grandement â contenir et à prévenir des phénomènes tels que les invasions acridiennes.

La délégation algérienne a noté également la place accordée à l'intégration de la femme au développement et, à ce propos, nous avons pris bonne note des activités proposées dans le sous-programme L'augmentation prévue est certes plus élevée par rapport au sommaire présenté lors de la session du Conseil de juin dernier mais elle demeure minime par rapport aux ambitions des recommandations du plan d'action pour l'intégration de la femme au développement ainsi que la résolution adoptée à la quatre-vingt-quatorzième session du Conseil. Dans ce cadre, nous félicitons le Secrétariat d'envisager la création d'une équipe spéciale pour aider la promotion et le suivi de l'exécution du plan d'action, et pour ce qui sera fait en vue de recruter et de promouvoir davantage le personnel féminin.

L'Algérie porte également un intérêt particulier aux actions proposées dans le cadre des avis er matière de politique, notamment pour l'aide qu'apporterait la FAO ou pour les réformes et ajustements de politiques et programmes nationaux dans le domaine agricole, ainsi que pour la protection des cultures et le développement des biotechnologies.

La délégation algérienne souhaite en particulier réitérer son plein appui au Programme de coopération technique qui a largement démontré son efficacité et son utilité. Sur ce point, l'argument avancé par une délégation selon laquelle des reliquats enregistrés au titre de ce chapitre justifieraient une révision à la baisse, cet argument est irrecevable, pour au moins deux raisons.

La première est que le caractère spécifique du PCT induit une gestion rigoureuse de ses fonds et nécessite une extrême prudence compte tenu des critères d'urgence et de caractère non programmé, ainsi que d'une durée limitée.

La deuxième est que les coupes drastiques effectuées par le Secrétariat dans le budget des trois exercices précédents, en raison du non-paiement des contributions, couplées aux exigences d'une croissance limitée pour satisfaire à la fois ceux qui préconisent la croissance zéro et ceux, comme notre pays, qui ne peuvent supporter une charge financière trop lourde, ces deux aspects ont entamé non seulement le moral des fonctionnaires de cette institution mais aussi, comme le soulignait à juste titre le Directeur général hier soir, ont sérieusement réduit l'aspect d'intervention de la FAO.

Aussi, selon notre délégation il est impératif plus que jamais que les programmes techniques, notamment les chapitres 2 et 4, soient préservés afin de garantir aux pays membres la possibilité de recours à la FAO lorsque se présentent des situations d'urgence.

Enfin, et toujours sur le PCT, il faut quand même reconnaître qu'en réalité son augmentation ne parvient même pas à rejoindre le niveau de l'exercice précédent puisqu'il est réduit, actuellement à 11,8 % du budget total, alors qu'en 1988/89 sa part était de 12,8 %, soit 1 % de plus, sans parler de 1986/87 où elle était de 14,1 % soit encore une perte de 2,3 % en deux exercices seulement.

Vous l'aurez compris vous-même, Monsieur le Président, s'il y a des programmes pour lesquels mon pays voterait automatiquement, compte tenu de l'intérêt particulier qu'il accorde à ces programmes, c'est bien le chapitre 2 et le chapitre 4 des programmes techniques et économiques. Il se trouve qu'à part la légère augmentation du chapitre 5 - les services de soutien - ce sont les deux seuls programmes qui ont été augmentés de manière raisonnable.

C'est pourquoi nous nous joignons aux très nombreuses délégations qui sont intervenues avant nous pour exprimer le souhait que le Programme de travail et budget soit transmis à la Conférence avec la recommandation de son approbation par consensus.

La délégation algérienne, enfin, souhaite rappeler quelques éléments qui influent directement sur les activités de la FAO.

La première est la situation financière difficile que connaît la FAO du fait du non-paiement de trop nombreuses contributions courantes et arriérées. Et Monsieur le Directeur Général a indiqué hier qu'en fait ce sont 68 millions de dollars qui ont été soustraits durant ces trois dernières années et non pas 45.

Notre délégation considère que le paiement des contributions à l'organisation est une obligation morale et contractuelle du fait de la qualité des pays membres de la FAO, quel que soit l'avis prononcé lors de l'adoption du budget.

Le second élément est que l'examen que la FAO a conduit durant l'exercice actuel a nécessité des dépenses importantes supportées par le budget ordinaire et donc par tous les pays membres, alors même qu'un grand nombre d'entre nous avaient considéré que l'examen de réformes éventuelles de la FAO n'était pas une action d'une urgence absolue, et il faut bien reconnaître que les résultats de cet examen confirment notre point de vue.

Le dernier élément est la dimension humaine. En effet, pendant que nous tergiversons sur les méthodes de calcul et d'approches mathématiques différentes, les paysans, dans nos pays respectifs, attendent de nous des solutions pour résoudre les différents problèmes agricoles et pour améliorer la situation alimentaire dans le monde, principale préoccupation qui devrait nous inciter à discuter de méthodes et d'approches possibles pour vaincre la faim dans le monde.

Mne Ivone DIAS DA GRAÇA (Gabon): La délégation gabonaise voudrait tout d'abord vous exprimer sa satisfaction de vous voir à nouveau présider notre Conseil et féliciter les autres Vice-Présidents élus.

Nous voulons également féliciter le Directeur général et le Secrétariat pour l'important travail accompli dans l'élaboration de ce document très complet, ainsi que Monsieur Shah pour sa présentation très claire. Enfin, nous remercions Monsieur l'ambassadeur Bukhari et Monsieur Mazoyer pour leurs contributions enrichissantes à la présentation du Programme de travail et budget.

La délégation gabonaise approuve le Programme de travail pour 1990-91 ainsi que les priorités énoncées clairement dans le document sur l'orientation des différents organes directeurs de la FAO.

Nous appuyons plus particulièrement les biotechnologies, notamment dans le secteur de la lutte contre les maladies végétales, le développement rural, le rôle de la femme dans le développement et le plan d'action forestier tropical.

Nous nous félicitons de ce qu'à côté des priorités, certains domaines intersectoriels traditionnels, comme la formation et l'assistance aux petits exploitants ainsi que la priorité accordée à l'Afrique, restent des éléments importants du Programme de travail et budget.

Comme d'autres pays en développement nous regrettons que malgré l'augmentation de 2,8 % pour le PCT, celui-ci ne représente que 11,8 % de la part du budget de 1990/91 au lieu des 12,8 % actuels.

En ce qui concerne le budget, nous approuvons le niveau proposé dont l'augmentation est très légère et donc acceptable.

En effet, le Gabon, en raison de la crise économique qu'il traverse, se trouve dans l'impossibilité de faire face à des augmentations de contributions conséquentes dans les organisations internationales.

En conséquence, la délégation gabonaise souhaite que le Conseil recommande à la Conférence pour adoption par consensus le Programme de travail et budget 1990-91.

Jafri JAMALUDDIN (Indonesia): Mr Chairman, first of all allow me to express my happiness at seeing you presiding again over the Council's Session. On behalf of my delegation, I wish to congratulate all the Vice-Chairmen on their being unanimously elected. Furthermore, I wish to express my appreciation to the Director-General and his able staff for having prepared in an excellent manner the Programme of Work and Budget for the coming biennium. I also wish to express my thanks to the Chairmen of the Programme and Finance Committees for their explanation and clarification of various points relating to the Programme of Work and Budget.

Since previous speakers have already expressed their views and considerations, I have no intention of repeating what they have put forward. I wish, instead, to comment on certain aspects which my delegation considers important to be put on record by the Council. FAO has, in the past, repeatedly implemented various programmes with the objective of assisting farmers directly in developing countries, in their efforts to become successful producers and traders of their own agricultural produce. It is the wish of my delegation that FAO be in a position to continue such programmes in the future, since these programmes proved to be important in the implementation of the agricultural development project. In the light of the foregoing, my delegation pays great attention to the consideration of the Programme of Work and Budget of the Organization.

My delegation is in full agreement with the policy message as stated in the Director-General's introduction of the Programme of Work and Budget, which clearly reveals the possibility of maintaining FAO's effectiveness in assisting the developing countries.

We have, however, noted that not all of the ordinarily needed assistance relating to problems in the field, which in most cases are unpredictable, are reflected in the Budget. My delegation would, therefore, welcome all efforts which could lead to the provision of adequate funds for the Technical Cooperation Programme. There is no doubt that we give our full support to the long-term goals and strategies, as well as to the wide range of activities planned under this major Programme.

As in the case of technical and economic programmes, we are of the view that field activities are of importance. We also associate ourselves with the suggestion of further strengthening FAO country offices with the aim of enhancing the effectiveness of their support of the field activities.

With regard to the Technical Cooperation Programme, my delegation is of the view that it is a vital programme for many developing countries, and thus deserves the attention of all. My delegation feels with concern that, as it stands now, there will be a limited increase in the budget for the Technical Cooperation Programme.

We wish to reiterate our support of the priority setting as stated in the Programme of Work and Budget. We welcome the priorities on biotechnology, as this is important for the transfer of technology to the developing countries needed for the success of their agricultural development programme.

My delegation also welcomes the inclusion of the programme of Women in Development in the mainstream of FAO's programmes. Likewise, I wish to reiterate here my delegation's support of the implementation of the Tropical Forestry Action Plan which is in line with the Indonesian Five-Year Development Plan in the field of forestry.

In conclusion, my delegation is pleased to support the Programme of Work and Budget presented by the Director-General which has been considered favourably by the members of the Programme and Finance Committees. My delegation would, therefore, express its sincere hope that the Council will feel able to give its approval of the Programme of Work and Budget for the next biennium.

Istvân DOBOCZKY (Hungary): Mr Chairman I am very glad to see you in the Chair again and I congratulate the three Vice-Chairmen on their election. I also thank Mr Shah and the Chairmen of the Finance and Programme Committees for their excellent presentations.

We know the serious external and internal challenges the Organization is facing. With regard to these challenges, we are satisfied with the Programme of Work and we agree with its priorities. The need would be more, but the Programme has to remain within the limit of reality. As a consequence, we can follow a consensus of a minimum real growth of the Programme and Budget, knowing that it means difficulties for those countries which are short of hard currency.

Ibrahina KABA (Guinée): La délégation guinéenne vous salue, Monsieur le Président, et vous félicite pour la compétence et la sagesse avec lesquelles vous conduisez nos débats.

La délégation guinéenne a examiné attentivement le projet de Programme de travail et budget dont la préparation a été entourée, cette fois, d'une démarche nouvelle et de précautions particulières, en tenant compte des différentes positions des pays membres, ce qui a amélioré sa présentation. Nous en félicitons le Secrétariat.

L'exposé introductif de M. Shah et les observations éclairantes de M. Mazoyer et de M. Bukhari sont suffisamment convaincants quant à l'objectivité et au souci d'efficacité qui ont présidé à l'élaboration de ce document. En effet, le choix des priorités répond aux préoccupations des pays membres, priorités recommandées par les différentes instances de notre Organisation. La faible augmentation du niveau de budget n'est que la conséquence des augmentations de coûts. De toute façon, notre délégation n'est nullement partisane de l'application du principe de la croissance zéro, antithèse d'un développement rationnel. A notre avis, le paiement ponctuel et régulier des contributions par les pays membres reste avant tout la condition essentielle du bon fonctionnement de notre Organisation.

Il a été affirmé ici, et nous le confirmons à notre tour, que le PCT est une opération dont l'intervention initie ou impulse selon le cas d'importants projets de développement. Abaisser son niveau comme nous le constatons c'est affaiblir les possibilités d'assistance de la FAO à nos pays, assistance dont chacun réclame sans cesse le renforcement.

Par ailleurs, pour certaines délégations la tentation est grande de vouloir faire dépendre l'approbation du niveau du budget de l'examen du Rapport du Comité conjoint sur la question des réformes. A notre avis, il s'agit là d'une profonde erreur; c'est une attitude délibérée pour créer la confusion la plus totale, car qu'il y ait réforme ou pas, il faut bien que notre Organisation fonctionne.

Ne passionnons pas un débat dont la solution est à notre portée. La délégation guinéenne appuie fermement le projet de Programme et budget et souhaite que notre Conseil recommande son approbation par consensus à la 25ème Session de notre Conférence.

M. A. LETKKA (Lesotho): I thank you, Mr Chairman. We take the floor at this late stage of deliberations of agenda items to not necessarily come up with any new fresh items but to endorse those ideas already expressed to us, the adoption of the Programme of Work and Budget for 1990-91.

First allow me to join those who spoke before us in expressing our appreciation of a smooth and effective way of presenting the deliberations of this august assembly. We also congratulate your three Vice-Chairmen on their unanimous election. The two Chairmen of the Programme and Finance Committees, together with Mr Shah, have demonstrated their capabilities and commitment in their responsibility, and the Lesothan delegation stands ready to offer its support to the success of the general Council deliberations. I intend to be very brief in my intimations.

It is our belief that ideally FAO priorities should be established by countries in need. We are satisfied that most food deficit countries, including Lesotho, had a significant input in the determination of the nine listed priority areas and the technical and economic programmes as proposed in the Programme of Work and Budget for 1991. We are therefore happy to support the Programme of Work and Budget as it is, as it is in overall conformity with the firm needs of Member Nations. Fortunately the same need to have a broad consensus in this respect. Our main concern is, however, on the negative effect on the applied cuts to the programme of 1986-88. We would have hoped that the level of Programme of Work and Budget for 1990/91 will compensate for the lost momentum of FAO, as a result of the unexpected cuts. We are also disappointed that the TCP provision has further been reduced at a time when the demand on this important programme is increasing. It is our hope that the next Programme of Work and Budget will aim at correcting this imbalance currently haunting our Organization in order to enable it to execute its mandate effectively.

Pedro Agostlno KANGA (Angola): Monsieur le Président, comme je prends la parole pour la première fois, je voudrais en premier lieu exprimer ma satisfaction de vous voir présider cette 96ème session du Conseil. Je profite de cette occasion pour féliciter aussi les trois Vice-Présidents. Mes félicitations s'adressent aussi à M. Shah et à M. Mazoyer, Présidents du Comité financier et du Comité du Programme, pour leur exposé très brillant et pour le complément d'informations qu'ils nous ont donné.

Ce document nous fournit des informations très détaillées sur les choix, les priorités, les propositions de programmes, les augmentations de coût et l'utilisation proposée des ressources. Ainsi, nous ne pouvons passer sous silence les efforts déployés par le Directeur général afin de concilier les opinions des uns et des autres pour aboutir à l'élaboration finale de ce Programme de travail et budget pour 1990-91.

Les priorités définies dans ce programme ont fait l'objet de notre approbation dans différents organes de notre Organisation où ce problème a été posé. Ici nous ne faisons que réitérer notre position. Vu le peu de temps qui nous est imparti, nous n'allons pas faire une analyse exhaustive de ce document car nous aurons l'opportunité de le faire à la 25ème session de la Conférence. Nous ferons simplement et brièvement quelques commentaires sur certaines de ces priorités.

Pour ce qui a trait à l'évolution d'une étape supplémentaire pour la présentation du Programme de travail et budget, notre délégation fait sienne la déclaration présentée hier par l'Ambassadeur du Congo. Mon gouvernement pourrait être favorable à cette formule, si effectivement elle permettait d'arriver facilement à un consensus pour l'adoption du Programme de travail et budget et permettait le règlement des contributions et arriérés dus par certains Etats Membres, et en particulier par le plus grand bailleur de fonds, car le maintien de cette formule ne fera que provoquer des dépenses supplémentaires pour l'Organisation.

S'agissant du PCT, nous ne pouvons qu'exprimer nos regrets de voir sa part réduite de un pour cent, car on ne peut plus douter de son efficacité. Pour terminer, ma délégation estime que l'augmentation minime du niveau du budget de 5,5 millions de dollars ne répond pas aux besoins ressentis par les pays en développement, et elle ne comblera même pas la lacune créée par les compressions de programme opérées au cours des deux derniers exercices.

Malgré cette faible croissance, nous demandons que le Conseil recommande à la Conférence d'approuver par consensus l'augmentation du budget proposée.

Ma délégation appuie le Programme de travail et budget pour 1990-91.

C.Srinluasa SASTRY (India): Thank you, Mr Chairman. The Indian delegation is happy to see you chair this Ninety-sixth Session of the FAO Council. Under your chairmanship, we are confident that the Council will be able to arrive at unanimous recommendations based on the consensus on the two important agenda items. First, the Programme of Work and Budget 1990-91 and the mid-term objectives, and second, conclusions to the review of certain aspects of the FAO's goals and operations. We would also congratulate the three Vice-Chairmen who will be assisting you in your onerous and difficult task. We thank Mr Shah for his presentation of the documents. We also thank Mr Mazoyer and Ambassador Bukhari who, in their introductory remarks, have presented to the Council the different stages of consideration of the proposal for the Programme of Work and Budget in the two governing bodies since January 1989, as also the reason and consideration that weighed with the two Committees in arriving at their near unanimous recommendations with a few members expressing some reservations about the Programme of Work and Budget, which is now before us for consideration.

Mr Chairman, India has been fully and closely associated with this exercise of formulating the Programme of Work and Budget since January 1989, as a member of the Programme Committee, the COAG and also the Council. India also had the privilege of being associated with the detailed examination of the FAO's goals and operations as a member of the Programme Committee. Thus, we have had adequate opportunities to express our views and opinions at different stages of this fairly long drawn-out process for the formulation of the Programme of Work and Budget which commenced ten months ago.

May I, at this stage, appeal through you, Mr Chairman, to all the distinguished delegates and the Member Nations who are on the governing body of the FAO, like the Programme and Finance Committees, to utilize fully the opportunities available to them in the Sessions of the governing bodies. In these bodies, all the issues should be raised; all the relevant questions should be asked; all clarifications required should be sought and all the required factual information should be obtained, so that the work in these committees becomes more meaningful, productive and effective. If all members adopt this approach, we, in the Council, may not have to cover the same ground all over once again. Such an approach, in our view, would, while avoiding duplication, be conducive to more effective use of the Council's time. In this background, the Indian delegation would not like to go into the different aspects of this detailed, bulky, but analytical document, C 89/3 and the Supplements. Instead, we would like to confine our comments to some of the broader issues as related to the Programme of Work and Budget.

With your permission, Mr Chairman, we would also like to express our views on, and the reactions to, some of the suggestions made during the discussions yesterday and today by some of the distinguished delegates while they were dealing with this agenda item or the other agenda items discussed yesterday.

Mr Chairman, it is clear that the ongoing process for the formulation of Work and Budget for 1990-91, spread over the last ten months, has provided the Member Nations of the FAO, full and ample opportunities to participate in the process and to express their views in an extensive, detailed and a functional dialogue. The widest possible discussions and consultations have been held with the members.

We are also clear that the document that has emerged in the shape of document C 89/3 is in terms of its content and format, is clearer, more analytical, and has visibly added to transparency in terms of its presentation, prioritization and inter-sectoral programme relationships.

Mr Shah referred to the new colour of cover of the document C 89/3. We for one would prefer green, a colour widely associated with agriculture, and more particularly, with the "green" revolution.

The objective of this process of dialogue and discussion has evidently been to bridge the gaps in perceptions, to narrow the differences in views and opinions of the Member Nations through goodwill and understanding, and to evolve as broad a consensus as possible, not only in terms of the size of the Programme of Work and Budget, and the priorities of programmes and activities, at least in the medium term, but also in terms of inter-sectoral allocations.

In this exercise, as has been brought out by the Chairmen of the Programme and Finance Committees in their introductory remarks, a large and substantial measure has been achieved to a wide ranging consensus. It is now also clear that the views expressed and the questions raised by the Member Nations in the process of discussions on the Programme of Work and Budget, have been taken into consideration by the Director-General while formulating the Programme of Work and Budget which is now before us in the shape of document C 89/3.

Thus, Mr Chairman in the Ninety-sixth Session of the FAO Council, the Indian delegation, while expressing the view that it would no doubt be desirable for the FAO to list out its priorities in the Programme of Work and Budget for the next biennium, we also urged that the FAO should be circumspect while implementing these priorities. We are also keen that these priorities should not be perceived by the Members of the FAO as rigid priorities to be applied rigidly across the board to all the activities of the FAO all over the world. We pointed out that even in a geographically small country like India, with its 15 agro-climatic zones and federal states, we have been finding it extremely difficult to set out priorities in our own programme and activities for India as a whole. Thus, we found that what is applicable to the Thar desert and the semi-arid areas of Rajasthan in northwest India, which are comparable to the Sahara and sub-Saharan regions of Africa, will not have much relevance when we deal with northeast India where the rainfall ranges from 1 500 to 2 000 millimetres per year.

In this context, the Indian delegation is happy to note that on page xii in paragraph 2.15 it has been made clear that for at least four of the nine priority areas the listing should not be construed as an order of preference. We would also endorse the statement in the same paragraph that the other five priority areas are cross-sectoral and therefore merit a general presentation transcending sectoral programme narratives.

Similarly, while participating in the Tenth Session of the COAG, the Indian delegation proposed that a Regional Study for Asia and the Pacific on the lines of the Africa Study and the Latin America Study may be included in the Programme of Work and Budget for 1990-91. We are happy to see that this suggestion has been accepted and that a Regional Study of Asia and the Pacific has been included in the Programme of Work and Budget under sub-programme at paragraph 20 of page 147 of document C 89/3.

However, we also realize that the resources are not only somewhat inelastic but are indeed finite and limited, while the demands on FAO, particularly from the developing countries, are not only very elastic but are growing rapidly. Therefore, it would not be possible for FAO to accommodate in the Programme of Work and Budget all the requests received from Member Nations. Thus, the Indian delegation believes that, in the food information and early warning system, workshops for managers of the national and regional early warning systems have an important role to play. However, we note that the number of workshops has been reduced from three in the 1988-89 biennium to two in 1990-91. While we are disappointed at this reduction in the number of workshops, we realize that the situation has to be accepted. We rationalize that this reduction becomes inevitable when FAO wants to limit the growth in its budget to the lowest possible figure.

This brings me to the two concepts of, first, zero real growth in the budget and, second, maximum absorption of increased costs by effective matching savings and imposing cuts, which have been referred to by many delegates in the course of the discussions yesterday and today. As you are aware, Mr Chairman, these two concepts have been raised and articulated on a number of occasions earlier in the governing bodies of FAO. They have been fully and thoroughly debated. One could argue that a discussion on these aspects becomes somewhat academic when we take note of the fact mentioned by the Director-General in his intervention late yesterday evening that reductions had had to be effected to the tune of US$ 25 million in 1987, US$ 20 million in 1988 and US$ 23 million in 1989, a total reduction of US$ 68 million over three years, mainly because of the delays in the payment of assessed contributions by Member Nations.

That point apart, it is understandable that in a technical agency like FAO the Member Nations, particularly from the developing world, expect the International organizations to provide more and - what is more important - better services.

Against this background, the governing bodies of FAO cannot subscribe to these two concepts of zero real growth and maximum absorption of increasing costs. As you are aware, Mr Chairman, an overwhelmingly large number of members in FAO's governing bodies have not been able to accept these two proposals.

In this context, and in the spirit of democracy and equality that prevails in all discussions and work in the UN bodies, may I appeal through you, Mr Chairman, to all the members, that the widely accepted view which is contained in document C 89/3, and which is based on consensus, be accepted as a basis for further action by all the Member Nations. If this could be unanimously endorsed by this Council and later by the Conference, FAO could proceed ahead full throttle with all its activities in the next biennium, unlike what happened during the last three years, when, due to various reasons known to all of us, there has regrettably been an avoidable cutdown in activités, much to the disappointment of the developing countries.

A point has also been made that the UN itself has adopted a budget reflecting negative growth, and on this analogy it has been suggested that FAO might follow suit. Unlike the United Nations, which in the ultimate analysis deals with political matters and issues, the FAO is a technical agency dealing with programmes and activities which are of great significance to the poorer nations. The Director-General pointed out yesterday evening that an analogy should be drawn between institutions which are comparable. Further, unlike the governing bodies of the United Nations, where also the representatives of the same member countries have participated, the governing bodies of the FAO have, through an overwhelming majority, come to the view that the growth in the budget, as presented in the Programme of Work and Budget C 89/3, is the minimum growth acceptable.

Against this background, the Indian delegation would earnestly appeal to all the members that the Programme of Work and Budget, as explained and embodied in document C 89/3, which has emerged after a long drawn out and wide consultation process as the consensus, be unanimously adopted by the Council and Conference.

We, too, share the perceptions of many Member Nations about the size of the allocations for the TCP in 1990-91. We would very much have liked to see a higher allocation. However, we realize that under the circumstances, the allocation, even though at a relatively lower percentage, was the best possible. We do, however, hope to see that the allocation for TCP will gradually and steadily be expanded so that activities in the future biennia will increase.

May I also take this opportunity to react to some of the suggestions made by some delegates in the discussions yesterday and today?

If I heard him and understood him correctly, the delegate from Finland, during his intervention yesterday morning, made two points: first, that he would like to reserve his opinion about the level of the Programme of Work and Budget until the outcome of the review process emerged clearly; and, second, that the review should not be used as an opportunity to seek additional allocation of funds for different programmes. Mr Chairman, we would submit for your consideration our view that it would not be correct to link the outcome of the FAO's Review to the level of the Programme of Work and Budget for 1990-91. We feel that these are two separate and independent issues and exercises. The Programme of Work and Budget has been formulated taking into consideration all the available information from the ongoing FAO Review as well as all the inputs that became available during the process of dialogue, discussion and consultation spread over ten long months. We also have before us now the full documentation relating to the FAO Review, which will come up before us as item 11. While we note that the Council will be devoting adequate time to discuss this in detail over the next three days, it is clear that the review process has testified to and reaffirmed the solidity and dynamism of FAO and has given the Organization a clean bill of health.

In this context, we would urge that linking these two issues of the outcome of the FAO Review and the Programme of Work and Budget would neither be correct nor appropriate.

Similarly, the point made that the Review should not be looked upon as an opportunity to ask for extra funds requires, in our view, to be contested. We shall no doubt be dealing with this aspect also in greater detail when we discuss Agenda Item 11. At this stage we would only request delegates not to prejudge the outcome of the Review. We would urge that the proposals in the Programme of Work and Budget before us be considered and decided upon independent of the outcome of the FAO Review. We should, however, recognize that, depending on the final and ultimate outcome of the Review in the Conference, the proposals in the Programme of Work and Budget might require some modifications.

Similarly, one of the delegates suggested yesterday that the FAO should give up marginal and obsolete actlvites. It was also suggested that, among the organizations in the UN system, the new activities should be taken up by the UN organizations in the system which have the relative comparative advantage.

Mr Chairman, you are fully aware of all the documents that are now available to us relating to the FAO Review, be they the reports of the management consultants, or of the two groups of experts, and they have not brought out even a single instance in which FAO is persisting with marginal or obsolete activities. Indeed, all the Review documentation, including the reports of the Joint Programme and Finance Committees, have called for strengthening of the activities at FAO. Similarly, the reports of the two groups of experts refer to various instances of duplication among the organizations in the UN system and urge FAO to assert its role. These reports also pleaded that Member Nations should help FAO to do so.

Further, when we are dealing with a new activity like biotechnology, how does one decide about comparative advantages? The Indian delegation, however, is happy to see that priority is being given to biotechnology in the Programme of Work and Budget for 1990-91. We, for one, look up to FAO as a multilateral international agency which would ensure that the benefits of the latest advances in the frontier areas of technological development do not bypass the developing countries but would indeed be available to the developing countries for speeding up their growth rates in agriculture.

While on this subject, we would strongly endorse what is stated in paragraphs 2.19 to 2.23 on pages xii and xiii of document C 89/3. As a representative of a developing country, we would expect FAO to ensure that the biotechnology developments which are taking place more and more in the private sector, in contrast to the earlier scientific breakthroughs in agriculture which accrued either through government or public sector organizations or through international research organizations in the CGIAR system, do not get monopolized only by the developed countries.

While dealing with biotechnology, one of the distinguished delegates also referred to the need for putting in place a mechanism for validating the claims of these advances and testifying about the safety of their use. We would endorse this suggestion and envisage a role for FAO in this activity. However, we are unable to endorse the suggestion of the distinguished delegate that, in evaluating these claims, one should only look at the scientific aspects and not at the socio-economic considerations. We should submit that, in dealing with matters relating to biotechnology, socio-economic considerations are indeed important and have to be given due and appropriate weight by a UN specialized agency such as the FAO. These aspects, in our view, are important and cannot be ignored.

A suggestion was made yesterday morning by one of the distinguished delegates, during the general discussion about the agenda for the Council, that on Agenda Item 11 - Review of FAO - the Council could possibly formulate a draft resolution for consideration by the Conference. We would respectfully plead against such a course of action. The review process has already involved 18 experts in two groups, a number of firms of management consultants and 20 members of the Programme and Finance Committees. The outcome of this exercise is now before the forty-nine members of the Council. In another week all of the 158 Member Nations are due to meet at the FAO Conference. Many Member Nations are likely to be represented by their Agricultural Ministers as compared to a relatively lower level of representation of the forty-nine Member Nations of this Council. In this context, although we look forward to a detailed discussion on Agenda Item 11 in the Council over the next three days, we urge that it would not be appropriate to think in terms of any course of action such as a draft resolution which, in our view, would reduce or limit the options available to the Conference.

Before concluding, I will deal with two brief points. A point has been raised as to whether or not the new process introduced as an experimental measure in the budget making procedure should be made a permanent part of FAO procedures. In this connection, I invite your attention to our discussions in the Ninety-fifth Session of the Council, which is also contained in the Director-General's introduction. It has clearly been stated that the Council concluded that a final decision on the issue of continuing the experimental procedure should therefore be taken at the Conference depending on whether this procedure helps in the emergence of a consensus. We submit that this position should remain.

My second point concerns the lapse factor. Going through the documents (supplement A of C 89/3 Appendix B, paragraph 3.19) to which a reference has been made by some members concerning the conclusion of the Finance Committee namely that it could not reach a definite conclusion, and noted that the matter should be pursued in Council and Conference. Having gone through the record, India would support this proposal that the lapse factor be fixed at 3 percent instead of 5.5 percent as was being done earlier.

To sum up, the Indian delegation would submit to all members of FAO Council that the proposals relating to the Programme of Work and Budget (document C 89/3) be endorsed by Council. They are the outcome of a protracted process of discussion, consultation and dialogue and are based on a balanced, responsive approach to the views and requirements of all Member Nations as a whole. This is the best consensus that has emerged and meets the expectations of a predominant number of members of FAO. We urge that the Council recommend the Programme of Work and Budget to the Conference, for acceptance through consensus..

I conclude with an apology to you and the distinguished delegates for this somewhat lengthy intervention.

Angel BARBERO MARTIN (España): Nos unimos a las demás delegaciones que han expresado su satisfacción por verle a usted en la presidencia, y por el trabajo que ha desarrollado la Secretara y los Comités de Finanzas y del Programa. No queremos restar tiempo a la marcha de estos debates y no vamos a entrar en el análisis detallado del Programa, por lo menos de momento.

Pero sí nos limitaremos a comentar la propuesta del Director General referente al aumento en el presupuesto, que se ha presentado ante este Consejo. Entendemos que este aumento es muy reducido; tan reducido que en términos reales diríamos que puede llegar a ser negativo con el desarrollo de este Programa a medida que transcurra el tiempo. Y puede ser negativo por diversas razones, pero la más importante es que no se cuenta, como es natural al hacer el presupuesto, con los retrasos en el pago de las cuotas de los grandes contribuyentes, algunos de ellos, a estos retrasos me refiero, ya endémicos. La persistencia de esta demora produce unas pérdidas generales porque se reciben grandes cantidades de dinero que al cabo de meses o también de años no valen lo mismo que cuando se debieron haber pagado.

Por eso, tampoco compartimos al razonamiento de algunas delegaciones por el cual se pide a la FAO que se adapte a las escaseces provocadas artificialmente por los retrasos de los principales donantes. Esto nos recuerda, Sr. Presidente, una imagen de una cámara llena de personas a la que se está extrayendo desde el exterior el oxígeno, y al mismo tiempo se les está diciendo: "No se muevan; ahorren el aire porque el aire no les va a venir. Se van a morir ustedes, pero por lo menos muéranse plácidamente, muéranse tranquilos".

Estamos seguros de que se necesitan muchas reformas en la FAO y que la mayoría de ellas encontrarían el consenso entre ambas partes, y me refiero a países donantes y países receptores.

Hemos oído a algún delegado, concretamente al ilustre colega de Lesotho, hablar de que las prioridades las deben fijar aquellas comunidades que en el ámbito de la agricultura y la alimentación expresen determinadas necesidades. Esto es algo que nosotros también lo hemos dicho alguna vez, y viene a cuenta, se ha dicho aquí también, por ejemplo, con el tema de la biotecnología. Recordemos lo que ocurrió con la Revolución Verde, que tantos beneficios ha traído a muchos países, aumentando espectacularmente la productividad en ciertos cultivos.

Pero recordemos también las limitaciones que ha sufrido por razones muchas veces económicas y sociales, por razones incluso ecológicas, cuando esta Revolución ha requerido un paquete de insumos agrarios, a veces no accesible a ciertos campesinos, y sobre todo, provocador de desequilibrios ambientales y ecológicos.

Sin embargo, a la FAO le toca el papel de ofrecer la suficiente eficiencia y transparencia para suscitar la confianza, tanto de los países donantes como de los países receptores, y así resultar el canal adecuado por donde circule la ayuda necesaria en el momento, en la cuantía y en el lugar óptimos.

Pero para llegar a un consenso que sea fructífero, que los que puedan pagar lo hagan, y lo hagan a tiempo, Sr. Presidente. Si no, me temo que a lo que vamos a asistir aquí en las jornadas que nos restan va a resultar un diálogo de sordos que no va a beneficiar a nadie.

LE PRESIDENT: Nous avons entendu 46 orateurs sur ce point tres important de l'ordre du jour. Avec votre permission, je vais demander á M. Shah, d'abord, puis á M. Bonte-Friedheim et, enfin, á M. Dutia, de bien vouloir nous apporter les éclaircissements et les elements d'appreciation nécessalres pour répondré aux différentes questions posées par messieurs les délégués.

V.J. SHAH (Assistant Director-General, Office of Programme, Budget and Evaluation): At the end of such a rich debate with such a large number of interventions, it is no mean task to try and reply to all the questions which have been raised. With your permission, I propose to deal with all the questions by categories of subjects. If I were to reply to each delegate individually it would really be abusing the time of Council.

However, I should like to state that while I reply by category of subject, the Secretariat, and I in particular, have taken a very careful note of each question and even the nuances of the questions.

First of all, let me deal with the comments made on the subject of the programme increase. Is the real programme increase proposed 1 percent, or is it 0.45 percent? Does the table of budgetary comparison in paragraph 4.4, need to be changed? The table given in the document before you does not need to be changed. We have given in that table, which appears at page 54, the budgetary proposal at the rate of lira 1235 to the US$ which shows that the real programme increase would be 0.97 percent and we have given the table at the hypothetical rate of lira 1350 to the US$, which is near to the current rate of exchange, and where you would see that the programme increase is 1 percent.

What we have said when we refer to 0.5 percent is that, when you consider the proposed programme increase of US$ 5.5 million - but bear in mind that US$ 3 million of cost increases are not included and are to be absorbed - and compare the US$ 5.5 milion with the US$ 3 million, what is the difference? The difference is US$ 2.5 million and yesterday the Director-General went even further to explain that this increase is an estimated increase. There are so many unforeseen elements, for example new developments, new demands and conditions which can and do arise at this stage when we look at the new biennium, that even this increase of US$ 2.5 million could very likely amount to zero.

It distressed the Secretariat to hear those comments which were made about an inadequate programme increase in certain areas. It distressed us, if I may speak for the Director-General as well, because we would wish to respond even further and I am sure the Director-General would have preferred to submit a programme of work and budget which responded to every demand made, but then the increase would have been considerably higher. The two subjects which have been mentioned most often bear some further clarification and comment.

First of all the comments made about the programme increase in the forestry sector and the major programme - Forestry. If certain distinguished delegates are unhappy that the increase is not greater, then we ourselves are unhappy that the increase could not have been greater because of the overall constraints which have affected the formulation of this Programme of Work and Budget. However, bear in mind that if you look at the table of estimates by chapter, which starts with the appproved 1988/89 budget, this shows the programme change without cost increases. The major programme Agriculture is proposed to get a programme increase of 1.26 percent, Fisheries 1.93 percent, Forestry 3.09 percent. So there has been some effort made to discriminate in favour of forestry.

As regards changes in the forestry sector between the Summary Programme of Work and Budget and the full Programme of Work and Budget, there again I should like to draw attention to three sub-programmes: 2.331 on Training and Institutions, 2.332 on Investment Planning and Statistics and 2.333 on Policies and Information. In each case there is a programme increase in the final Programme of Work and Budget which is somewhat greater than that which had been proposed in the Summary.

The other programme area which has aroused the most comment is that regarding the Technical Cooperation Programme. Here none of us can fail to hear very clearly the comments which have been expressed: the comments of support for the Technical Cooperation Programme and the regret that there is a relative decline in the resources of the TCP in the next biennium. I am sure the Director-General wishes that he could have proposed a higher increase since the demands on TCP are so clear, so loud and so persistent.

One representative enquired about whether the resources available for the TCP in the next biennium in fact would not be greater than the amount proposed because of the unobligated funds which would be carried over from this biennium into the next. I should like to be very clear on this score. The amount proposed for the TCP in the next biennium is $67.7 million. That is the appropriation that the Conference is asked to approve for the TCP. That amount will not be augmented by any amount carried over from this biennium. The reason is very simply that the appropriation for the TCP in this biennium, the US$63 million, will be fully utilized for projects approved during this biennium. I can report, as my colleague from the Development Department has informed me, that of the total TCP appropriation, that is $63,148,000, you would expect an average monthly approval of some US$2.5 million a month for the full amount to be approved for projects during the biennium.

At the moment, with 2 months still to go, since we are at the beginning of November, we have less than US$2 million left, in fact US$1,850,000, and at the moment there is a portfolio of $23 million worth of projects, not just requests but projects which have been appraised and analyzed, and meet the TCP criteria. So the demand on the TCP, I would point out first, is clear. Secondly, there is no concealed additionality of funds which will be available in the next biennium.

Another question was raised as to whether there would be any TCP funds which would lapse, the argument supposedly being that if we are not able to utilize the funds that we do have and funds are allowed to lapse, how can we ask for the level of the TCP that the Director-General has proposed? Let me point out that one delegate referred to the lapse of $7 million from the TCP appropriation of 1984/85. The amount was US$6,824,000. There were two factors which we need to bear in mind as to why these funds from 1984/85 were allowed to lapse at the end of 1987.

First, it was because it was in 1987 that we were hit by the enormous financial crisis due not only to the well known reasons of delays in payment of assessed contributions, but also related to that was the totally staggering decline in miscellaneous income. The miscellaneous income for 1986/87 had been estimated at US$41 million and because of the lack of receipt of payments, because of the collapse of interest rates on placements of the limited funds that we did have, the miscellaneous income would have been less than 30 percent of what had been projected. You will all remember that because we discussed the financial crisis when it first arose in 1986. In that situation it was a deliberate decision of the Director-General to be very tight on the TCP approved funds and to encourage that funds from approved projects could lapse to the extent possible, and that amount lapsed would be added to your miscellaneous income for that biennium.

The second factor is that the 1984/85 TCP appropriation, which you will recall was originally of US$57 million, was augmented by a special additional transfer of US$15 million in that biennium which came from savings, from essentially savings on staff costs. Because of the crisis of agriculture in Africa and the emergency programme of rehabilitation that US$15 million had been added to the TCP appropriation at that time.

So those were the two factors: the TCP appropriation then amounting to US$72 million in 1984/85, and the financial problems which led to a lapse of the funds of US$6.8 million.

I would conclude on this point by saying that I do not expect any significant amounts to lapse from the TCP appropriation for 1986/87.

A number of comments have been made about the financial situation, and in fact the Director-General himself responded to some of the concerns yesterday. May I point out that you will be considering the financial situation in further detail under the next Agenda Item 10.1, so at this stage I would not go into any detail on that score. A specific question was also asked about how the Secretariat envisages the situation on payment of contributions. I think that this is a point which should be put particularly to the Member Nation which is most concerned, accounting for 78 percent of the total amounts presently due.

There has been a lot of discussion about cost increase. The Council has on the one hand been satisfied, I think, by the review made by the Finance Committeee and the statements by the Chairman of the Finance Committee and by those members of the Finance Committee who are here in the Council who have attested to their satisfaction with the review of cost increases that they undertook. Nevertheless, some questions remain and it is certainly not the Secretariat's intention to say "Since the Finance Committee is satisfied we do not need to reply to any questions". Of course we are open as always, and we try to satisfy all Member Nations.

There may be some difficulty in the understanding of cost increases. I do not think this is due to any lack of information which is submitted, because I will base my reply on the information which is submitted not only to you but to the Finance Committee.

Questions have been asked about the size of the cost increase. First of all may I draw attention to the fact that the cost increases which are shown as US$76.6 million are shown at the budget rate of Lire 1235 to the dollar. The same cost increases at a different budget rate - here again you have the comparison shown in the table - at a budget rate of Lire 1350 the cost increases amount to US$59,030,000. What are we talking about? Is it US$76 million or US$59 million? I would say we are talking about two things. We are talking about cost increases at a budget rate and we are talking about the cost increases at the rate that the Conference will eventually approve. If the Conference approves this budget proposal at the rate of L 1375 to the dollar the cost increases will be even lower. They will not be $59 million; they will be US$55 million. This is one point about which we should be very clear.

Because of the number of questions which have been raised about the cost increases, let me try and give you one example of how these cost increases operate because of the methodology and the factors on which they are based.

There is really very little speculation. Let me take the example of the post adjustments, since this is one of the major items of the cost increase. In this connection one delegate referred very early on to a paragraph on page XLIX and asked whether it was correct that the post adjustment had reached a level of class 11 as stated in the document. I should clarify that everything in the cost increases before you is at the budget rate, and it should be clarified that the class 11 was at the budget rate and not at the exchange rate operating during the month of June. As the Finance Committee is also aware, since they follow the personnel developments on a monthly basis in the salaries and remuneration of the Organization, in June the exchange rate was Lire 1435, and the class was 8 plus 0.8.

What does this mean? It means that the currency saving, the beneficial effects of the currency exchange rate, led to a credit to the Special Reserve Account, but at the budget rate, since the whole programme budget is given to you at one rate, we have to show to you what the class was at the budget rate.

On the question of biennialization and inflation, let us take the question of post adjustment. I draw attention to Table D - Cost Increases on page XLVII. It is the full page table of cost increases. The programme base for 1990/91 shows the post adjustment amount of US$28,511,000. Of course this refers only to professional staff. The biennialization amount is US$16,403,000. How did we come to this amount of US$16,403,000? It is not on the basis of estimates of inflation. The post adjustment in our standard professional costs was budgeted for this biennium at the rate of Lire 1235, at US$1,095 per man month. Actually, the cost is US$1,725. The biennialization cost is calculated by taking this difference in cost and applying it to the total number of professional man months for the biennium, lapsed by 5.5 percent, that is to say 26,037 man months. So there is no jiggery-pokery, there is no flight of imagination on the calculation of this biennialization cost.

For the inflation we have given an amount of US$8,150,000. On what is that based? It is based on an assumption. But that is an assumption which we give you. We do not hide it from you and we tell you what it is. It is an assumption that taking the post adjustment as a base, and according to the current rate of inflation, provision is made to cover in 1990/91 the cost equivalent of class 12 applicable at June 1990 and class 13 at May 1991. There are similar calculations for each category, and I only referred to one item to explain how this matter is dealt with.

Questions were also raised about the absorption of costs, and argument was advanced by some that since there is a provision included for US$14 million - which refers, may I point out, not only to the increase in professional salaries which would result from the General Assembly action on the recommendations of the International Civil Service Commission but also to the increase in general service salaries which would result also from the ICSC's review of the general service salaries in Rome.

An argument was advanced that, since these amounts- the one for Professional salaries amounting to 8.2 million dollars, and the one for the General Service salaries amounting to 6.1 million dollars - since these are estimates, what basis do we have for including them?

Mr Chairman, for the Professional salaries, the Council will recall that there has been no increase in the salaries since 1975. Now I do not think it is for me or the Secretariat to try to argue with the Council what the outcome of the General Assembly action would be, but the Director-General considers it a reasonable assumption to make, a reasonable assumption which he shares with you.

Let me point out, Sir, that if this provision has been included now, even on the assumption, there are some very clear facts on which it is based. The ICSC itself has calculated the results in terms of costs of the recommendations which it is making. These amount to a total of 90 million dollars, but they affect all organizations: they affect not only the basic salary, but the post adjustment system, mobility and hardship allowances, motivation and productivity allowances, annual leave allowances, and others. So the provision that we have calculated as applying to the Regular Programme of FAO, as I reported to the Director-General, is really the minimum. As I informed the Finance Committee when I discussed this matter, the Secretariat would not be at all surprised if the provision may be found sufficient, but it is a prudent estimate which we are including.

Have such costs been absorbed? I have found only one instance, and that was in the biennium 1980-81. I must confess that I have not gone back more than 12 or 13 years, but in 1980-81 there was a cost increase amounting to 8 million dollars - just over 8 million dollars -which was absorbed. At that time, this cost was met by a withdrawal for the Working Capital Fund to the tune of 5.6 million dollars, and the withdrawal from the Working Capital Fund to the tune of 2.6 million dollars. However, that was due to the result of a General Service salary increase which was not foreseen, which could not be foreseen, and which only came into effect late in the biennium. In this situation we know that there are proposals for Professional salary increases which are under consideration. We know the magnitude of these recommendations. We know the implications. We know that the General Service salary survey should have been undertaken even earlier. If it has not been, you may thank the Director-General for what it has saved the Organization, but it is going to come into effect.

In this situation there is only one course, Mr Chairman, that the Director-General can propose: the course of prudence, to include the provision that the best estimates would indicate should be included.

Finally, there are some questions on the Special Reserve Account. It has been suggested that, since we have such positive experiences with the forward currency exchange arrangements, the level of the Special Reserve Account should be reduced from its present 5 percent to 1 percent. This is a suggestion which I find very difficult to follow, and certainly with which I would not agree. The Council will recall that the Special Reserve Account has three main purposes, of which dealing with the results of currency exchanges is only one. It has also to deal with the inadequacy of the Working Capital Fund, and it has to deal with unbudgeted costs.

Now with the size of the amounts due to the Organization, I find it very difficult to understand how it can be argued or suggested that the level of the Special Reserve Account should be reduced. Certainly, such a suggestion would make more sense if those who advocated it had first given evidence to other Member Nations of the contributions that they had themselves paid. Mr Chairman, since my colleagues are going to deal with other programme matters, I will not abuse your patience and generosity in time.

LE PRESIDENT: Je remercie M. Shah pour les explications qu'il vient de nous donner et je donne la parole a M. Bonte-Friedheim.

C.H. BONTE-FRIEDHEIM (Assistant Director-General, Agriculture Department): Mr Chairman, a relatively large number of technical subjects were raised by many delegates in the discussion of this item. They will be raised again when the subject comes up in Conference, and we will reply to some of them in Conference. However, there seem to be four technical comments and questions which require an immediate response, two short responses and two more detailed responses.

The detailed responses will deal with two of our priority programmes, and I can confirm to the distinguished delegate of India that there is no order of priority areas. In the Secretariat we are pleased that there seems to be consensus on the priority areas in total. We do not think we would get a consensus on the order of priorities from this Council or from the Conference.

The first short response is to the Finnish delegate who enquired about land use policies in FAO. Land use policies and land use planning are multi-disciplinary activities in FAO. They have been assigned to the division dealing with soil and water, to the division dealing with natural resources. This Division services all technical units dealing with animals, with crops or with trees in the Forestry Department. Remote sensing and agricultural research are other subjects where one Division provides services to other units. It would be very expensive if the Animal Division, the Plant Division and the Forestry Department all had their own land use planning unit. In land use you need a minimum critical mass of expertise if you want to be successful.

FAO's governing bodies have agreed that land use planning is not related to any specific beneficiary of land use and, indeed, nor should it be. Sound land use planning integrates all forms of land use, and this is well reflected by the subject matter being dealt with by a special inter-departmental working group. In this inter-departmental working group, the Fisheries, Forestry and Agricultural Department Divisions are all represented at senior level and the chairmanship rotates every two years by the ADG's of the Departments concerned.

The second point to which I would like to reply is from the distinguished delegate from Argentina. She noticed that in the Agricultural Industries Sub-programme there is a reduction, in spite of the general support for this Programme. The reduction is basically in two programme elements: firstly, in agriculture where a lot has been done in the last four years and where we have reduced the work and can reduce the work, we believe. The second is in the field of hides and skins development, where UNIDO has become a major actor. In the line of coordination and cooperation, we have given some of the work, or have been forced to give some of the work, to UNIDO. UNIDO seems to be better in attracting funds for this work than we have been in FAO. UNIDO seems also to be better in attracting funds on biotechnology, since they support a center on biotechnology in agriculture.

That brings me to the first of the major subjects, which is biotechnology. In view of the many possible misunderstandings and the dangers of generalization, I would like to reply to the US statement in some detail. As I said, biotechnology is, and will be, much more in future - and the distinguished delegate from India has said the same thing - a major concern of many developing countries. The first comment the US made in their statement on biotechnology quotes from our own Programme of Work and Budget, and I repeat the quote, that FAO will assess and report the global implications of widespread uses of biotechnology, as these may distort established patterns of comparative advantage. Normally for the defence of FAO's position, we do not quote other sources, but on behalf of FAO I had the honour to explain in various fora FAO's views on the possible advantages and disadvantages of biotechnological development, and what is meant by distortion.

Mr Chairman, if you will permit, I should like to quote from an external source this time. I should like to read a very short paragraph from a World Bank document issued on 15 August this year, entitled "Sustainable Growth with Equity: A Long-Term Perspective for Sub-Saharan Africa". It deals, as the title says, with Africa, but the general applications with regard to biotechnology are, we think, good for all countries. On page 30 of this document we find the following paragraph. I quote: "The commercial use of new bio-industrial products may result in dramatically different patterns of agricultural production and trade. This may pose a threat to Africa's export crops. Laboratory-produced vanilla may soon put the livelihood of 70,000 vanilla bean farmers in Madagascar in doubt. And it is not unthinkable that consumers will soon have a choice between Kenya AA..." - coffee - "and biocoffee beans made in Massachusetts. A second concern involves the privatization of research results. The current practice of patenting first generation biotechnology products to cover any further use of bioengineered material will severely limit future competition. For developing countries this may also entail high licensing fees for seeds, making it harder to disseminate new crop varieties to smallholders. A potential decrease of genetic diversity as a consequence of the widespread distribution of new bioengineered plant material may make crops increasingly vulnerable to new diseases."

That is the end of the quote, and I have nothing to add. The second statement of the United States says, and I quote: "Improvements in biotechnology that will enhance productivity and lower producers' costs should not be feared. Such developments enhance world food security and general economic development." FAO fully agrees with it, but we have the following comments: Why should this be true only with biotechnology where there is a clear dependency of the developing countries on the developed countries? Should this be true only for industrial sweetners produced through biotechnology that push sugar made from cane out of the market in the developing countries? Should this statement not also apply to industrial countries where sugarcane, sugar from sugarcane, could displace sugar from beets. And also cassava chips could be replacing feed grain and palm oil should be displacing soya and other oils. The United States hope that FAO will not overlook two factors. First, that adequate patent protection will be provided to products derived from biotechnology and the reasonable returns to investment. Patent protection has two aspects. One to ensure returns, and unfortunately this can also be used to grant the monopoly position of a certain company and can also be used to exclude certains countries or certain producers from using the invention. FAO favours a processive patent for products developed through international research work allowing all countries, all producers, to share in the progress made through biotechnology. Of course, the argument on the reasonable return of investment can also be used for those small farmers and their forefathers, who have invested in

vanilla Madagascar or in coffee production in Kenya. The second request of the United States deals with the safety of efficacy of products derived from biotechnology. The United States has stated that such products should be judged on sound scientific criteria and not on socio-economic concerns. In general, there will be two products, a consumer or end-product and the industrial sweetener may be one of them, and the second, a living organism, a plant or an animal. For the living organisms, the FAO hopes that all countries, and I repeat, all countries will closely cooperate and work together with FAO in implementing the instructions recently received from our Commission on Plant Genetic Resources to develop a Code of Conduct on Biotechnology. With respect to consumer products, the rich countries are subsidizing their agricultural producers who are suffering from competition or new developments. The developing countries cannot afford such public subsidies. How are these countries to protect their producers, and I can only underline what has been said by the distinguished delegate from India.

The United States made two final points. They stated that molecular biology is viewed as a low priority by the United States. Modern biotechnology, aiming at changing the living organisms, cannot work without molecular biology. Therefore, one cannot support biotechnology without supporting molecular biology. Last year, our sister agency, the IAA reviewed the programmes of our Joint Division through a small high-level group of external experts. The Chairman of this group was the Associate Deputy Administrator of the USDA-ARS. That group made one strong recommendation to IAA, and through IAA to FAO for the future programme of the Joint Division. They advised that we should strengthen the agricultural application of molecular biology. The last point is the United States stated that mutation breeding has been largely abandoned by industrial countries because of lack of productivity. This view to us and the Secretariat is surprising. Over 75 percent of the rice production in California is based on mutation-derived rice varieties. Japan has also similar experience and Italy with durum wheat. Mutation breeding is today used also for flowers:chrysanthemum, carnation and roses. In Vienna, our Joint Division provides a service for the breeders in developing countries. They can send their seed to Vienna for induced mutation. In our own work in Vienna we are concentrating on single cell mutations of crops difficult to breed - for example, bananas and plantains, and here we can already show some very significant internationally accepted progress.

My fourth point, Mr Chairman, deals with sustainability, one of our priority programmes. It seems to many that sustainability has become a new word. Let me be clear speaking in defence of farmers. Farmers are to me those people, who, with their labour, with their hands, and the land, work for the survival of their children, so that they may become farmers. No farmer would take any unsustainable action - if he does, he does it for two reasons. One is lack of knowledge and the second, he is forced to do so. The comparison that I can think of is that one would not think that any mother would feed poisonous food to her children and family - she would only do it because of lack of knowledge or because she was forced to do so. So farming has lived since the early days on the wish to be sustainable. Second, in defence of FAO, it sounds sometimes, in discussions, that our programmes in the past have not had sustainability as their number one priority. I cannot understand how FAO's programmes on genetic resources, on desertification, on Integrated Pest Management, on soil conservation, on pollution, on Codes of Conduct, on the international undertaking, cannot all be called programmes for the sustainability of agricultural production.

Certainly, in the future, FAO needs to be more visible in its work under the heading "Sustainability". Whether that greater visibility will mean it will also be of a greater acceptability by the critics has to be seen. We will certainly attempt in the forthcoming Conference in showing more what FAO has been doing and will be doing under the subject. To us, sustainability is larger than the environment. The delegate of Finland, in supporting the inclusion of our new sub-programme on sustaining resource potential, one of the ways that we would like to show sustainability, as a catchword in FAO but also to deal with something new, like climatic changes, he requested further clarification on the relationship of this sub-programme as a sub-programme dealing with the information of environmental matters. We accept the importance of such a relationship, inter-relationships and in-house coordination, and that they are reflected in the report to Council from the Fifty-eighth Session of the Programme

Committee. The Programme Committee had been informed that the private group on sustainability on the IDWG, the Inter-departmental Working Group on Environment and Energy was one of the mechanisms for ensuring such coordination. I would like to inform the Council of one other activity with which we have done such coordination.

In October this year, we held the first large staff training course for four half days involving 42 participants from 16 Divisions covering five Departments. There were three subjects. With regard to the few projects, we looked and checked on the FAO developed environmental impact assessment, the approach, the criteria and the possible improvements. For the Regular Programme, we looked at the further development of the approach and at the methodology we should be using in the next biennium, and with the cooperation of other international organizations we planned our activities, mainly together with UNEP, in three countries: Malaysia, Mali and Costa Rica.

Mr Chairman, on many, many occasions, the Secretariat, especially the Director-General, has appealed to our governing bodies for extra-budgetary resources to push environment, to do more under the subject of sustainability in Headquarters in our field programmes. I have to report, unfortunately, that there has been, so far, very limited response. Thank you very much.

B.P. DUTTA (Assistant Director-General, Economic and Social Policy Department): Thank you, Mr Chairman. I would like to take this opportunity to respond to some of the questions and some comments that have been made on one of the priority areas, namely policy advice. Firstly, Mr Chairman, the delegate of Finland asked how FAO's policy advisory function would be strengthened in concrete terms, and he also sought more information on the use of the proposed increase of $ 500 000 in the policy analysis and planning and sub.-programme He also expressed some concern about the oral reduction under programme 2.1.8., Food and Agriculture Policy.

Mr Chairman, as regards the policy advisory function of FAO, it should be noted, in the first instance that it cuts across many disciplines and activities of FAO. However, specifically concerning the programme 2.1.8., the main policy aspects addressed under this programme include the improvement of world food security, the government of international committee and trade policy, support to TCDC, agriculture policy advice to countries, as well as related planning, assistance and training. The general objective of this programme is to assist Member Governments in improving their food and agricultural policies and planning processes through multi-disciplinary missions, through provisional training, and indirectly to the preparation of regional and global policy studies. The proposed increase of $ 500 000 for policy analysis and planning is intended to strengthen several of these activities, including assistance to Member Governments to improve capacity to monitor and formulate agricultural policies and to translate them into plans, programmes and projects.

Mr Chairman, in recent years, requests received from Member Governments for assistance in this area increasingly relate to their needs for preparing for policy review meetings with donors, and for negotiating stabilization and structural adjustment programmes with members.

As regards the resources provided for the Programme 2.1.8 as a whole, no doubt there is a reduction. On the one hand, this reflects the overall resource limitation to which Mr Shah referred earlier. In addition, several specific factors have contributed to this. One is the reduction due to the fact that a major consultation on ECDC which was held in the current biennium will not be repeated in the 1991/92 biennium. Also there is a reduction due to the shift in resource-use pattern by the Regional Offices. However, despite an overall reduction under this Programme, there is a substantial US$ 604 000 or 7.4 percent increase in the resources available under this Programme for activities that directly help interested member countries in policy and planning areas. This is in addition to the resources allocated for policy advice to member governments under Programmes 2.1.5, Rural Development, and 2.1.6, Nutrition.

The delegate of the United States commented that FAO's policy advice should focus on areas where it has comparative advantage. In particular, she queried FAO's intention to undertake policy advice in the field of structural adjustment. We agree with the United States that FAO's policy advisory role should concentrate on those areas where it has comparative advantage. Obviously, such comparative advantage lies in advising member governments on policies related to the food and agriculture sector, including forestry and fisheries, and that is exactly what we do and what we intend to do.

As regards the analysis of the impact of structural adjustment policies, it is not our intention to undertake policy advisory work in the field of macro-economic policies. However, the food and agriculture sector is generally the most important sector in developing countries that undergo structural adjustment. Hence the impact of structural adjustment policies is often most directly felt on the food and agriculture sector.

Equally, the success of the structural adjustment programmes depends on the extent to which the food and agriculture sector is in a position to respond adequately and positively to the envisaged changes in the macro-economic policies.

I may add that in view of this vital role of the food and agriculture sector in relation to the structural adjustment process, Mr Camdessus, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, recently met with the Director-General here in Rome and requested that FAO should be increasingly involved in the structural adjustment process, of course at the request of the government of the country concerned. The Director-General has responded positively to this and further discussions at the working level will be held between FAO and IMF to consider the modalities of FAO's involvement in the structural adjustment process in relation to the food and agriculture sector. Discussions on this question are also planned with the World Bank at the working level.

The delegate of the Federal Republic of Germany commented that FAO's work on policy advice is limited to only a few countries. Although much would depend on what is included in the definition of policy advice, FAO's policy advisory functions and related projects cover a very broad range of activities and the number of countries where FAO provides such assistance is much larger. In order not to take too much time of the Council, I would not go into any details but just invite the attention of the delegate of the Federal Republic of Germany to Chapter 11 and in particular Table 11.2 on page 202 of the English text of the document C 89/8, Review of the Regular Programme.

Several members have stated that FAO's policy advisory role should be strengthened. This is also one of the recommendations made by the Programme and Finance Committees in their report on the Review of Certain Aspects of FAO's Goals and Operations. The Council will therefore have the opportunity to consider this matter in greater detail under agenda item 11. At this stage, however, I would like to make only two observations. First, FAO's policy advisory work has to be in response to the requests from Member Governments. As such, its scale is, and would be, largely determined by the extent of such requests. Second, if the number of such requests were to increase significantly above the present level, there will be the need for additional resources as indicated by the Director-General in his comments on this question.

Igor MARINCEK (Suisse): J'aimerais remercier le Secrétariat pour les explications qu'il nous a données mais il y a encore deux questions ouvertes pour ma délégation. Je vais vite les poser. Il y a d'abord une question technique adressée à M. Shah: peut-il nous expliquer comment il est possible, avec la présente méthodologie des calculs d'augmentation des coûts, que l'absorption de 3 millions de dollars pour les consultants, voyages, etc., qu'il fait valoir, affecte l'augmentation réelle du budget?

Une deuxième question va dans le sens similaire: comment est-il possible que des taux de change différents puissent affecter la croissance réelle, comme cela est suggéré à la page xi de la version française du document C 89/3?

Une autre question s'adresse au Conseiller juridique. Hier, le Directeur général a suggéré, après mon intervention, que la proposition faite par notre délégation de modifier le projet de résolution budgétaire pour l'ouverture de crédits pour l'exercice 1990/91 serait en contradiction avec l'Acte constitutif de la FAO. Entre-temps, je pense que le Conseiller juridique aura eu le temps d'examiner cette question et j'aimerais l'inviter â nous présenter ses conclusions et à nous indiquer, en particulier, quel paragraphe nous interdit une telle modification de la résolution budgétaire.

Je rappellerai seulement brièvement que nous avons proposé l'adjonction d'un paragraphe supplémentaire â cette résolution pour traiter de la question de l'augmentation des coûts liée à l'inflation pour les deux années à venir.

LE DIRECTEUR GENERAL: Monsieur Moore va répondre à la question relative aux aspects juridiques et M. Shah répondra aux autres questions. Vous êtes bienvenus, bien entendu, si vous souhaitez poser les mêmes questions à la Commission II.

V.J. SHAH (Assistant Director-General, Office of Programme, Budget and Evaluation): As I understood it, the question was how the absorption of US$ 3 million of cost increases changes the real Programme increase, and, in particular, how the different change rate comparison affects the real Programme increase. I had hoped that I had replied, at least to the first of those questions, in my earlier reply, but let me repeat it. The comparison table which is referred to on page 54 of the document, the comparison table, shows in the middle column the proposed budget at the rate of Lire 1235 to the dollar, and it shows the cost increases of US$ 76 350 000. This amount does not include the US$ 3 million of the cost increases, which are absorbed, so the answer is there. The Programme increase of US$ 5.5 million is then calculated against the base plus the cost increases, and it shows a Programme increase of 0.97 percent. Why does this rate of 0.97 percent change? The answer is in the final column of that table where the cost increases, at 1350 Lire to the dollar, are no longer $76 million but US$ 59 030 000. The base and the cost increases are US$ 551 million. The Programme increase of US$ 5.5 million is then taken as a percentage of that amount, and the result is 1 percent.

LEGAL COUNSEL: I have been asked to comment on the legal aspects and implications of the proposal put forward by the delegate of Switzerland yesterday. The proposal, as I understand it, was that, since the rate of inflation for the course of the next biennium is to some extent an uncertain factor, no allowance at all should be made in the budget for the effects of inflation but that a supplementary credit separate from the actual budget should be made available up to the estimated amount of inflation, but this supplementary credit could be drawn on only up to the extent of actual inflation rates as verified by the External Auditor.

I have looked into this proposal subsequent to the meeting, and I should point out that it would, in my opinion, be inconsistent with the present provisions regarding the Programme budget system set out in the Basic Texts of the Organization and that to adopt such a new system would thus require an amendment of those texts.

The system as set out in the Basic Texts provides for the adoption by the Conference of a single fixed and certain budget. This is provided for in Article XVIII of the Constitution. The present system also authorizes the Director-General to plan for the expenditure of funds and to commit funds up to the fixed limits of the budget approved by the Conference. That is set out in Financial Regulation 4.1.

Within the limits set out by the approved Programme of Work and Budget, and subject to the supervision of the Conference and the Council, the Director-General is given full power and authority to direct the work of the Organization under Article VII.4 of the Constitution.

The Swiss proposal, on the other hand, would in effect provide for a double budget, with expenditure under the second part being conditional upon a finding by an outside party, in this case the External Auditor. It would also make it difficult, if not impossible, for the Director-General to exercise his authority to direct the work of the Organization and to plan for

the expenditure of the funds voted as the exact limits of the budget that he is authorized to spend would not be known until later on in the biennium, or until the biennium is finished, as I presume it would take some time for the External Auditor to accumulate evidence as to the exact rate of worldwide inflation as it has affected FAO operations over the course of the biennium. Such a function of the External Auditor would also appear to go beyond his present auditing functions under the Basic Texts of the Organization.

LE PRESIDENT: Je voudrais, à la fin de l'examen de ce point très important me féliciter du nombre élevé de délégués qui ont pris la parole à ce sujet. Il y en a eu 46, et pratiquement tout le Conseil a pris part à cette discussion, et leurs remarques ont été très fouillées et très utiles.

Puis-je me faire l'interprète du Conseil pour dire qu'il félicite le Comité financier du travail excellent et minutieux accompli pour l'analyse du Programme de travail et budget selon la même procédure mise en vigueur à titre expérimental pour le biennium 1990-91.

J'ajouterai que le Conseil se félicite des améliorations sensibles apportées à la présentation du Programme de travail et budget; il a noté que des propositions ont pris en considération les directives et recommandations formulées antérieurement par les organes directeurs de l'Organisation. On peut constater que la grande majorité du Conseil a souligné que compte tenu des contraintes budgétaires évidentes, le niveau de budget ne permettra pas de satisfaire les demandes croissantes et de plus en plus nombreuses des pays en voie de développement.

Le Conseil a manifesté sa préoccupation quant à la baisse du pourcentage du PCT dans l'ensemble du budget: c'est un point que nous avons tous enregistré. Et, comme l'ont fait les Comités de programme et financier dans le rapport de la session, le Conseil a, lui aussi, apprécié l'effort fait par le Secrétariat pour tenter d'aboutir à un consensus sur le budget, et qui a conduit à une augmentation réelle de l'ordre de 0,45%.

Je crois pouvoir dire que dans ces conditions la grande majorité des membres du Conseil ont approuvé le projet de Programme de travail et budget et recommandé de le transmettre à la Conférence en proposant à cette dernière son approbation par consensus.

C'est à peu près ce que je retiens des discussions de notre Conseil.

LE DIRECTEUR GENERAL: Vous dites "La grande majorité" est-ce que c'est le Conseil...

LE PRESIDENT: C'est le Conseil. Trente-neuf délégués ont approuvé; sept n'ont pas approuvé. Par conséquent, dans sa très grande majorité, le Conseil a approuvé le PTB et a recommandé de transmettre le projet de PTB à la Conférence. Il a donné son approbation par 39 voix sur 46.

Nous pouvons lever la séance et nous retrouver à 14 h 30.

The meeting rose at 12:30 hours
La séance est lev
ée à 12 h 30
Se levanta la sesiôn a las 12.30 horas

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