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DEBATE GENERAL (continuación)


Kuwait, Iceland, Pologne, Gabon, Samoa, Maroc, Dominica, El Salvador, Tonga, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Bhutan, Burundi, Maldives, Namibia, Mozambique

CHAIRMAN: Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome back to the afternoon session. I invite our friend and brother from Kuwait, His Excellency Fahad Al-Hassawi, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director-General of the Public Authority for Agriculture and Fish Reserves.

Fahad AL-HASSAWI (Kuwait): In the name of Allah, the Merciful and Compassionate. Mr Chairman, Mr Director-General, Honourable Delegates, Members of Delegations, Ladies and Gentlemen. I am greatly honoured to address this august assembly as the representative of the Free State of Kuwait. This session of the general Conference is being held during the first year of the liberation of Kuwait from the disaster that was ended, thank God, by the combined efforts of the forces of good in the world, and by the efforts of the international community of which you are a vital part.

I would like to take this opportunity to convey to FAO and its administration headed by the Director-General, the greetings of His Highness the Emir of Kuwait, and the greetings of the steadfast people and Government of Kuwait.

I would also like to congratulate His Excellency, the Pakistani Minister of Agriculture, Mr Abdel Majid Malik, on his election as Chairman of this General Conference. I am convinced that he will lead our deliberations with his well-known abilities and wisdom to complete success. I would also like to express my appreciation for the role being played by the member countries in order to make this Conference a success.

Mr Chairman, the responsibility you are shouldering at the beginning of the new era of understanding between the two superpowers on the international arena, an era in which the world has been able to make considerable strides towards peace and cooperation but still has a long way to go, will undoubtedly lead, thanks to this august body, to achieving a more positive cooperation in the fields of agriculture, fish resources and food in order to make positive steps towards building a less hungry world if not a world free of hunger.

The international community has proved its effective ability to correct mistakes and to make the peoples of the world avoid the disasters of war and destruction. The United Nations organization has proudly made history in this respect.

Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, the objectives of FAO's General Conference are, as usual, combatting hunger and dealing with the problem of food by increasing its quantity and improving its quality. This means helping the developing countries overcome the difficulties they face in order to be able to improve the agricultural sector and to provide basic food requirements, to better manage and utilize their resources, and to use the appropriate technologies that suit their economic and social conditions.

In the field of food, Kuwait achieved a lot before the Iraqi invasion in 1990. The extensive experiments carried out to produce wheat as food and barley as fodder have yielded positive results. We achieved an increasing degree of self-sufficiency in white meat, eggs and vegetables in addition to the success we achieved in marine resource, conservation and development, thereby playing a leading role in this field in the whole Gulf Area and maybe beyond the Gulf area.

In the field of landscape farming Kuwait adopted an ambitious plan aimed at greening Kuwait. The preliminary results of this ambitious plan were reflected in the expansion of forestry projects, tree-planting, public green parks and highways and road building. The aim of these efforts was to overcome the harsh climatic conditions due to our geographical position.

It is really saddening to witness the massive destruction of this wealth and these riches by the Iraqi invasion; the Iraqi invasion which destroyed our infrastructure which was built during 30 years to be a source of pride for the Kuwaiti people. The deliberate destruction and damage done to our agriculture and environment by the ruthless Iraqi invasion, and the torching of more than 700 oil wells - our only source of income - is unprecedented in history and could rightly be called the crime of our age, if not the crime of all ages.

What happened to our generous land and its good people is unprecedented in history and by far exceeds what happened during the fiercest of wars and the darkest of ages. In addition to the heavy financial losses resulting from the torching of our oil wells, and in addition to the deliberate pouring of millions of barrels of oil into the sea, the consequences of the invasion included the biggest environmental disaster in history. This crime will forever remain a shame on its perpetrators.

Although the effects and dangers of this environmental pollution to the humans, animals, birds and marine resources of the area have not yet been scientifically evaluated, the findings and the reports published by experts and scientists so far all indicate that this will have serious consequences and will cause health damage the results of which will affect human beings for a long time to come. The destruction included both terrestrial and marine environments in addition to air and soil pollution.

Dear delegates, as a result of these acts that led to destruction and devastation, productive farming ground came to a complete halt this year in Kuwait because of the looting of government and private farms and because farm workers fled the invaders. Some of them were made prisoners and are still held by the Iraqis. Instead of being cultivated with food and vegetables our farms today are full of mines and explosives.

As for the farm workers, we do not know what happened to them, nor do we know their whereabouts.

From this rostrum I would like to remind the whole world of the problem of our people made prisoners by coercion by the Iraqi regime which has flouted and defied international conventions and agreements. A great number of these prisoners are children, women and old people who were captured and taken to Iraq prisons and camps.

Since our country was liberated, thanks to the efforts of the international community, we are appealing once again to this same international community to hear the cries of the children yearning to see their parents and families and to heed the calls made by the same parents with broken hearts for the return of their beloved ones.

His Highness, the Emir of Kuwait, is touring the friendly countries and addressing the United Nations agencies, accompanied by some children of the bereaved, in the hope that their appeal will be heeded and adopted as an urgent human cause without any delay or complacency.

Finally, we cannot really describe our sorrow at the devastation of our scientific and agricultural research capabilities. You are certainly aware of the eminent scientific role played by the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, especially in the area of food and agriculture. Nothing remains of that Institute. Research material has been plundered, looted, burnt and destroyed, making it necessary to rebuild that precious and valuable library from scratch.

In this respect I would like to appeal to FAO to help us rebuild and enrich the agricultural reference library of the State of Kuwait because we are determined to resume a dignified and free life based on learning and knowledge.

We look forward to coordinating our actions with FAO to help rebuild our agricultural sector and provide us with the necessary technical advice to further expand the area under cultivation and to enhance productivity up to previous levels.

We also appeal to FAO to study the disaster of environmental pollution, its impact and the implications on man, fauna, flora and marine living resources and to help explore ways and means of overcoming the effects of pollution in the air and on the terrestrial and marine environment in the region.

Allow me from this rostrum to hail the memory of our martyrs who gave their lives in defence of their homeland.

I also wish to remember the martyrs from sisterly and friendly countries who stood by our side in the face of injustice and aggression and sacrificed their lives so that the principles of right and justice would prevail.

We hearken to God Almighty to have mercy on them. We will always keep their memory alive in the hearts of all Kuwaitis and all justice-loving people.

In conclusion, I wish to highlight the determined efforts made by the Kuwaiti Government and people on the reconstruction of Kuwait. They have

managed to cap 700 oil wells within the record time of less than seven months.

Kuwait is a country small in size but strong in its faith. We are determined to bring life back to Kuwait and to make it an even better place than it was before through cooperation with the forces of good and justice and the peace and freedom-loving community of nations.

May God bless our efforts and guide our steps to a future of freedom for all mankind.

Halldór BLÖNDAL (Iceland): The words environment and sustainable development appear as one of the main themes in FAO's programmes for its future activities. These words also characterize pronouncements by agricultural authorities on environmental issues and calls for sustainable agriculture have replaced the urgent calls once heard for the use of increased inputs to maximize food production.

While it is certainly possible to sharply increase food production by increased inputs of fertilizer and other chemicals in many parts of the world without undue harm to the environment, it is gradually becoming clear to agricultural policy-makers and planners that Mother Nature can only respond to increased inputs up to a limit. When that limit is passed there is rapid environmental deterioration, soil depletion and erosion, water pollution and indeed decreased agricultural output.

The sudden chorus of calls for sustainable agricultural development gives one the feeling that this is a sudden discovery of a new concept for agriculture. The fact is that the word agriculture from the standpoint of a good farmer has always been synonymous with the words sustainable agriculture.

There is no alternative.

The only conceivable alternative to sustainable agriculture would be mining or exploitation but not agriculture. This has been clear to farmers over the centuries and millennia and is also becoming painfully clear to fishermen as overfishing has resulted in decreasing catches. The fishing industry would quickly commit suicide if it were not operated on a sustainable basis.

Nobody is as keenly aware of the necessity of sustaining Nature's agricultural resources as those who use those resources for their own livelihood, the farmers and the fishermen. Too often one gets the feeling that the so-called environmentalists only seem to be interested in preserving intact nature without the presence of man and his needs in nature. They would prefer to see the countryside turned into protected nature parks with wild plants and animals, protected from the farmer and his crops and livestock.

But we do not have a choice of either - or - protection or farming. We cannot only live on this earth, but we must also derive our livelihood from this Earth and what it produces. Thus the responsibility for using and sustaining our agricultural and ocean resources, including protection and reclamation, where necessary, must be entrusted to those who use the land, the soil, the vegetation, the animals, the water and ocean for the

production of our food and other agricultural products. Protection of our agricultural environment must be implemented together with the farmers and their communities.

This responsibility cannot be totally delegated to those who do not live off the land and have little appreciation of what it takes to assure good farming practices of the type that ensures good environmental management.

The first humans came to my country, Iceland, over 1 100 years ago. The land and its vegetation had never been seen or touched by man before. At that moment Iceland had a nature without man, indeed nature without any land mammals, a unique situation on this earth in such relatively recent times. In the struggle to derive a living over these 1 100 years from a nature located so far north towards the Arctic exerted an enormous toll on the Icelandic nature.

Now, 1 100 years later, we realize that our nature has suffered from the presence of man and his needs through exploitation of its woodlands, its grasslands and now its fishbanks.

Some people advocate that we turn the clock back, take man out of the equation and turn the country into a national park with wild flowers and animals.

A utopian but unrealistic approach.

Farmers have come to realize that exploitation of nature has nothing to do with farming and are closely cooperating with the agricultural authorities in adjusting the grazing pressures in our highlands and diverting grazing flocks of livestock from those areas that are too vulnerable and will not sustain grazing. Without their cooperation and without an understanding of the needs and aspirations of the farming community, who indeed only respond to the needs of the consumer, there is no hope for a sustainable agriculture - for assuring adequate supplies of food without degrading our natural environment.

This concept was strongly emphasized at the Conference of the International Federation of Agricultural Producers, held in Iceland last October and entitled: The Environment and Sustainable Growth: The Key Role of Farmers.

At this Conference the Dutch Minister of Agriculture said that his Government had set out a policy for environmental protection, the central idea for this policy being that only an efficient, profitable agricultural sector can afford the costs of the measures to protect the environment. He stressed the importance of the fact that each individual farmer bears responsibility for the effects of his farming on the environment and that farmers play a key role in the reconciliation of agriculture and the environment.

In Iceland we are faced with serious soil erosion. Our sensitive ecosystem must be treated with care to prevent loss of soil. Our farmers are determined to rise to this challenge and work hand in hand with our Soil Conservation and our Forestry Service to ensure, through the concept of good farming, a truly sustainable agriculture, which will leave to our children and their descendants a land and a home as good or better than the one we inherited.

I would like to congratulate the Director-General on the emphasis he has placed on environment and sustainable development issues in his Programme of Work and Budget for 1992-93 and for the medium term. I trust that the voice of FAO, and through it, the voice of the farmer and the fisherman, will be clearly heard in Rio at next year's UN Conference on the Environment and Development. FAO must be the leading voice in promoting a sustainable growth in food production within the concept of proper use of our land and water resources and preservation of our plant and animal biodiversity. Although more urgent in the industrialized countries for the moment, this will soon become a major challenge for many developing countries.

FAO must therefore take the lead in helping its developing Member Nations to make available to them the experience and the knowledge in this field already existing in those countries which have come to terms with their environment and achieved balanced sustainable agricultural systems. FAO must also take the lead in transferring to those countries the new biotechnologies which hold a promise for applying the new, sometimes revolutionary, concepts that have been developed in biology in the industrial world, to solving our environmental problems by allowing us to meet the food needs of the fast growing world population without at the same time harming or even destroying our common home, planet earth.

Slawomir GBURCZYK (Pologne): M. le Président, au nom de la délégation polonaise et aussi à mon nom personnel je suis heureux de rejoindre les orateurs qui m'ont précédé, avec les félicitations cordiales à l'occasion de votre élection au poste de Président de la vingt-sixième session de la Conférence de cette noble Organisation.

Comme le représentant d'un pays voisin, j'exprime la joie de ma délégation à l'accession de la Lituanie, la Lettonie et l'Estonie à l'Organisation des Nations Unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture comme Etats indépendants et aussi de Porto Rico comme un Membre Associé de cette Organisation.

Cette conférence a lieu à un moment particulier. En l'espace d'à peine deux ans dans le monde entier, et notamment en Europe, se sont produits de profonds changements. Dans nombre de pays le retour à la liberté s'accompagne de transformations socio-économiques. Tout cela constitue un nouveau défi pour tout le système de l'ONU dont la FAO fait partie.

Dans ces nouvelles conditions, la résolution des problèmes du développement de l'agriculture et de l'amélioration de l'alimentation dans les pays en voie de développement reste toujours une tâche particulièrement importante dans l'ensemble des activités de la FAO.

Néanmoins, nous devons désormais considérer les problèmes de l'alimentation globalement, rechercher l'équilibre entre la production et la consommation et permettre la création d'une agriculture durable à l'échelle globale.

Les problèmes de l'agriculture liés au passage de l'économie planifiée à l'économie de marché constituent pour la FAO un domaine jusqu'à présent inconnu.

La Pologne a déjà une certaine expérience dans ce domaine.

Je voudrais la présenter brièvement.

Depuis deux ans, la Pologne vit de profondes réformes économiques. Les bases juridiques de l'économie de marché doivent être créées et l'héritage de l'ancien système économique doit être, le plus vite possible, éliminé.

La politique agricole dépend des objectifs généraux de la politique économique.

L'agriculture était pratiquement considérée sur un pied d'égalité avec les autres secteurs économiques. Et c'est sur ces bases que la campagne supportait sa part des coûts sociaux des réformes.

L'agriculture polonaise, où heureusement ont toujours dominé les exploitations familiales, a fait preuve d'une grande capacité d'adaptation aux nouvelles conditions. En dépit de très grands changements économiques et de suppression presque totale de dotations pour la production agricole, l'agriculture a maintenu un niveau élevé de production. L'exportation des produits agricoles a subitement augmenté et on a pu observer une nette amélioration de l'éfficience de l'exploitation.

La structure de la production s'adapte rapidement aux exigences aussi bien du marché national qu'étranger.

L'agriculture polonaise, dans sa majeure partie est un secteur privé, comme je l'ai évoqué tout à l'heure, et exige une transformation de la propriété bien moins importante que le reste de notre économie.

Par contre, tout l'environnement de l'agriculture, de l'industrie agro-alimentaire au commerce, en passant par le système bancaire, l'enseignement et jusqu'à l'organisation de la formation et de la vulgarisation agricoles, demande à être profondément modifié.

Nous avons une certaine expérience dans ce domaine. Nous la communiquerons bien volontiers à d'autres pays envisageant l'introduction de réformes comparables.

Nous sommes partisans de la libéralisation du commerce et la Pologne soutient pleinement l'activité de la FAO visant la restriction du protectionnisme de l'Etat sur les marchés des produits agricoles.

Le principe d'indépendance alimentaire de chaque pays devrait dans l'avenir faire place au système de sécurité alimentaire établi d'abord au niveau régional et ensuite au niveau mondial.

Nous sommes d'avis que la FAO est prédestinée à entreprendre la création d'un tel système dans le futur.

La délégation polonaise apprécie hautement l'activité de la FAO en faveur de la croissance de la production agricole et du niveau de l'alimentation. Néanmoins, un problème également important, est constitué à notre avis par le développement de la campagne - comprise dans le sens le plus large de ce terme - comme lieu de production agricole et non agricole et comme habitat de la population agricole et non agricole.

La campagne devrait être à la fois le lieu d'une harmonieuse cohabitation de l'homme et de son environnement naturel et celui où est cultivée la spécificité de la culture rurale.

La délégation polonaise se prononce pour que les problèmes relatifs aux espaces ruraux, dans toute leur complexité, tout autant que le soutien à la production agricole, deviennent un domaine d'activité à part entière de la FAO.

C'est cela qui permettra d'obtenir la nécessaire harmonie et l'équilibre entre la production agricole et la fonction sociale et écologique de l'agriculture à l'échelle aussi bien nationale que globale.

A nos yeux, l'établissement de cet équilibre est un des défis majeurs du XXIème siècle qui constitue une chance unique pour la FAO – celle de faire fructifier son énorme potentiel intellectuel, technique et organisationnel.

C'est par votre intermédiaire que je voudrais remercier le Directeur général, le Secrétariat ainsi que toute le personnel de la FAO pour le soutien à nos efforts en faveur de la transformation de notre économie et notamment de l'agriculture.

Les réformes économiques dans l'Europe de l'Est et dans l'Europe centrale se poursuivent en dépit de nombreux obstacles. Nous comptons donc toujours sur le soutien de la FAO à la réalisation de cette tâche.

La Pologne, non seulement apporte son plein soutien à l'activité de la FAO pour la transformation de l'agriculture des pays de l'Europe centrale et orientale, mais également lui offre son aide-.

Nous sommes en train de conclure des accords avec des républiques de l'Union soviétique sur l'aide à la privatisation de l'agriculture. Nous offrons, entre autres, notre aide pour le développement d'un véritable mouvement coopératif rural, dans la formation pratique de jeunes agriculteurs, dans le perfectionnement du système d'éducation agricole ainsi que dans l'application pratique de nouvelles technologies de production. Nous considérons que dans ces pays, il est plus facile d'appliquer les expériences polonaises dans le domaine des technologies et de l'organisation que celles des pays les plus industrialisés d'Europe.

Nous voudrions pouvoir compter aussi sur l'aide de la FAO dans ce domaine.

Les transformations qui s'opèrent actuellement en Europe centrale et orientale ainsi que dans bien d'autres régions du monde constituent à la fois un grand défi et une grande chance pour notre Organisation.

La transformation de l'agriculture de ces régions, si elle est bien guidée, devrait contribuer à la rendre plutôt complémentaire que concurrentielle par rapport aux principaux producteurs alimentaires dans le monde. C'est une nouvelle chance et en même temps un nouveau risque.

En sous-estimant l'importance des transformations dynamiques qui s'opèrent actuellement et en livrant ces pays à eux-mêmes, nous risquerions de faire apparaître dans le monde de nouvelles régions de surproduction alimentaire et simultanément de nouvelles régions de sous-alimentation.

Eugène Kakou MAYAZA (Gabon): La vingt-sixième session de la Conférence générale de la FAO se tient au moment où nous célébrons le 40ème anniversaire du transfert du siège de la FAO à Rome.

C'est une occasion pour nous de rendre un hommage mérité à cette ville dont la vocation agricole a été affirmée dès sa fondation par Romulus.

Permettez-moi de saisir cette occasion pour vous adresser les chaleureuses félicitations de la délégation de mon pays pour votre brillante élection à la présidence de la Conférence générale. Mes félicitations s'adressent également à tous les membres du bureau qui vous entourent et qui contribueront avec vous au bon déroulement de nos travaux.

Je suis également satisfait de saluer aujourd'hui les nouveaux membres de l'Organisation à qui je présente mes sincères félicitations et mes meilleurs souhaits de bienvenue parmi nous.

La vingt-sixième session de notre Conférence se déroule juste après qu'un pays membre de notre Organisation, la République des Philippines, a été victime d'une calamité naturelle d'une rare violence. Ce malheureux événement vient encore nous rappeler que nous devons mieux nous organiser et mieux nous préparer à affronter des événements semblables à travers le monde et faire davantage preuve de solidarité avec les peuples qui sont frappés. Que le peuple philippin trouve ici l'expression de la solidarité du peuple gabonais. La solidarité que nous souhaitons pour notre Organisation doit être guidée par la nécessité d'améliorer la situation alimentaire dans le monde et non par la seule volonté de satisfaire nos intérêts particuliers.

Le contexte économique actuel se caractérise par une crise généralisée dont les répercussions sont très graves pour les pays en développement.

Devant faire face à une dette de plus en plus lourde, ces pays sont appelés à faire des choix parfois douloureux qui les conduisent parfois à privilégier les contraintes extérieures par rapport aux besoins vitaux de leurs peuples. C'est dans ce contexte que l'on observe que la situation alimentaire dans la plupart de ces pays ne cesse de se détériorer.

Il est bon d'affirmer que la dignité de l'homme va de pair avec ses droits fondamentaux qui sont, entre autres, le droit à la vie, à une meilleure éducation, à de meilleurs soins, à la justice, à la parole, à une bonne alimentation, mais il est impérieux de voir cette affirmation se traduire par des actes concrets à travers le monde car tous ces droits sont intimement liés.

Les problèmes de l'environnement se situent de nos jours au même titre que ceux de la démocratie pluraliste, c'est-à-dire au centre de nos préoccupations. Les pays en développement, dont le Gabon, déploient des efforts considérables pour consolider le système démocratique pluraliste qu'ils ont librement choisi.

Ce choix pour une démocratie pluraliste ne doit en aucun cas nous faire perdre de vue que ces pays doivent être construits et que pour ce faire, toutes leurs ressources seront utilisées à cette fin.

Les populations de nos pays ont toujours su préserver l'environnement dans lequel elles vivent. Il leur est difficile de le détruire. Les nouvelles formes de protection de l'environnement seront mises en place, mais elles devront tenir nécessairement compte du besoin vital de nos économies en ressources financières dont elles sont privées à l'heure actuelle.

Pour des pays qui tirent une partie essentielle de leurs ressources de la forêt, il est parfois difficile de concilier de tels objectifs sans l'appui effectif et entier de la communauté internationale; le débat sur la protection de l'environnement est devenu un débat économique et peut-être même un débat pour la survie des pays en développement.

La sécurité alimentaire des gabonais est une question prioritaire pour le gouvernement de mon pays qui a placé l'autosuffisance alimentaire au centre de ses préoccupations.

La faiblesse de la population rurale et l'importance de l'exode rural ont conduit le Gouvernement de la République gabonaise à développer des actions qui visent à ramener les jeunes vers la terre. C'est dans ce cadre que des efforts financiers importants ont été consentis en vue de créer des unités agro-industrielles qui doivent servir de base à un développement soutenu du monde rural.

Dans presque tous les domaines, des actions vont être entreprises:

Action d'éducation, destinée à améliorer les conditions de vie des agriculteurs; action de vulgarisation destinée à accroître la production par l'introduction de cultures améliorées à haut rendement; incitation au développement de l'agriculture et de la pêche.

A terme, le Gabon devra se suffire sur le plan alimentaire et mettre à la disposition des autres Etats ses excédents de production.

Le Directeur général nous propose d'approuver par consensus le budget prévu pour la période 1992-93, après avoir reconnu que de nombreux Etats Membres ne parviennent pas à s'acquitter de leurs obligations actuelles. Une augmentation du budget se traduirait par une augmentation des cotisations réelles des Etats Membres. Bien que notre Organisation soit de plus en plus sollicitée, il nous revient d'adapter nos moyens à nos besoins en invitant les pays riches à manifester plus de solidarité envers les pays en développement et en contribuant davantage aux programmes de la FAO.

Nous apprécions hautement la contribution de la FAO à nos programmes nationaux, ainsi que celle d'organismes tels que le FIDA, qui nous aide à mettre en place des programmes de développement villageois car, pour nous, il n'est pas réaliste de laisser le monde rural à l'écart des grands changements que connaît l'humanité. En effet, en dehors des problèmes d'endettement, de matières premières, d'immigration et d'environnement, les problèmes de l'agriculture dans les pays en développement sont au coeur du devenir de l'humanité, et particulièrement ceux de l'agriculture en Afrique. Dans cette perspective, nous réitérons nos voeux de voir les Organisations des Nations Unies présentes à Rome oeuvrer pour une collaboration plus étroite à cette grande tâche.

Depuis sa création, la FAO a déployé d'immenses efforts en faveur de différents pays. Par ses prises de position et ses activités bien adaptées, elle a su lutter contre la famine et bien d'autres calamités. Nous croyons

qu'elle peut encore jouer un rôle éminemment positif dans le renforcement de la coopération entre les pays du Nord, riches, et ceux du Sud, pauvres.

Tavita TUPUOLA LEUPOLU (Samoa): I bring greetings from our Prime Minister and our Minister of Agriculture, Forests and Fisheries, to this Twenty-sixth Session of FAO's supreme governing body.

It is my pleasure to be here to speak on behalf of the Government and people of Western Samoa. For most of you, our small country may be a dot on the global map, but we are a nation of some 160 000 people with a culture as distinguished as it is ancient. Some of you may have heard of Samoa through the recently completed Rugby World Cup in Europe. We have traditions and customs that give our people a stability that the rest of the world would envy; a stability which also ensures cohesiveness and equity in our society. Development and progress can only happen in an environment where political and social stability prevails. This we have over 29 years of independence. However, our region has its special features and unique economic and developmental problems and needs some effort at understanding.

To you, Mr Director-General, we would like to express our appreciation for the very valuable support your representatives and experts have provided over the years. Our relations with FAO have been long, cordial and highly beneficial. We greatly prize this association and look forward to its enhancement and more varied development. In this context, we would like to recall two innovations of the many Mr Edouard Saouma has made, which have particularly impressed us. Both are, in fact, two faces of the same coin, namely, decentralization and the Technical Cooperation Programme.

My delegation, then led by the Honourable Minister of Agriculture, had proposed to the Conference in 1989 that the status and responsibilities of the FAO Representation in Samoa be further enhanced as a regional or sub-regional office for the South Pacific. We regret that the people who prepared the Conference report somewhat omitted to mention our suggestion which had been made on behalf of two delegations then present. I am repeating it now in the hope that efforts can be initiated by the Director-General to achieve this objective, hopefully in the not-too-distant future.

We have been grouped together with Asia, and the regional activities, inevitably, give concentration to problems that are grand in scale and intensity, corresponding to the much larger populations that inhabit Asia. In this multitude, our small island nations and their unique problems get ignored. It has not been surprising, therefore, that within the UNDP programming exercises, Maldives have asked for a place in the South Pacific sub-region where their identity would be more pronounced. I would not like to labour on this, for I do not intend to criticize the Regional Office in Bangkok. My only humble intention is to point out the generic difference. Our countries find it difficult, almost impossible, to participate in the governance of FAO's Regular Programme in the Region, because costs are high. A restructuring of some kind would remove this anomaly, thus making us genuine and active partners in the Organization which we revere and whose Director-General we greatly admire.

As to the Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP), we welcome the slight increase the Director-General has proposed for the next biennium. However, some aspects of Chapter 4 of Conference document C 91/3 bother us. While we

consider some of the criteria for approvals somewhat restrictive, we have abided by them because we appreciate the constraints within which they are laid. But, we are disturbed by the formula of country allocations proposed on pages 243-246 of the document. These negate the very basic premise for TCP, i.e., its urgency, unprogrammed character and pressure of need. Each one of the countries in the South Pacific will receive a scanty sum of US$140 000 in two years, which suggests that not even one decent project can be undertaken. TCP's field operations and their impact would, consequently, be lost. This would be an invitation to long distance, academic consultancies and we would have no opportunity to have training and advices tested. It is our view that the present system of hard-boiled technical evaluation of requests and insistence on 'ground implementation' of projects be maintained. The formula militates against the integrity of FAO's Regular Programme.

There is one aspect of the Field Programme that also worries us, through the problem is not caused by FAO. This is the very high cost of a good expert. Every time wise men come together to determine yardsticks for United Nations development assistance, they are so made that after every five years the real quantum declines, and for smaller countries, with minuscule IPF, it becomes very difficult to programme for development. While we must have high quality experts - for we will settle for no less - could we find a way to obtain them at less cost to smaller and less affluent nations? FAO has been a forerunner in promoting networks, supporting local institutions and government execution where feasible. Is it not possible for FAO to vigorously and deliberately try to move towards a new set of arrangements that will give us some breathing space? It is our hope that FAO will link up TCDC more closely with project and programme implementation wherever relevant expertise is obtainable. Maybe this could be tried with TCP to gain experience.

On the substance of Programme of Work and Budget we do have many comments, however, some observations may be in order.

First, we are a little surprised that in the whole document, not once did we find mention of our South Pacific sub-region. No. Let me be absolutely honest. We particularly regret the absence of reference to the establishment of special mechanisms for plant quarantine since the Asia-Pacific Plant Protection Commission has been found inadequate for our sub-region. Our region suffers regularly, perhaps more so than any other region, from natural disasters. In one such calamity in 1990 alone, more than one year of GDP was completely destroyed. Damage to our rainforests which Tropical Forests Action Plan (TFAD) so imaginatively initiated by FAO hopes to preserve, was colossal. Perhaps something can be done to mitigate the suffering. There are other special needs like Forestry and Fishery, and root crops are our major assets, thus much of our progress hinges on them. While special research institutions have been established in other parts of the world, our unique farming systems remain unresearched. Our individual countries cannot muster those resources. Our trade problems are similarly unique, and we would like all these to be addressed within the limits of FAO's mandate.

We applaud the New Zealand's stand on the GATT round on trade. These free countries we feel should give more open and fairer conditions for produce from other countries, particularly where developing countries have surplus produce that needs some comparative marketing edge. However we also take this opportunity to ask our more affluent neighbours in the South Pacific

to be less restrictive in their own policy on quarantine. Thus allowing our neighbouring island countries to export to their countries and to lavish less favour on trade to the far away South American countries.

Other observations we wish to make include: (a) the Plant Protection Commission, based in Thailand for the Asia and Pacific Region. Despite our willingness to attend regular meetings of the Commission, financial constraints prohibit us from participating, and I am sure my other colleagues from the South Pacific who are here will agree with me on this. We are happy that FAO has agreed to set up a South Pacific Protection Commission to address the needs of the South Pacific countries, relevant and applicable to their own unique situations; (b) Second, Mr Chairman, there is a Ministers of Agriculture' Conference held every two years in Thailand for Asia and the Pacific Region. Again participation by South Pacific island countries is irregular due mainly to financial constraints. Besides, the problems of Asia and the Pacific are not the same. I therefore strongly recommend for consideration by this Conference, perhaps a South Pacific Office to address problems unique to the South Pacific Region. It is much better to have on hand technical expertise on fisheries, forestry, agronomy, plant protection to deal with problems, than having to seek help when problems arise; (c) Third, Mr Chairman, in view of the increased membership of the South Pacific countries over the last few years it is suggested that the number of seats for the South Pacific Region be increased from one (1) to two (2), in the FAO Council. In suggesting this Mr Chairman, I am well aware of the importance and the progress being made in the field of agriculture in both Australia and New Zealand, and therefore suggest that one seat be set aside for them, while the other be allocated for the rest of the region in the FAO Council; (d) Finally, Mr Chairman, we ask that FAO give more support to the use of national expertise, wherever possible within the South Pacific Region, the opportunity for improved manpower development can only be enhanced by practical participation in the decision-making process.

Otherwise we support the work programme as formulated by the Director-General. We have also a regional organization on environmental issues (SPREP) which will have its headquarters in Apia, Western Samoa. There is so much in the programme that can usefully cooperate with FAO and reinforce their activities.

We hope our observations have been constructive. We would like to reiterate our support to FAO whose multilateral and neutral character we appreciate. That is why we have consistently advocated its greater involvement in the execution of projects funded by ADB, IFAD, World Bank and UNDP. We also support the Budget proposals made by the Director-General. Budget making is never an easy task; but, with all the constraints, we consider the Budget broadly acceptable.

Last but not least, Mr Chairman, I would like to restate my Government's assurance of its support of FAO Programmes, and the Director-General's proposal on Programme of Work and Budget for the next two years.

Zine EL ABIDINE SEBTI (Maroc): Permettez-moi de présenter, au nom de la délégation marocaine, mes félicitations à M. Malik Abdul Majid pour la confiance que les pays membres de la FAO lui ont témoignée en lui confiant la présidence de cette Conférence.

Mes félicitations vont également à mes collègues, les Ambassadeurs du Lesotho, de la Colombie et de la Tchécoslovaquie pour leur élection à la Vice-Présidence.

Permettez-moi aussi d'adresser mes félicitations à M. Saouma et au secrétariat pour la qualité des documents établis pour la préparation de cette Conférence. Leur contenu et leur présentation ont grandement facilité le travail de la délégation que je préside.

Notre joie est grande d'avoir parmi nous la Lituanie, l'Estonie, la Lettonie et Porto Rico. Je suis certain que leur présence parmi nous apportera une contribution efficace à nos travaux présents et futurs.

Il y a deux ans se tenait, ici même, la vingt-cinquième session de la Conférence générale de la FAO. A cette occasion, la situation mondiale en matière de développement, de nutrition et d'alimentation, de dégradation de l'environnement, de commerce international de produits agricoles… avait été soulevée et discutée. Elle était, de l'avis de tous, inquiétante.

Pour tenter de faire face à cette situation, des directives et recommandations avaient alors été prises par les pays membres de la FAO. Elles suggéraient les moyens et mesures à mettre en oeuvre.

Pour que, dans la majorité des pays en développement, la production agricole puisse être améliorée et tendre à rejoindre le niveau des besoins; pour vaincre la faim qui continue à hanter bon nombre de pays; pour promouvoir et intensifier les efforts visant à assurer un développement durable; pour protéger l'environnement dans le cadre d'une bonne gestion des ressources naturelles; pour faire en sorte que soient supprimées les barrières commerciales et le protectionnisme qui bloquent les échanges mondiaux des produits agricoles et alimentaires, désavantageant ainsi les pays en développement vis-à-vis des pays développés.

Il n'y a bien sûr aucun doute sur le fait que ces directives et recommandations avaient un caractère d'urgence. Ceci reste vrai aujourd'hui étant donné que les situations dont elles visaient l'amélioration n'ont guère évolué durant les deux dernières années.

La mise en application des aspects de ces directives et orientations qui entrent dans le cadre du mandat de la FAO a été extrêmement timide. Il y avait d'un côté l'ambition des objectifs et de l'autre un organisme se débattant dans une situation financière difficile. Les retombées de la situation qu'a vécue et que continue à vivre la FAO ont été négatives sur toutes ses activités, et particulièrement en ce qui concerne l'assistance aux pays en développement.

Le Maroc a confiance dans le rôle que joue notre Organisation. Cette position semble être aussi celle de l'ensemble des pays membres qui avaient donné la preuve de ce sentiment en adoptant, en 1989, dans une ambiance de consensus général, la Résolution 10/89 sur l'Examen de certains aspects des buts et opérations de la FAO.

A la veille du démarrage du cinquième cycle du Programme des Nations Unies pour le développement (PNUD) et dans le climat de détente que connaît le monde, mais aussi et malheureusement dans un environnement macro-économique défavorable pour la majorité des pays, le Maroc souhaite que tous les pays membres renouvellent leur confiance dans les potentialités d'action de

cette Organisation. Et cela devrait, nous semble-t-il, se traduire, à l'occasion de cette Conférence, par l'adoption d'une stratégie adéquate qui s'articulerait autour des axes suivants:

Rappeler l'importance des directives et orientations déjà adoptées; insister auprès des pays membres pour qu'ils prévoient les moyens et les mesures nécessaires à l'application de ces directives et orientations; mettre tout en oeuvre pour que les décisions de cette Conférence puissent être prises par consensus.

La FAO, forte de l'appui de tous ses membres, pourra apporter une contribution à la solution des problèmes entravant le développement, et notamment celui des échanges internationaux qui constitue un des facteurs principaux auxquels se heurtent, dans leurs efforts de développement, les pays du tiers monde.

Nombre d'entre eux, dont le Maroc, ont adhéré à la politique d'ajustement structurel leur imposant des contraintes souvent plus strictes que celles en vigueur dans les pays développés. Quand les effets de cette politique commencent à se faire sentir positivement sur le niveau de la production, les nombreuses barrières commerciales et le protectionnisme ne leur laissent aucune chance de se placer sur le marché international.

C'est pourquoi il est indispensable que l'ensemble des pays concernés prennent conscience qu'il ne peut y avoir développement sans échanges et qu'ils fassent l'effort nécessaire pour que les règles du commerce international, telles que pratiquées dans les faits, ne constituent pas une entrave supplémentaire au développement.

Une des préoccupations importantes de la communauté internationale est de protéger l'environnement et de sauvegarder les ressources naturelles.

Nombreux sont ceux qui pensent que l'avenir de la planète dépend de la capacité de l'humanité à protéger et à restaurer les équilibres naturels.

Mais cette bataille ne peut être gagnée qu'avec la participation active de l'ensemble des habitants de cette planète, dont une grande partie vit au-dessous du seuil de pauvreté. Or, ces populations ne peuvent souvent survivre qu'au détriment de leur environnement. Ainsi, dans ce domaine aussi, tous les pays sont concernés et aucun résultat important dans les régions pauvres ne peut être obtenu dans la sauvegarde des ressources naturelles sans une intervention massive permettant d'accroître le revenu de ces populations.

Le monde a pris conscience que l'accentuation des différences entre riches et pauvres menace son équilibre même. Il doit aujourd'hui mettre en place les moyens permettant de faire face à cette situation.

La FAO est l'un des cadres dans lesquels la communauté internationale peut intervenir pour créer les conditions adéquates à un développement durable. Il nous appartient à tous, dans le cadre de cette Conférence, d'en tirer les conclusions et de prendre les décisions adéquates.

Maynard JOSEPH (Dominica): Mr Chairman, the Director-General, Excellencies, Delegates and Observers. Mr Chairman, permit me as a result of the time limit to merely make excerpts from my prepared speech.

It is for me an honour to be here to address you at this, the Twenty-sixth Conference of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Let me extend to you, and in a very special way to the Director-General, very warm greetings on behalf of the government of the Commonwealth of Dominica.

A review of the Programme of Work and Budget for 1992-93 will reveal a number of significant areas for our attention. You will note in particular that FAO must continue to operate within a dynamic system. Between the time of the preparation of the work programme, events were changing within an international context at such a pace that it would be surprising if the final product turned out by the planner was indeed quite the same as the final output.

Mr Chairman, with regard to the points on agriculture, while it is true that tourism has had considerable impact and a demonstrable potential for increasing that impact on the economies of the Caribbean states, agriculture still remains a dominant economic sector. In some islands, agriculture constitutes 40 percent of the GDP and employs 40 percent of the labour force. In others, agriculture is responsible or accounts for 80 percent of the total export earnings, and in my own country, Dominica, foreign earnings from agriculture account for 70 percent of the total. Therefore, the growing demand and exposure of agriculture to global competition demands that the sector adopts policies and strategies which will increase productivity and enhance market capability. This also brings to the fore the very great and very many challenges which we in the small island economies must face. It also brings into focus our dependence on international support if we are to survive these challenges.

The Conference of the FAO will, at the request of Council, focus on priority areas of increased resources for environment and sustainable development. The meeting will also focus on agriculture, data development, women in development and the Technical Cooperation Programme. Also significant will be the proposed international Conference on Nutrition and the initiative in forestry under the Tropical Forestry Action Programme. All of these actions will continue to make considerable demands on FAO and on member states in particular. These demands dictate that there be increased collaboration with NGOs both at the local and international level.

The challenges to FAO and indeed the challenges which are being posed to developing countries are made greater in the light of the demands for competitive production. Very often these challenges increasingly call for appropriate adjustments in the structure of the economies of many of the developing states. Many of the problems affecting agricultural production can be seen either as physical input factors, economic factors, cultural and environmental factors, and knowledge factors. If we therefore examine these problem areas more closely we will realize that any programme which would provide for the active collaboration of the FAO and the Member States require considerable resources to ensure adaptation to the circumstances as we move from one region of the world to another. It is in this regard that attention will therefore have to be focused on the FAO's Programme of Technical Cooperation.

The agricultural sector has significance in the process of economic growth and development based on its direct contribution to employment, its role as foreign exchange earner and import substitution in food and raw material.

Agriculture and the agricultural sector continue to make a significant impact on the balance of payment performance and to employment in particular. As earlier indicated, the agricultural sector in the Caribbean region continues to absorb considerable levels of the labour force and with few exceptions remains an area of potential growth. Yet it is ironic perhaps that in a region where food production and primary agricultural exports remain major income earners, there should be such high dependence on the imported supplies of food. However, when one considers the interdependence of Member Nations on each other this therefore is understandable.

Food also has another important policy impact as it relates to social stability, and this assumes that certain minimum quantities in the right nutritional levels should always be available, and while this may be so in the context of the Commonwealth Caribbean for the most part, this is not necessarily the position globally. Therefore it seems imperative that the FAO must continue to emphasize its technical cooperation programmes as a way of helping Member States to develop their food production capacities both for the purposes of export and domestic food security. These technical cooperation programmes may be required in production programmes, soil conservation, husbandry, pest and disease control, and indeed in very important areas of reducing post-harvest losses. It should also be technical assistance which does not only emphasize production, but equally emphasizing productivity, for therein lies one of the major challenges which now faces Caribbean agriculture.

In recent years the efforts of FAO in my own country have been laudable. We have received considerable Technical Cooperation Programme support in many areas, namely, post-harvest, water conservation, forestry and fisheries management, in library and agricultural information documentation, agricultural policy analysis, forest inventory and in rural communications. All of these efforts have had the fundamental and critical aim of helping to make Dominica's agricultural production more efficient.

The recent programme in video and rural communications is of particular significance, since through this programme we expect to change the perception of many farmers so that agriculture can be seen more from a business perspective. Thus, our diversification effort will also focus on the policy objective of import substitution. Conscious always that even these efforts and initiatives must be price competitive and seen by our consumers as viable alternatives to imports of similar nutritional value. Increasingly also our newly established video facility will be used to inculcate in our consumers an appreciation for locally produced commodities.

These initiatives will also assist with the modernization of our agriculture so that critical minimum levels of mechanization can be employed notwithstanding the difficult terrain on which our farmers must produce.

In 1989, following hurricane Hugo and the devastation to agriculture and losses sustained in fisheries, the Director-General launched an appeal at the Twenty-fifth Conference urging Member Governments to support the rehabilitation and reactivation of agriculture and fisheries. I regret that I am not able to report any significant success from this appeal. However, the timeliness with which the FAO itself responded to our appeal by providing short-term assistance to our farmers and fishermen is a testimony

of the capacity of this Organization to respond promptly within its limited resources to the needs of Member States. With these limited resources external loans and support from two friendly countries, we were able to rehabilitate our agriculture.

With regard to the world economic environment, many are of the view that the overall economic environment has been generally unfavourable to agriculture in both 1990 and 1991. The economic slowdown already under way in industrialized nations was perhaps accentuated by the effects of the Gulf crisis with its many negative effects on the economies of the developing world. The overall economic impact and agricultural systems were hit by slower growth.

High levels of farm support and protection, particularly in the developed countries, continue to distort resource allocation. It is against this background that the outcome of the Uruguay Round remains in question because the developed world has indeed a considerable task to dismount its programmes of subsidies to agriculture. These difficulties and problems are made more complex because these economies depend on the natural resource base for their very survival, and yet to produce on a sustainable basis demands that we must be alert and conscious of the environment in which these productive processes take place. The actions of the international community therefore must be multi-faceted. It must be actions aimed at environmental protection within their own national boundaries. It must be actions aimed at helping with technological advances which are environmentally safe. The actions must also reflect a certain level of appreciation of the problems of the developing world in their ability to utilize their resources of land, water and forest for employment and social and economic well-being of their people. It follows therefore, that developing countries would be hard pressed to achieve either competitiveness in primary production or sustainability in agriculture without adequate inflows of external resources. These external resources are a prerequisite in the transformation of economic activity.

In this new world environment, Mr Chairman, the Caribbean countries which had been marketing their primary agriculture under preferential arrangements will be asked to compete openly. We are satisfied that while trade liberalization in agriculture may eventually hold positive benefits to the world economies, in the short run the economies of the developing world, particularly those which are primary agriculture producers, will be considerably affected in a negative way. How, then do we address this potential for political instability while at the same time maintaining foreign debt servicing at acceptable levels? It seems to me that as we move more closely toward agricultural trade liberalization our capital investment requirements will increase at a substantial rate.

If we are to survive and indeed provide our people with the basic requirements of housing, education, health care and employment, we must adopt new approaches toward agriculture, and in this regard agricultural diversification holds some potential.

But these agricultural diversification efforts worldwide reveal a need for substantial inflows in capital, mechanization, technical expertise and marketing support arrangements. It will also require conscious development of new export areas and substantial policy definition and adoption in export marketing and export financing initiatives which until now have largely been available to the manufacturing sector, particularly in the

areas of guaranteed export credit schemes. These schemes will have to be extended to agriculture and the related area of fisheries.

In conclusion, it seems evident that in order to achieve competitiveness in agriculture and self-sustaining growth, this will only be done with the injection of considerable external resources both human and financial. Given the absence of these resources in adequate levels in our sub-region, the donor countries will have to assist in providing necessary macro-economic analytical support which will help us develop appropriate policies so that maximum use can be made of development aid resources. Agriculture will therefore remain a central feature of our economic development model, not only because of it high employment capability and its export earning potential but also because of the important considerations for food security and social stability.

In all this a very critical challenge which faces the FAO, my own country and indeed the Member Nations has to do with the management of resources in both the private and public sector which must ensure effective people's participation. It is my hope that the adoption and implementation of the work programme for the biennium 1992-93 will record us as having made considerable progress towards ensuring a better life for many who still see the world as an uncaring place. The greater good must be the consolidation of all efforts towards a world where the resources are more evenly distributed.

Jaime Mauricio SALAZAR (El Salvador): Sr. Presidente de la Conferencia, Malik Abdul Majid, Sr. Director General de la FAO, Sres. Ministros de Agricultura de los Países Miembros, señores invitados especiales, señoras y señores.

Permítaseme felicitar al Sr. Presidente de la Conferencia, Malik Abdul Majid, por el honor que nos confiere al poder liderar este foro tan importante. Felicitar también al Sr. Director General de la FAO, Dr. Edouard Saouma, por su incansable labor en pro de todos los países y de los sectores agrícolas del mundo.

Este foro también se ha enriquecido y felicitamos muy atentamente a los nuevos Estados Miembros de Letonia, Lituania y Estonia, y al Estado Asociado de Puerto Rico. Asimismo, presentar a esta augusta Asamblea el más atento saludo, en nombre del Gobierno y el pueblo de El Salvador, con nuestro reconocimiento a la vez por la brillante oportunidad que se nos brinda de intercambiar ideas y experiencias sobre el trabajo en común de todos los países con la FAO, a nivel mundial; y poder plantear, además, una relación sucinta sobre el ser y quehacer particular de mi país, especialmente en lo relativo al sector agropecuario salvadoreño, de cuyo evidente proceso actual de desarrollo la FAO no es ajena.

Por eso, estimo un alto honor y una ocasión privilegiada el hecho de mi presencia y mi exposición de hoy, aquí, durante el 26º período de sesiones de la Conferencia de la FAO.

Cuando el contexto mundial nos sorprende con cambios muy significativos en lo político-social, con giros irreversibles hacia procesos de real democratización; y cuando, de igual manera, ese mismo contexto, también de manera sorprendente, nos presenta enormes avances técnico-científicos, como incuestionable evidencia del proceso de desarrollo de la humanidad, pareciera que, como algo paradójico, todas, o casi todas las naciones, enfrentan circunstancias adversas que les son comunes, tales como: la inflación, la recesión económica, la devaluación, la inestabilidad política y el desequilibrio social, entre otras, las cuales, sin duda, constituyen un reto que nos impone un esfuerzo cada vez mayor, para obtener los beneficios que nos permitan un mejoramiento integral y creciente en todos los campos, como corresponde realmente a toda nación libre y soberana.

Sr. Presidente, señores delegados, El Salvador inició desde los primeros días de gobierno, en junio de 1989, su programa de ajuste estructural, con verdadero entusiasmo y responsabilidad, reconociendo este ajuste como una medida esencial para el ordenamiento económico nacional, con el fin de lograr la inserción de la economía salvadoreña en el contexto de la economía mundial.

El programa de gobierno ha emprendido también la apertura económica al comercio y el alejamiento del control estatal sobre los entes productivos de la nación, como la banca, el comercio exterior y las regulaciones comerciales internas. Puedo con mucha satisfacción, informarles que el sector agropecuario está volviendo a ser responsabilidad de la iniciativa de productores, y no sujeto a dictámenes estatales.

Aunado al programa económico, también está en marcha el programa social de la nación, dirigido especialmente a los salvadoreños más necesitados que deben recibir ayuda compensatoria en los programas de ajuste estructural.

Gracias a una férrea disciplina económica y fiscal, El Salvador está recibiendo ayuda financiera de organismos internacionales que le permiten accionar en el campo económico, como en el social.

Hemos contado, y contamos, con respuestas positivas e inmediatas; y nuestra economía, si bien todavía atraviesa por momentos difíciles, en gran medida nos ofrece perspectivas halagadoras en el contexto de una economía social de mercado, cuyo futuro es altamente esperanzador.

En congruencia con las políticas económicas, se han puesto en marcha políticas sectoriales agropecuarias. En el caso de los granos básicos, principal modo de subsistencia de los salvadoreños, se han liberalizado los precios, se ha clausurado la Institución Estatal de Regulación de Abastecimientos, se opera un sistema de banda de precios, para la importación de granos básicos, se opera un centro de información de precios de granos básicos, se incentiva la comercialización privada de los mismos y se mantiene una reserva estratégica de granos básicos.

Se trabaja, además, árduamente en un plan de inversión y modernización de los programas de investigación y extensión para responder a las urgentes necesidades del mejoramiento del sector y de sus pequeños productores bajo esquemas de sostenibilidad y protección del medio ambiente.

El área de sanidad animal y vegetal, también está siendo objeto de inversión para su modernización y poder dotarla de la capacidad necesaria que permita proteger a los consumidores nacionales, asi como también facilitar la exportación de productos a mercados internacionales.

El presente Gobierno ha tomado pasos positivos para la consolidación del proceso agrario en El Salvador, especialmente a través de dos instrumentos esenciales:

La creación de la Ley del Régimen Especial del dominio de la tierra, cuyo objetivo primordial es conseguirle la libertad de escogencia de tenencia, a los beneficiarios de la fase I de la Reforma Agraria que comprenden 35 000 familias salvadoreñas, y una extensión de más de 200 000 hectáreas de las tierras más fértiles del país; la creación y el funcionamiento del Banco de Tierras, una entidad autónoma intermediaria financiera, que une los deseos del vendedor con los de muchos compradores campesinos, para otorgarles bajo un esquema de justicia y a través de créditos, el acceso a la tierra a los pequeños productores que así lo solicitan.

El Salvador, siendo uno de los países más degradados de la América Latina, requiere de programas agresivos para recuperar el medio ambiente a todo nivel. La FAO, en este sentido, ha estado apoyando los esfuerzos de la Comisión Nacional del Medio Ambiente, presidida por el Sr. Presidente Constitucional de la República, y se está trabajando en la formulación del Plan de Acción Forestal para El Salvador, y además, se cuenta con apoyo relacionado a la política forestal y el Plan Nacional de Reforestación, que comprende propuestas para la actualización de la Ley Forestal y la creación de la Ley de Incentivos Forestales, un Plan de Reforestación Nacional y la Ley de Protección para la Vida Silvestre.

Sr. Presidente, señores delegados, como parte del Programa Económico del Gobierno, y desde hace más de dos años, se eliminaron todas las leyes de fomento a diferentes sectores productivos, incluyendo al sector agropecuario. Nuestros agricultores no reciben subsidio de ninguna clase, ni en la compra de insumos, ni en las tasas de intereses de sus créditos, ni reciben precios preferenciales por sus productos. Compiten por bienes y servicios con ciudadanos que se ocupan en otros sectores.

Sin embargo, sí puedo informarles con mucha satisfacción, que el sector agropecuario no está deprimido; al contrario, ha sido el sector que creció más alto durante 1990, alcanzando una tasa de crecimiento anual del 7,4 por ciento.

El Salvador, está consciente que tiene en sus agricultores y en su capacidad de trabajo, una riqueza incalculable con un potencial de desarrollo ilimitado, que se verá plenamente realizado con el advenimiento de la paz.

El Salvador ha hecho muchas de las tareas de ordenamiento de la economía interna y, junto con otros países centroamericanos, ha tomado medidas concretas en pro de la integración económica de Centroamérica. Las reuniones cumbres de Presidentes de Centroamérica y Panamá han sido el escenario de tales acuerdos, el acuerdo más importante es el de libre comercio de productos agropecuarios que se iniciará entre todos los países de Centroamérica y Panamá, a partir de junio de 1992. Este acuerdo se produjo en la Décima Cumbre de Presidentes y está contemplado en la Declaración de San Salvador del 17 de julio del presente año.

Sr. Presidente, los países centroamericanos están tomando las medidas necesarias para ordenarse internamente y lograr su inserción en la corriente económica mundial. Debo aprovechar este momento para instar a otros países aquí representados, especialmente a los países desarrollados, a que tomen las medidas necesarias con sus economías, de tal manera que permita a nuestros agricultores competir en un marco de lealtad y justicia en los mercados internacionales.

Si así lo hicieran, sería uno de los medios más importantes para aliviar de la pobreza a miles de pequeños agricultores, que, en el caso de Centroamérica, el 75 por ciento de los mismos se clasifican como pobres o extremadamente pobres.

Para terminar Sr. Presidente, debo hacer referencia al texto de la declaración del Director General, Dr. Saouma, en este período de sesiones, cuando se refirió al apaciguamiento progresivo de los dramas que sufren El Salvador, Afganistán y tantos otros países.

El pueblo salvadoreño ha sido víctima de ataques fanáticos, algunos salvadoreños y no pocos extranjeros que han querido implantar por la vía de la fuerza y el terror un régimen totalitario en El Salvador.

Este movimento quiere desconocer el proceso democratizador y los avances que se han dado en este campo durante los últimos diez años y de los cuales son testigos miles de observadores extranjeros que han concurrido a todos nuestros actos eleccionarios.

El Excmo. Sr. Presidente de El Salvador, Licenciado Alfredo Cristiani, está en el poder por mandato del 54 por ciento del electorado de una contienda en que participaron diez partidos políticos. Pocos presidentes electos de las democracias más avanzadas del mundo pueden clamar el haber obtenido un apoyo y el poder por tan elevado margen. Afortunadamente, los eventos políticos de los últimos meses en Europa del Este y Rusia han confirmado, más allá de toda duda, que los únicos sistemas válidos son los implantados a través del proceso democrático que reconocen y respetan la libre determinación de sus ciudadanos.

El Salvador, Sr. Presidente, está ahora más cerca que nunca de llegar a un acuerdo de paz a través de negociaciones mediadas por el Sr. Secretario General de las Naciones Unidas y gracias al incansable esfuerzo de los países amigos en pro de una verdadera y de respeto democracia.

Para el esfuerzo de reconstrucción, que veremos en el plazo más breve posible, esperamos contar con la asistencia técnica y financiera de países amigos amantes de la democracia y de organizaciones internacionales como la FAO.

Finalmente, Sr. Presidente, señores delegados, hago propicia esta oportunidad para reiterar el reconocimiento merecido a esta institución en mi condición de funcionario de gobierno de la República de El Salvador, con la plena seguridad de que, al expresarlo, lo hago en nombre de una inmensa mayoría de compatriotas que, por mi medio, agradecen a FAO por su labor en beneficio del sector agropecuario de El Salvador.

Baron VAEA (Tonga): I am indeed pleased to address this august gathering on the occasion of the Twenty-sixth Session of the FAO General Conference. As the first Minister of Agriculture of my Government to attend the FAO Conference, I wish to pay tribute to the founders of this organization. Perhaps the time was right for an organization with noble aims of alleviating human suffering to be born and raised amidst the ruins of global war. However, it takes foresight, courage and dedication to build an international organization like FAO with a view to becoming an international bridge over which the more fortunate industrialized nations with means and technological know-how could effectively campaign against hunger, malnutrition and poverty rampant in the Third World. My Government is most conscious of and would wish to pay tribute to the generosity of the Government of Italy on its undaunting and continuous support in accommodating FAO during the past 40 years.

Mr Chairman, FAO was founded at a time when Tonga, like other small island states of the Southwest Pacific, led a very simple lifestyle in that the livelihood of the people was sufficiently provided from the land and sea and shared each day's provisions amongst the community, leaving tomorrow to look after itself. Exports of copra and bananas adequately served the need for cash. However, that tranquil serenity of island agriculture most regrettably did not last as we would have liked it to, for various reasons beyond our control it ended rather abruptly. Appearance of serious plant pests and diseases dramatically reduced production and eventually halted exports of bananas and other produce. For varying reasons the crash of the world market price caused the gradual decline of copra production and export which subsequently became an activity of the past. The need, then, to feed an increasing population, living in a limited sea bounded area and aggravated by frequent occurrences of natural disasters, food security became threatened. In addition, adequacy and suitability of water supply to support the population in these low-lying islands are issues which required immediate attention.

In that respect it was imperative that Tonga seek the link to the international bridge of humanity in FAO and we are greatly indebted to the goodwill of this Conference which allowed Tonga to become a full member in 1981. Since then the Kingdom has received and benefited from valuable counsel and technical assistance. The FAO World Food Day has been commemorated by the people of Tonga every year since its inception. The Kingdom has adopted the principles formulated in the FAO World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development and has been represented in the follow-up conference. Tonga has implemented the requirements laid down by the FAO Code of Conduct for Safe Pesticides and, therefore, legislation has been abrogated, a Registrar appointed, and the legislation is now in force.

We are conscious of the difficult negotiation that has been convened concerning the Uruguay Round of GATT and we can only hope that an amicable solution will soon be found in that respect and that it may again raise hope of export opportunity for the small and remote islands.

I have not touched upon environmental security, the reason being that though degradation of the environment does occur in Tonga, it is not as extensive as that unavoidably occurring in other countries.

However we are equally concerned about this unfortunate predicament facing the world at large. Our concern nevertheless focuses more on global warming and the associated rising of the sea level. It is a phenomenon which may

not require immediate action but the assumed implications definitely threaten the habitat and general livelihood of the people living in these low-lying islands.

On behalf of my Government I acknowledge with gratitude the generous and unfailing assistance of FAO. As a small, remote island country having limited physical and manpower resources, the technical and financial assistance of FAO has had a major positive impact. In times of natural disasters FAO has been sensitive and responsive with aid for the conduct of rehabilitation programmes.

My country is now experiencing the scourge of various diseases in our major crops and from this unfortunate intrusion the export capacity of the country is bleak and may expect disaster if the wealth of experience of the FAO technical staff cannot soon be brought to bear to establish control. With regard to the forestry sector, Tonga's offer to facilitate a training centre on coconut sawmilling in cooperation with FAO regional training still stands.

May I raise two points in the hope that they will contribute to FAO in its service to South Pacific nations. Firstly, it relates to the South Pacific representation at the FAO Council. Now that there are nine voting nations in the Southwest Pacific, our region seems under-represented.

The second point relates to the level of authority for approving projects delegated to the regional offices. It is believed that it has been some time since the level of delegated authority for approving projects was set and we believe that this matter should be reviewed. My delegation fully supports the FAO Work Programme and the Budget for the next biennium as presented. We are confident that the Organization, being in the hands of our illustrious Director-General, and despite the problems that he has outlined in his report, it is hoped that full replenishment of the contributory funds will soon be completed and will further enhance the operation of the work programme.

Finally, Mr Chairman, I tender my sincere congratulations to you on your unanimous election to this arduous task of the chairmanship of the Conference and I am sure that with your wise leadership and the apt manner in which you have conducted the Conference will reap fruitful results for all. To the Director-General and FAO staff my very good wishes and hope that the Conference will be a successful one and a beneficial one.

Li HAK CHOL (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) (Original language Korean): Allow me, first of all, to warmly congratulate you, Mr Malik Abdul Majid, on your election as Chairman of this Conference and express the conviction that the Conference will achieve success under your able chairmanship.

I also congratulate the four countries on their new membership into the FAO on behalf of the Delegation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and express my heartfelt thanks to the Director-General and the Secretariat of the Conference and the officials of the Organization for their sincere efforts in the preparations and successes of the Conference.

For the last two years since the Twenty-fifth Session of the Conference, the FAO, while overcoming many challenges it is faced with, has made a great contribution to the world food security and agricultural production situation through the technical cooperation for the agricultural development of the developing countries, through work for the environmental protection and the sustainable agricultural development on the occasion, for example, of the World Forestry Conference and the World Food Day, the preservation and use of genetic resources of crops and livestock, enhancement of the woman's role in agriculture, various networks of every field, consultations and seminars and other activities.

I am satisfied and appreciate the efforts and activities of the FAO to alleviate poverty and starvation and help the agricultural development of the developing countries on a worldwide scale under the energetic guidance of the Director-General.

In spite of the international concern, efforts for the food and agriculture, serious agricultural and food crises sweeping over the world continue and it brings great misfortunes and calamities to mankind.

Now 500 million population are suffering constant malnutrition and 150 million are dying of hunger every year.

This reality shows that food and agriculture is the most urgent question before mankind at present and the primary important work to be settled by the international community. It is none other than the developing countries that are suffering from the food crisis.

For the achievement of world food security, the developing countries occupying most of the world's territory and population should develop agriculture and increase food production.

President Kim II Sung, the respected leader of our people, taught that the present important task of the non-aligned and developing countries is to develop agriculture for self-sufficiency in food.

The developing countries are able to consolidate national independence and attain the independent development of the country only when they develop agriculture to solve food problems.

In order to solve food problems in the developing countries, the governments and peoples of those countries, their masters, must set forth an independent agricultural policy suitable to their specific conditions and develop agriculture in order to attain the self-sufficiency in food by making effective use of their manpower and also of their material resources.

Under the invariable policy of our Government for developing South-South cooperation, a large number of our technicians and specialists cooperate with the people of the developing countries, including the African countries, to build institutes and experimental grounds and study the seeds and agricultural farms to suit the climates and farming methods of the areas to actively introduce to the production and thereby increase grain output per hectare.

The Asian Regional Ministerial Conference of the Group of 77, held in Pyongyang last June, discussed the question of developing South-South cooperation and adopted the Pyongyang Declaration.

We will in the future, too, strive to develop South-South cooperation with developing countries.

The developing countries deploy joint efforts to eradicate the old and unfair international economic order in the food and agricultural field and establish fair, new international order.

Mr Chairman, since our country entered into the building of a new society under the wise leadership of the great leader Comrade Kim II Sung, great efforts have been made for agricultural development to solve the food problem by the country itself, even though the arable land is much limited.

Our country carried through the tasks of the Theses on the Socialist Rural Question in Our Country advanced by the President Kim II Sung on the basis of the realization of the Land Reform and Agricultural Cooperatization, and as a result our agriculture rapidly developed and agricultural production grew on the firm socialist material and technical basis.

Our people are now advancing vigorously along the road of socialism chosen by themselves without being shaken by any storm with the boundless national pride and self-confidence of leading a happy life under the most superior popular masses-centred-socialist system of our own way, and by doing so achieve great successes in the Socialist Rural Theses and in the Third Seven-Year Plan.

While intensifying agriculture to increase food production, our country is powerfully pushing forward great nature-remaking to reclaim new land and make arable land.

Since the Twenty-fifth Session of the Conference, great successes have been achieved in our agriculture. West Sea Waterway Project has been completed to consolidate the irrigation achievements on the basis of higher level and 500 000 hectares of jet line non-paddy fields irrigation have been accelerated successfully.

We completed 400 kilometres waterway projects for using the water of the artificial lakes in the Taedong River by the West Sea Barrage blocking the sea route of 8 kilometres, three reservoirs, 34 pumping stations to provide enough water to paddy and non-paddy fields along the west sea.

We dynamically do the work to improve the soil quality by spreading humus soil on the fields as we continuously cultivate the high-yield crops in the limited arable land. We have spread humus soil of 600 000 hectares from the end of last year to the farm season of this year. From the end of this year to the spring of next year, we will complete spreading of humus soil in the paddy fields of 650 000 hectares.

We expanded and reinforced the agriculture machine factories and chemical fertilizer factories and started operation on new agricultural pesticides factories.

We are now accelerating to its last stage the construction of the Sariwon Fertilizer Factory and the process of nitrogenous fertilizer production of the Sunchon Vynalon Complex and, as a result could have a higher capacity to provide the countryside with more farm machines, chemicals and fertilizers.

In the season of afforestation in spring and autumn the entire national plant trees and make forestry to protect farm land and ecological environment of agriculture. Many demobilized soldiers and graduates of higher middle schools voluntarily go to countryside for farming, which improves the labour composition of the countryside and intensifies the labour assistance in major farming season to enhance the social attention to agriculture.

We also carry through the rural theses, great Juche farming method and agricultural first policy.

By so doing, we again have a good harvest this year in spite of the severe drought due to the abnormal climate conditions.

We will continue to direct great efforts to agriculture to increase food production, maintain self-sufficiency in food and contribute to world food security.

The improvement of world food crises and the increase of agricultural production demand the enhancement of the function and role of the Organization.

I support the Programme of Work and Budget for 1992-93 and propose to adopt it with consensus as it contains the way out of the present challenges with due consideration for the financial constraints, even though not reflecting the real budget growth.

And here I would like to draw your attention to TCP.

I emphasize that the share of TCP in the next biennial programme and budget should be raised to 17 percent of the total budget in accordance with the Conference Resolution 9/89 and the method of the TCP utilization which is now applied for the Member Nations at present should be maintained in the future too, in conformity with its original aim, rather than the indicative country allocations proposed.

In this current Conference, environment protection, sustainable development of agriculture, the raising of the role of the non-governmental organizations and women in agriculture, protection and use of genetic resources of plants and livestock and cooperation with the Palestinian people are discussed for decision. In this connection, I think the documents presented by the Organization are all realistic and express my support to them.

We will continue to strive as in the past to further develop the cooperative relations with this Organization.

In conclusion, I am convinced that the current Conference will contribute to the world food security and agricultural development by successfully discussing all the issues thanks to the positive efforts of the participants.

Idriss JAZAIRY (President, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)): I would like first to extend to you my thanks for giving me this opportunity to take the floor in front of this august body. Although the world has seen many changes during the last two years, it is clear that the age-old problem of hunger and poverty has not yet been overcome; it is even getting worse in many parts of the world. Only a few months ago, we were reminded by the Secretary General of the United Nations that 30 million people in Africa were threatened for their lives by the difficult conditions that they were enduring. Addressing these issues is a matter of increasing urgency. IFAD, for its part, has made its own contribution to this endeavour. In its 14 years of operation, the Fund has provided US$3.3 billion to finance over 300 projects in 93 countries in support of the poorest of the poor. At full development, these projects will assure durable food security for some 240 million people; that is to say, at the cost of US$14 per beneficiary in terms of IFAD's own contribution.

Through its efforts, IFAD has also helped to bring the issue of poverty alleviation to the centre stage of international meetings, of international preoccupations, of international activities. Poverty alleviation, for example, has been made a key theme of the international development strategy for the 1990s. There is now a growing recognition of IFAD's argument that in countries where the majority of the population are poor, investment in poverty alleviation is the most effective and perhaps the only way to keep on the path towards sustainable development.

The challenge before us now is to see how this growing consensus can be translated into specific instrumentalities to reach the poor. IFAD itself has contributed to developing a number of new approaches for promoting grass-roots solidarity for targeted credit for the poor, for participatory research and demand-driven extension systems. We are also intent on preventing poverty and environmental degradation from chasing down one another. But we are all of us still at the beginning of the effort to transform the rhetoric of poverty alleviation into reality, into a reality that can effectively change the daily lives of the hundreds of millions who remain destitute. The Fund will continue its efforts to be at the cutting edge of this international endeavour.

It is in this spirit that we have been drawing in the course of the past year on the lessons from our projects in regard to the advancement of poor rural women. Rural women make up an increasing proportion of the poor. It is they who hold the key to household food security and experience has proved that they respond swiftly to new incentives. Is this not a message of hope as well as a call for further focused action?

A core group of First Ladies from across the world consider it is. They are accordingly organizing under the High Patronage of Queen Fabiola of Belgium, a World Summit on the Economic Advancement of Rural Women scheduled to take place on 25 February 1992. This important initiative was welcomed by the Economic and Social Council in its Resolution 1991/128 of last summer. A large number of other First Ladies have already expressed their interest in participating in this important event.

Another issue which has called for enhanced IFAD attention this year is the search for an effective way of establishing a link between emergency assistance and development. Of making food aid become not only a consumer good but a component in a sustainable development approach. In this connection IFAD has cooperated with the World Food Programme, as well as

FAO, in turning food aid from an emergency response to a development resource. In the same spirit IFAD was able to design, in record time a substantive project to help the cyclone effect that coastal people of Bangladesh pick up the threads of their lives which have been so badly affected by the devastation that they suffered during last April.

Similarly the Fund is trying to respond to that other cyclone that nobody talks about, the silent cyclone I would call it, that is engulfing much of sub-Saharan Africa in the wake of the Gulf crisis and which is leading to losses in output comparable to those suffered in a major cataclysm. In recognition of this critical situation facing sub-Saharan Africa, IFAD's Governing Council last May decided to continue the Fund's special programme for Africa into a second phase. France, which was the largest contributor to the programme's first phase in 1986 has also pledged a similar contribution to a second phase. Belgium and the Netherlands have also pledged a substantial amount.

It had earlier been said by the industrialized countries that they would find it easier to make additional contributions to the special programme if OPEC countries also showed interest. This is happening. Kuwait, in spite of the extremely difficult situation in which this country finds itself, has pledged a few months ago US$15 million to the second phase of the Special Programme.

Yet its generous act is not calling forth the expected response. May I therefore take this opportunity to renew my appeal to those donors who have not yet done so to contribute to the second phase of the programme.

Mr Chairman, IFAD was able to maintain the rhythm of its operations over the last three years due to the exceptional efforts made by Member States for the Third Replenishment, whatever category they belonged to, Category I, Category II or Category III. We are now considering whether we should hold a formal or informal meeting of IFAD's High-Level Intergovernmental Committee to consider the issues underlying the Fourth Replenishment before or during the Fund's next Governing Council in January 1992.

The Fund sees itself as part of a network intent on demonstrating that rural poverty can be addressed through cost-effective investments, rather than welfare schemes that low-income countries can hardly afford. As an international financial institution, it maintains close working relations with the World Bank, regional and sub-regional development banks. They are now to an increasing degree, I am pleased to say, joining us in investing in rural poverty alleviation across the world. The Fund also maintains close cooperative links with a large number of CGIAR and non-CGIAR centres to support research, but not any research, research oriented to the solution of its own poverty-focused project design constraints. As a specialized agency of the United Nations, IFAD has joined in institutionalized operational groups with other agencies. I am thinking in particular of the Joint Consultative Group on Policy, to which IFAD belongs, side by side with UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA and WFP, the Joint Programme under the Belgian Survival Fund is another example of this which associates some of the same agencies that I have mentioned, IFAD and the World Health Organization.

But we give particular importance to our relations with our sister food agency in Rome, FAO, in accordance with the Agreement Establishing IFAD which states that The Fund shall cooperate closely with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Indeed this relationship has been very productive, particularly I would say at the working level. One major strand is our collaboration with the FAO Investment Centre, which has undertaken project identification and preparation work for IFAD. Last year, for instance, close to one third of our project-design missions were entrusted to the Centre. In this agreement IFAD has contributed two thirds of the cost of the latter and the Investment Centre the balance.

This relationship, I believe, has been fruitful for both parties. Through collaboration between IFAD and the Investment Centre, new methodologies for undertaking Rural Rapid Appraisals have been developed. The Centre now applies these new methodologies in an effort to deepen understanding of poverty dynamics and the profile of the target group.

After this experience of over a decade, it is perhaps now time for us to undertake jointly a review of this cooperation with the Investment Centre in order to improve further project design, and make it increasingly responsive to the needs of the rural poor.

There are also other forms of institutional cooperation among our two agencies. FAO, for example, serves as the executing agency for technical assistance components in some IFAD-supported projects. Streamlining the procedures in this regard would, I believe, help to expand this collaboration further as well as to render it more cost-effective.

Another area where we would like to do more with FAO is with regard to the pre-investment activities that FAO undertakes in many countries. If from the outset some of these operations could be coordinated with IFAD programming efforts, the Fund could develop a greater number of investment projects on the basis of the FAO pre-investments so that their fullpotential could be realized.

In addition to such institutionalized forms of cooperation which have worked well, we have also developed joint specific initiatives supported by IFAD grant financing.

Thus, an important recent collaborative endeavour was launched by FAO and IFAD to combat the serious threat posed by the New World Screwworm in the Maghreb countries. The Fund was also the largest multilateral co-financier of this venture. The respective role of each agency was referred to by the ECOSOC Resolution 1991/59 of last summer which welcomed the prompt response by the International Fund for Agricultural Development in initiating the regional pilot biological control programme for the New World Screwworm in North Africa and by the Food and Agriculture of the United Nations in establishing the Screwworm Emergency Centre for North Africa for the execution of the pilot and subsequent programmes. It also welcomed the support of other agencies of the UN family. The successful outcome was due however first and foremost to the responsiveness of the host country, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, as well as to a remarkable demonstration of South-South cooperation with a Mexican research institution. The imperative of addressing a global environmental hazard also elicited strong North-South cooperation, with the support of the United States and other donors, bilateral and multilateral. Let me take this opportunity to extend to them our deepest gratitude.

The lesson I think one can draw from this experience is that the potential for collaboration that can still be developed between FAO and IFAD is very considerable indeed. But to do more will require reaching a clearer understanding of how we can best proceed with such joint initiatives.

Two issues seem to be relevant in this context:

First, the Fund's Governing Bodies expect it not simply to fulfil a cash disbursing function in providing grant financing but also to take an active role in project design and in ensuring during implementation effective compliance with the IFAD Appraisal. This implies that the Fund must be actively involved at the stage of project elaboration and of implementation follow-up.

The second matter relates to the necessity of projecting a common message on our joint activities to the media. This is a question of some interest since it is only in this way that we can really generate public sympathy and maximize fund-raising efforts.

This is as far as the substance of our cooperation is concerned. But the image I believe is also important. To symbolize IFAD's strong commitment to inter-agency cooperation I have made it a tradition to invite the Director-General of FAO to be the first speaker in the General Debate at our Governing Council, to be followed by the heads of the World Food Programme and the World Food Council. It is in this spirit that I once again extend an invitation to the Director-General to address the Governing Council of IFAD at the opening of the General Debate in January 1992. I would similarly invite him, in the name of the Core Group of First Ladies organizing the World Summit on the Economic Advancement of Rural Women, to address the Summit on 25 February next year.

Finally I have made another suggestion to strengthen the image of our collaborative spirit and operations. While field level coordination is important, as we have no field level representation, we need also to promote it at Headquarters level, in compliance with the provisions of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 32/197, concerning inter-agency coordination. It is as a symbol of this spirit that I suggested the four Rome-based food agencies and programmes should celebrate jointly the World Food Day under FAO leadership. This would also enable us to comply with General Assembly Resolution 35/70 which inter alia urges international organizations to contribute to the effective commemoration of World Food Day to the greatest extent possible. It is something that already my distinguished predecessor and then I myself have sought to bring about bilaterally, and a matter that I had raised again at the FAO Conference at its last session two years ago.

The only alternative to such a joint celebration would be for each specialized agency to have a separate Day of its own in spite of the commonality of their objectives. When there already exist as many as 29 days dedicated to various themes by different United Nations agencies, this would surely lead to an unnecessary duplication of effort and to donor fatigue. The reputation of the UN agencies takes so long to build, so long to build, yet so little can mar it.

It is in the same spirit of accommodation and the search for a broader understanding that I readily accepted the Director-General's proposal to set up an Inter-Secretariat mechanism for cooperation among the food

agencies in Rome. However, I believe that it would be helpful to have an annual meeting of the Executive Heads themselves, as is done, for example, in the JCGP, for in the final analysis it is the Heads of Agencies themselves that must be seen as exercising effective leadership in the promotion of inter-agency collaboration.

Mr Chairman, for my part I remain convinced that collaboration, not only at working level but also at the level of Executive Heads, is essential for increased operational effectiveness. Both for that reason and to be true to the mandate given to us by the Agreement Establishing IFAD, I shall continue relentlessly to do my utmost to develop an increasingly productive partnership.

Mr Chairman, before I conclude, I should like to exercise briefly my right of reply with respect to the comments made by a distinguished speaker in this Assembly at the opening of this meeting.

Dans une déclaration qui a été faite par un honorable orateur, des points de vue ont été exprimés sur le mandat, la structure et la gestion du Fonds international de développement agricole. Il appartient évidemment à chacun d'avoir ses opinions et je respecte les opinions des autres. Un point cependant pourrait être susceptible de créer la confusion dans les esprits, je voudrais m'y arrêter.

Il s'agit de l'affirmation selon laquelle le Fonds dispose d'un nombre considérable de centaines de millions de dollars placés en banque alors que la FAO manque de quoi payer son personnel, ce qui nécessite une amélioration des structures multilatérales.

Le FIDA est une institution financière. Il fonctionne en matière financière selon les même règles que la Banque mondiale et les autres banques régionales. En ceci il y a une certaine différence entre le FIDA et la FAO qui est une institution spécialisée de type traditionnel.

Nous réalisons un certain nombre de projets et j'ai cité tout à l'heure le cas de plus de 300 projets; nous en avons en cours d'exécution à peu près 213 aujourd'hui. Il s'agit d'investissements dans l'agriculture qui se réalisent sur une période de cinq à sept ans, selon une durée qui est conforme au schéma qui a été établi par la Banque mondiale.

En ce qui concerne la réalisation de ces projets agricoles, dès qu'on s'engage dans un projet vis-à-vis d'un Etat Membre, dès que le Conseil d'administration adopte ce projet et consigne l'accord de prêt avec le gouvernement en question on est obligé d'avoir les ressources nécessaires pour financer les factures au fur et à mesure qu'elles nous sont présentées à l'encaissement.

Je voudrais affirmer ici solennellement que dans la trésorerie de l'IFAD il n'y a pas un seul dollar - et je dis bien un seul dollar - qui ne soit affecté déjà à la réalisation de projets en cours de décaissement tels qu'ils ont été approuvés par notre Conseil d'administration.

On peut évidemment dire qu'on doit priver de cet argent ses bénéficiaires légitimes, les plus pauvres parmi les pauvres, et l'affecter à d'autres usages mais c'est une option politique.

On peut dire qu'il vaudrait mieux retirer cet argent aux plus pauvres parmi les pauvres et payer les salaires des fonctionnaires des institutions internationales. C'est un point de vue en matière de développement, c'est une conception, ce n'est pas la nôtre.

Nous disons nous, au contraire, que les ressources que nous recevons de nos bailleurs de fonds doivent aller directement aux plus pauvres parmi les pauvres dans les zones rurales et qu'au contraire nous devons restreindre le nombre de nos fonctionnaires pour maximiser le montant des ressources mises à la disposition des bénéficiaires dans les pays en développement. C'est pour cela que sur chaque dollar que nous recevons des bailleurs de fonds nous consacrons 93 centimes de dollar aux bénéficiaires et que nous consacrons un maximum de 7 centimes de dollar pour l'identification, la préparation, la préévaluation, tous les coûts jusqu'à l'adoption de ces projets par le Conseil d'administration.

C'est notre conception du développement. A chacun la sienne.

Kinzang DORJI (Bhutan): Mr Chairman, Mr Director-General, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is a great honour for me to address this Twenty-sixth General Conference of the FAO. I, on behalf of the Bhutanese delegation and on my own behalf, congratulate you on being elected Chairman of this very important Conference. We are confident that under your wise and able leadership our deliberations will proceed smoothly and successfully.

Mr Chairman, I see that we have a very broad and comprehensive agenda ahead of us. As the previous speakers have adequately touched on a wide range of global issues, issues of common concern, and of concern to this Conference, I do not wish to dwell on these any further. I will therefore, only highlight some issues as they arise from our experience in Bhutan.

I am glad to report that the state of food and agriculture in Bhutan is encouraging, and that we look forward to a bright future under the dynamic and dedicated leadership of His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuck. Nevertheless, we cannot afford to be complacent because of our past achievements. We know that there are challenges ahead, and we are looking forward to overcoming these in order to maintain and even accelerate the momentum gained during the past years. In this regard we seek for continued cooperation between our country and FAO and the international community in general.

We are now in the final year of our Sixth Five-Year Plan. As we make the transition into the Seventh Five-Year Plan. We are making concerted efforts to use the lessons of our own experience, as well as that of other countries in formulating a sound agricultural development strategy.

The main areas of concern in our strategy are overcoming the problems of technical manpower shortages and the integration of crop, livestock and forestry into an environmentally sound and sustainable process of growth, consistent with the upliftment of the living standards of our people and the maintenance of our unique ecological and cultural heritage.

In an attempt to address the major problems of shortage of skilled and trained manpower, the Natural Resources Training Institute (NRTI) will be inaugurated in 1992. This Institute will provide training programmes at Diploma Level for eventual work in agriculture, livestock and forestry. It will also render refresher courses for in-service training of the technical staff. The NRTI aims at amalgamating science and technology with practical know-how and professional experience so as to make relevant and lasting contributions to rural development.

In the area of Extension and Research, the Royal Government is seriously considering the potential for integrating the research activities of the Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Forestry Departments in order to respond to the need for an integrated farming systems approach to sector development.

The core integrative aspects of the agricultural sector such as land use planning, environmental protection and soil conservation will be given greater prominence than in earlier years. Utmost priority will be given to building up a critical mass of research scientists to staff a balanced and effective research programme. The extension service will be the object of a concerted plan of action, with a clear role definition, job specification relating to the provision of technical services. As women have a key role in the domestic farm enterprise, their contribution will be recognized by appropriate extension packages, training and study tours.

The Seventh Plan will include adequate provisions for prevention of crop and food losses. Development of storage methods and facilities will be given priority.

Due emphasis will also be accorded for development of suitable markets for agricultural commodities. To address the biggest constraint in development a more prioritized, systematic and coordinated plan for human resources development will be followed.

My delegation recognizes the importance of increasing people's participation in rural development and to enhance the process, Gewog/Block Development Committees (GDCs) have been formed in all the gewogs of the Kingdom. Institution of the GDCs further decentralizes the decision-making, planning and programming process for rural development, thereby making the plans most realistic and achievable. A Planning and Policy Committee with the Heads of the Departments as members and chaired by the Deputy Minister, Ministry of Agriculture has been constituted for providing collective guidance and direction in the development of the renewable natural resources (RNR) sector.

To effectively promote sustainable agricultural and rural development, conservation and environmental protection has been appropriately considered as one of the policy objectives of the Seventh Plan. Furthering of an integrated approach to programmes and activities will lead to development of various farming systems programmes.

The Royal Government of Bhutan, attaches great significance to our association with FAO, and we are keen to further step up the level of this interaction. We are profoundly appreciative of FAO's assistance during the previous Plan periods and also the assistance being rendered in the formulation of our agricultural development strategy.

My Government, acknowledges the need and the urgency of helping the Least-Developed Countries and we fully endorse FAO's support programmes for LDCs.

In the past we also benefited immensely by having an access to TCP funds that were administered through the Regional Offices, even though the sums were relatively small. However, with the diminution of such funds, the Regional FAO Offices were greatly handicapped to effectively deal with unforeseen problems of member countries.

My delegation would therefore, submit to the conference to reconsider placing TCP funds at the disposal of Regional Offices for the benefit of the regional members. We are pleased to state that the involvement of the Royal Government in the selection of experts and consultants to Bhutan by FAO has produced very positive results.

My Government, supports the proposed Programme of Work and Budget presented by the Director-General. We shall also be fully prepared to support any changes that will result in more efficient use of the resources.

In conclusion I would like to express our sincere appreciation for the excellent Conference arrangement made by the Secretariat.

Louis NDUWIMANA (Burundi): M. le Président indépendant du Conseil, M. le Directeur général de la FAO, au nom de la délégation de la République du Burundi et en mon nom propre, nous tenons d'emblée à adresser à M. le Président de la vingt-sixième session de la Conférence nos vives félicitations pour sa brillante élection et nous sommes convaincus qu'il conduira les travaux de cette session vers un succès certain. Nos félicitations sont également adressées à M. le Directeur général de la FAO qui dirige l'Organisation avec bravoure et succès malgré une conjoncture financière, avons-nous appris, défavorable.

Nous saluons avec joie et nous félicitons les pays qui viennent d'accéder à la qualité de membres de l'Organisation et viennent ainsi agrandir la famille de l'Organisation.

La République du Burundi que nous avons l'insigne honneur de représenter à cette vingt-sixième session de la Conférence de l'Organisation des Nations Unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture est un pays enclavé, aux dimensions réduites, situé aux confins de l'Afrique centrale et de l'Afrique orientale. Sa densité moyenne est de 207 habitants/km2, une des plus fortes d'Afrique.

Le Burundi est partagé entre le Bassin du Nil et le Bassin du Zaïre. La crête de partage des eaux culmine à 2 680 mètres d'altitude, et le niveau inférieur du pays, celui du Lac Tanganyika, est de 775 mètres.

Sa situation économique précaire découle d'une forte croissance démographique (3,06 pour cent), d'une stagnation du produit intérieur brut et de la détérioration des termes de l'échange.

L'agriculture et les activités rurales concernent environ 95 pour cent de la population et constituent le principal moteur du développement. L'agriculture est la principale activité de l'économie burundaise et le développement de notre pays est intimement lié à l'évolution de ce secteur.

Les principaux objectifs généralement assignés à ce secteur sont les suivants: assurer l'autosuffisance alimentaire de la population; améliorer la ration alimentaire en augmentant l'apport de protéines d'origine animale et de lipides; augmenter et diversifier les produits agricoles exportables; augmenter les revenus en milieu rural afin d'améliorer les conditions de vie des populations qui y vivent; créer des emplois agricoles pour faire face à l'augmentation de la population active; protéger le sol et accroître sa fertilité.

Pour atteindre ces objectifs, des axes d'intervention portant sur le développement des cultures vivrières, de l'élevage, de la pêche et pisciculture, des cultures d'exportation, de la sylviculture ont été déterminés et des mesures d'accompagnement ont été prises notamment le renforcement institutionnel.

Le sous-secteur de l'alimentation comprend essentiellement les cultures vivrières, l'élevage, la pêche et la pisciculture. Ce sont les cultures vivrières qui assurent la quasi-totalité des apports nutritionnels de la population. Les besoins en énergie, en protéines sont actuellement satisfaits, à quelques exceptions près pour certaines régions et pendant certaines périodes de l'année.

La situation préoccupante est celle des lipides dont les besoins ne sont couverts qu'à 50 pour cent seulement.

Le développement des cultures vivrières suppose: l'extension des superficies cultivées; l'intensification des cultures par l'utilisation des semences sélectionnées; la fertilisation et la défense des cultures; et la diversification des cultures.

Dans le domaine de la production des cultures vivrières, on ne pourrait passer sous silence certains programmes d'importance considérable, il s'agit: du programme palmier à huile destiné à réduire les déficits en lipides dans le pays; du programme sucrier destiné à substituer l'importation de cette denrée par la production locale; du programme rizicole qui a connu ces dernières années un grand développement; du programme pomme de terre également en plein développement; du programme blé de planification en phase d'exécution.

Dans le domaine de l'élevage, des efforts de développement du gros bétail sont consentis, mais l'apport protéinique par habitant reste insuffisant suite à diverses contraintes qui sont:

Le manque d'amélioration de l'alimentation du gros bétail; le manque d'introduction de nouvelles races et d'alimentation génétique; l'hygiène et les soins vétérinaires déficients.

Le petit élevage par contre, offre encore des possibilités d'adaptation. Il en résulte que l'élevage porcin, caprin, ovin est à développer. Même si l'élevage ne contribue que pour environ 3 pour cent dans la production alimentaire, et même si ses programmes d'amélioration mettent plusieurs années pour se traduire en résultats tangibles, il contribue énormément par le fumier à la fertilisation des sols et ainsi à l'augmentation des rendements vivriers.

Dans le domaine de la pêche et de la pisciculture, le Burundi est situé dans l'axe des grands lacs. Les parties burundaises des lacs qui sont partagés avec plusieurs pays, couvrent une petite superficie de celle-ci.

Ce sous-secteur représente une source appréciable de protéines animales surtout pour les populations riveraines du lac Tanganyika.

Le sous-secteur de la pêche dispose de très peu d'infrastructure pour la transformation, la conservation et la commercialisation des produits.

Pour rationaliser l'exploitation globale des ressources potentielles du lac Tanganyika et des lacs du nord du pays, des projets régionaux de recherche halieutique seront initiés en collaboration avec les pays riverains.

Du fait du relief et de l'hydrographie, le Burundi présente des potentialités certaines en pisciculture. Ces deux facteurs y facilitent la construction d'étangs, de barrages ou de déviations de cours d'eaux permettant l'aquaculture.

Par ailleurs, les lacs artificiels et les micro-centrales hydroélectriques installées en milieu rural constituent des endroits privilégiés de développement de la pisciculture.

En tout état de cause, une pisciculture rurale, utilisant des techniques simples et éprouvées, située loin des zones riveraines des lacs dispose d'atouts certains, d'autant plus que le marché existe à des prix très rémunérateurs. Elle suppose cependant le renforcement des capacités d'encadrement technique des candidats pisciculteurs et l'amélioration des conditions d'approvisionnement en alevins.

Dans le domaine des cultures d'exportation, l'objectif poursuivi est de fournir les ressources en devises nécessaires au financement des importations en même temps qu'on augmente les revenus des agriculteurs.

Les principales cultures d'exportation pratiquées au Burundi sont le café arabica, le coton, le thé et le quinquina. Ces cultures rapportent actuellement jusqu'à 90 pour cent des devises du pays. Le café à lui seul génère environ 83 pour cent de ces recettes, le thé environ 5 pour cent et le coton 2 pour cent. Leurs prix sur le marché international sont fluctuants et les termes de l'échange se détériorent constamment en leur défaveur, ce qui explique que les accroissements de production et l'amélioration remarquable de qualité de nos cultures d'exportation ne sont pas traduits par les résultats financiers escomptés.

Malgré cette contrainte du marché international, la stratégie préconisée demeure toujours la spécialisation régionale et l'intensification de ces cultures pour augmenter leur quantité, et améliorer constamment leur qualité.

Une autre stratégie consiste à diversifier les cultures d'exportation par l'intensification des cultures maraîchères et fruitières.

Pour atteindre les objectifs ci-dessus mentionnés, certaines mesures d'accompagnement ont été prises: la restructuration du Ministère de l'Agriculture et de l'Elevage pour un meilleur développement des structures de vulgarisation et d'encadrement, et une meilleure participation des

agriculteurs dans la programmation et l'exécution des activités de production.

Il s'agit également de la création du Ministère de l'Aménagement, du Tourisme et de l'Environnement que j'ai l'honneur de diriger, et l'utilisation rationnelle des ressources naturelles comme cadre nouveau de conception, d'élaboration et de suivi des politiques et programmes visant la gestion, et la mission assignée au Ministère de l'Aménagement du Territoire des Eaux et Forêts.

L'aménagement du territoire pour une bonne gestion rationnelle des terres et pour une meilleure protection du patrimoine foncier, en tant que pierre angulaire dans la mise en exécution des différents programmes de développement en milieu rural.

Le rétablissement et le maintien d'un environnement viable pour un développement harmonieux et durable, en veillant à ce qu'aucun secteur de la vie nationale ne soit à l'origine ou ne constitue une menace à la vie humaine.

En effet, par suite de la topographie accidentée, des entités géographiques du pays et de la faible maîtrise des méthodes culturales visant le maintien de la fertilité des sols, notre patrimoine foncier se trouve quelque peu menacé au Burundi.

L'érosion hydrique agit intensément sur les sols déjà épuisés par les cultures successives sans jachère, la terre est ensuite emportée vers les cours d'eau, laissant en place la roche mère apparaître à la surface.

Les marais dont l'écologie est très fragile sont exploités au gré des agriculteurs sans encadrement suffisant au préalable et le résultat ne peut aboutir qu'à une utilisation peu rationnelle de ces terres et par conséquent à une baisse de rendement d'année en année.

Les déchets chimiques en provenance des industries et des intrants agricoles ne sont pas encore suffisamment importants pour polluer l'environnement surtout en milieu urbain. Toutefois, le Burundi a déjà pressenti le danger relatif à la pollution de l'atmosphère et des eaux, et une attention particulière devra être portée aux eaux du lac Tanganyika, principale ressource halieutique du pays et de la région.

Pour pallier ces différents dangers qui menacent l'environnement, le Burundi a créé un Institut National pour l'Environnement et la Conservation de la Nature (INECN). Cet Institut a déjà permis la protection de 100 000 hectares répartis en 3 parcs nationaux, 5 réserves naturelles et 2 monuments naturels. Il s'attelle actuellement à la préparation d'une stratégie nationale pour l'environnement.

La couverture forestière du Burundi était estimée à 3 pour cent jusqu'en 1980. Depuis le début de la décennie, des efforts fructueux ont été fournis par le Gouvernement en installant des boisements artificiels sur les collines et massifs dénudés et en pratiquant l'agroforesterie dans les exploitations, ce qui rapproche actuellement cette couverture à 7 pour cent de la superficie.

Malgré ces efforts, on est loin d'atteindre l'objectif à long terme qui vise la couverture forestière jusqu'à 30 pour cent.

Une évaluation sommaire des réalisations faites montre que si les besoins en bois d'oeuvre et de service sont croissants il n'en est pas de même pour le bois de chauffage qui est la seule ressource d'énergie de la population, et cette situation risque de s'aggraver avec la démographie galopante et le problème des feux de brousse qui causent des dégâts énormes à la fin de chaque saison sèche.

De plus, les plantations déjà réalisées posent des problèmes d'entretien d'aménagement et d'exploitation qui doivent retenir toute l'attention voulue et trouver des solutions dans un proche avenir.

Malgré tous ces efforts sur le plan interne, le pays a besoin d'une coopération internationale agissante.

Actuellement plus de 70 projets sont en cours d'exécution dans le secteur rural et mènent des actions en vue de promouvoir la production agricole et le développement rural intégré.

Ces projets bénéficient de l'appui technique et/ou financier des bailleurs de fonds et des ONG.

Pour le moment, huit projets bénéficient de l'appui technique et financier de la FAO. Douze projets sont appuyés techniquement par la FAO avec des financements sur fonds extrabudgétaires.

Cette vingt-sixième session de la Conférence de la FAO se tient vers la fin du cinquième plan quinquennal de développement économique et social du Burundi, c'est donc pour nous une occasion de soumettre à l'attention de la FAO quelques domaines qui mériteront une action plus soutenue au courant du sixième plan quinquennal.

Vous me permettrez de citer à titre indicatif ces domaines; à savoir:

La défense et la restauration du patrimoine foncier; la protection des eaux et des sols; l'extension des terres agricoles par le drainage et l'irrigation; la politique alimentaire et nutritionnelle; les statistiques agricoles; l'intégration de la femme rurale au développement; la conservation des denrées alimentaires; la recherche appliquée, l'information et la formation spécialisées…

Je m'en voudrais de terminer mon intervention sans remercier vivement au nom de la République du Burundi, au nom de la délégation qui m'accompagne et en mon nom propre, le programme de la FAO, dont les actions menées au Burundi et dans le monde, sont fort appréciées par le Gouvernement, et ont des effets positifs auprès des institutions et populations bénéficiaires.

De ce fait, nous aurions aimé entendre que pour mener à bien son programme dans le cadre de la coopération internationale, l'Organisation puisse recevoir les appuis financiers des pays membres. Nous proposons à cet effet que le budget présenté dans la conjoncture actuelle soit adopté par consensus en espérant que des ressources additionnelles pourront être rapidement disponibles afin que l'Organisation puisse amplifier son programme de coopération.

Vive la coopération et la solidarité internationales!

Abbas IBRAHIM (Maldives): First of all I would like to congratulate you, Mr Chairman, on your unanimous election to this important post. I am confident that under your guidance and that of your deputies the present FAO Conference will be a success.

I would also like to express my heartiest congratulations to the Director-General Mr Edouard Saouma for his illuminating statement to the Conference.

On behalf of the Maldives delegation I wish to congratulate and welcome the new Member Nations, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and the Associate Member Puerto Rico to our Organization.

I am happy to be able to take part in this Conference, the aims of which are to assess the state of food supply and agricultural development, as well as to evaluate the policies in this field and to define further measures to meet the related challenges of the future.

It is my pleasure to provide a very brief presentation of the agricultural situation in the Republic of Maldives. As most of you know, the Maldives is a nation of small islands in the Indian Ocean. These islands are spread over 90 000 square kilometres of ocean. The land area of the country is about 300 square kilometres. The islands are small, flat and low-lying. The elevation of the highest point on most islands is less than two metres above sea level.

Not surprisingly, the Maldives has few land-based resources. Soils are relatively young, being comprised of coral sand to loamy sand. As a result, agricultural development is limited. Nevertheless, the agricultural sector is the third largest in the country, behind fisheries and tourism, and a wide range of crops are grown though on a very small scale. Programmes undertaken by the Government to develop agriculture are gradually beginning to show positive results.

The main focus of this meeting is on agricultural development. However, it is perhaps appropriate to remember that in a country such as the Maldives, fisheries play a role of paramount importance in food supply. During the last year we in the Maldives have undertaken a major review of the entire fisheries sector, with assistance from ABD, which will guide us in planning for the future. We have also formulated a third Fisheries Development Project which will, with funding arranged through the World Bank, Nordic countries and OPEC Fund, continue the process of infrastructural development that has shown considerable success in our centuries-old fishery into the modern age. It is my pleasure to acknowledge the important part played by FAO in assisting us in the process. Perhaps many of you may know that the fisheries in the Maldives are based very largely on tuna. The species caught are highly migratory, and so the tuna fished in the Maldives belong to the stocks as do those being fished in ever-increasing quantities in other parts of the Indian Ocean. Considering the importance of tuna fisheries to the Maldives, we place great importance on international cooperation in the monitoring and management of Indian Ocean tunas. May I therefore take this opportunity to commend the work over the last ten years of FAO's Indo-Pacific Programme based in Colombo. May I also stress the need we feel for its timely replacement by an Indian Ocean Tuna Commission.

While on the important subject of fisheries, may I suggest that there is a growing need for a second World Conference on Fisheries. I feel that the tenth anniversary year of the first World Conference held here in Rome in

1984 might be an appropriate time. Items of international importance to be discussed could include the following interrelated points: Firstly, readjustments in regional economies and of the lending policies of major financial institutions, and the effects these changes will have on the development of fisheries.

Secondly, the long-term relationship of climate and climate change on the world fisheries, and the effects this will have on fishing patterns and fish stocks.

Thirdly, the important topic of mobile high seas fleets, (for example, the high seas drift net and purse seine fleets) and the effects that major changes in the world economy, climate and policy will have on their activities, particularly as these relate to the fisheries and economies of small coastal countries.

I am sure I can leave this matter in your capable hands, and now I would like to make a few comments on some of the items on the agenda.

On Agenda Item 7, may I say how pleased I am that FAO has taken up the issue of Environment and Sustainable Development so positively. This is of particular importance to small island nations, like the Maldives, since our countries are extremely susceptible to natural disasters affecting our agricultural and economic development. Industrialization is now complicating ecological problems all over the planet. The greenhouse effect brought about by the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, according to most experts, leads to rising temperatures and climatic changes throughout the world. If the rhythm of the seasons is altered, the very foundation of agriculture, forestry and fisheries risk upheaval.

Turning to Agenda Item 9, we greatly appreciate the work undertaken by the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources. Agriculture has been practised from time immemorial in the islands of the Maldives. Our soils are mostly highly alkaline, and over the generations local farmers have selected locally adopted varieties of several vegetables and fruits suited to soils with high pH. But in recent years, sorghum and millet cultivation has greatly decreased due to the use of imported wheat. Collection of genetic resources of local fruits and vegetables, mostly seed yielding species, have been made through the kind support of FAO/IBPGR. However several varieties of tuber and root crops adopted to our soils have not yet been collected. Their collection and conservation is desirable before they are replaced by other crops. The Maldives has donated the collected germplasm to FAO/IBPGR and looks forward to receiving improved cultivars of tropical fruits and vegetables in due course.

On Agenda Item 10, I appreciate the programme of work related to helping the least-developed countries in defining their agricultural development strategies. But I would be pleased to draw the attention of the Conference to the particular situation of the least-developed island nations like the Maldives. While this group of countries have enormous marine resources, our land areas are small. The protection and proper management of coastal zones are major issues, relating directly to agricultural production. We do have existing, traditional patterns of agriculture which are suited to our particular geographical situations, and which are very different to those of larger countries. We need advice on how best to build on what we have to

ensure sustainable development of our agriculture, and of course our marine resources as well.

Concerning Agenda Item 11, Maldives has special interest in the International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides, including the clause on prior information consent. This is because there are growing fears that these pesticides may lead to the pollution of the ground water of our small islands. This ground water is used for human consumption. We are also concerned about the effects of pesticide pollution on the marine ecosystem. We cannot predict the future damage to our marine environment resulting from the dumping of toxic waste in the Indian Ocean nor can we predict the future damage to Maldivian water supplies. I strongly suggest that the code should further elaborate the clause on PIC to protect the interests of small island nations.

Mr Chairman, turning now to the Agenda Item 13. In the Maldives, women have traditionally played a major role in agriculture and rural development. But we are keen to see that their activities are fully recognized and further developed. Women, of course, also play a key role in family nutrition, and this brings me to Agenda Item 20. In Maldives we still have several nutritional problems. So we strongly support the plans for an International Conference on Nutrition in 1992. The Conference will, I hope, serve to draw global attention on the changing patterns of nutrition which are a consequence of economic development and social and cultural changes. Conferences, however, are not an end in themselves, and I hope this Conference will go a long way towards creating awareness of the importance of proper nutrition, at both individual and national levels.

Finally, it was with great hopeful anticipation that we witnessed the recent dramatic change in Eastern Europe and the growing detente between East and West. We fervently hope for this process to continue as it holds such great promise of lasting peace for the whole world. Enormous reductions in military spending, in particular on nuclear arsenals, have already resulted. Humanity does not need nuclear missiles or weapons of mass destruction. Humanity needs to feed its people. Humanity needs to save them from ignorance and disease; and above all, humanity needs peace. The considerable resources which were previously devoted to non-productive, destructive military budgets, could now be allocated to vital developmental activities. I hope that FAO may be able to play a catalytic role in ensuring that some of these resources are devoted to the betterment of the lives of the millions of poor people in the least-developed countries, a process that will in its turn lead to a more just and more stable world order.

I wish you Mr Chairman and colleagues an enriching and productive Conference.

Gerhard HANEKOM (Namibia): The previous speaker comes from a small country; he made a large statement. I come from an extremely large country; I will try to make a small statement.

This is the first time that a delegate from independent Namibia has the honour to address an FAO Conference. Previously, we were represented here whether we liked it or not. I wish to assure you that I and my Government appreciate the opportunity that is given to take part in the activities of the FAO.

A lot has been said during the last couple of days about world agriculture. I think it is not needed that I dwell on the subject. Instead, I think I am going to tell you a little bit about my country, but before I do that I wish to make one exception and come out very strongly in support of something said by the honourable delegate of New Zealand. He played it very much for a freer economy, a freer trade, and I wish to support that. If the developed countries would refrain from extraordinary subsidizing of their own agriculture, if they would refrain from protectionist measures which are not realistic, if they would give developing countries the chance to do business, to sell, to market, they would go a long way in combating poverty in this world. It may then in certain instances not be necessary to do so much aid-giving, but give developing countries the chance to look after themselves. I want to come out in very strong support of this, and if this could be carried home I would be a very happy man.

Namibia is the youngest country that has moved away from colonialism in Africa. But now we face the responsibilities of an independent nation. It was on 21 March 1990, early in that morning, exactly one minute after midnight on 20 March, that the Namibian flag was hoisted for the first time in our country. There is a small one over there. I was very proud when I came here and saw it. That moment heralded the end of the freedom struggle but the beginning of the economic struggle, the struggle against poverty, the struggle against hunger, the struggle to uplift our people, the struggle to educate our people, to train them and to provide for better living conditions for our people.

The SWAPO movement that for many years led the freedom struggle and who in the end, with the assistance of many friendly countries and also with the assistance of the United Nations, succeeded in getting independence for Namibia and won the first free and fair elections held in our country with a majority of some 57 percent over all the other parties combined and formed the first government of our independent republic. Immediately after that, the hard freedom fighter that he was, Sam Nioma, initiated a policy of reconciliation in our country, between black and white in our country, reconciliation between freedom fighters and those who fought on the colonial side, reconciliation between the haves and the have-nots. As a result of that, we have a wonderful, peaceful country. It is impossible to dream that a country that for 23 years was gripped in a bush war, a relentless war, can be such a peaceful country. Those of you who have visited our country would agree with me that we have a wonderful peace in our country.

The progress that we make in our country is very closely watched by our neighbouring country, the Republic of South Africa. I know this. I myself was born in South Africa and came to Namibia 34 years ago, and today am a true Namibian. But I still have contacts with people in South Africa. I know that they are watching the success of Namibia. If we succeed, I am sure we can be the catalyst, the catalyst to overthrow apartheid in South Africa once and for all. We can be the catalyst also to provide lasting peace in the southern part of Africa. Also for that reason, the assistance given by the FAO is not only given to Namibia: it is given to the people of southern Africa. It is given to the peace, the promotion of peace in southern Africa.

Namibia is a large country, a very large country. It is approximately 823 000 square kilometres in size, 2.7 percent of the circuit area of Africa, a large, dry, hard, barren country. Our rainfall is very low. Only

8 percent of our country gets more than 500 mm per year; 37 percent gets between 300 and 500 mm; 33 percent gets between 100 and 300 mm and a massive 22 percent of our country gets under 100 mm per year. That is, some of them range from 0-100 mm. It is therefore apparent that agriculture in this beautiful, hard country of mine must be practised in close cooperation with nature, in close cooperation with the fragile ecology of our country. If not, it will just be ruined and there will be nothing left for the people coming after us.

Our country is sparsely populated. The population density is less than 2 per square kilometre. It is lovely, quiet, you do not see your neighbour so often, and for those of you who have now been living in this city of Rome with its noisy streets, I can recommend one thing: come to our country and recuperate before you go home. It will do wonders for your soul. There, a man can be close to his God. There, you have time to think. There, you have time also to ponder over your own sins and what you have done wrong in the world.

Although rainfall is so sparse in Namibia, Namibia is mainly an agricultural country. Some 85 percent of our land is suitable for agriculture, provided it is treated with respect. Approximately 70 percent of our population live from agriculture, although agriculture contributes only about 10 percent to our GDP. If a man looks at the agriculture of Namibia, there are two distinct features also coming and stemming from the old colonial regime. We are virtually divided into two sectors, a reasonably well developed commercial sector covering about 44 percent of our land area and a completely undeveloped communal area covering 41 percent.

The commercial farms form land areas, on land units of approximately 8 600 hectares per land unit, per farm unit. The communal farmers' families occupy an average of 200 hectares.

Mr Chairman not 200 hectares of arable land, I am not talking of 200 hectares of lush, green pasturage, I am talking of 200 hectares neglected, overgrazed desertlike area where they farm. Completely neglected.

Mr Chairman, they hardly make a living from that. The average income per family in those areas is as low as US$55 per year. That's not a lot of money to live on.

Mr Chairman, they are our responsibility. If we do not succeed to better their living conditions, if we do not succeed to uplift them, we would have failed in our mission.

While we at this point and while we are facing this problem of trying to make sure that these farmers can make a decent living and also looking at the environment which has been so overgrazed, overfarmed, Mr Chairman, there is one thing which I noticed in FAO document C 91/30 and a few words in there I want to quote to you. It says there, the enforcement of environmental protection regulations and standards tend to reduce the farmer's income. Mr Chairman that is exactly our problem. How do you tell a farmer that is living on over-grazed land with some 20 goats to bring down his stock? Try and do that. From what must he live?

Even so, Mr Chairman, we try and face this. We try and face this problem and we shall succeed. Also with the assistance of the FAO. I am sure of that. Mr Chairman, while I am at this point of sustainable agriculture and protection of the environment there is one thing that I think I should mention. That through all the years there has been so much disparity in our country. The communal farmers are about 30 times in number as the commercial farmers. They occupy less land. Nothing has been done by the colonial rulers to improve the infrastructure in those areas. Marketing facilities do not exist. Veterinary control and veterinary animal health standards are poor in those areas.

So these are neglects of the past that have to be improved upon. But I believe that we will succeed, that we will overcome poverty. I see it more as a problem of poverty than it is so much a question of agricultural production. We must produce, we must allow these farmers a system to produce more, but mainly to overcome poverty.

Mr Chairman, Namibia with all its harsh conditions produces enough food, we are net exporters of food, although we have to import large quantities of cereals, vegetables, fruit, dairy and poultry products, our beef, our mutton, our cattle and our sheep that we export exceeds that by far.

We show a credit balance on agriculture, but, Mr Chairman, those poor people earning US$55 a year cannot buy it. They have nothing to live on. But that is typically the problem that the world has.

Europe is producing far too much food, it is running out of their ears while Africa goes hungry, the disparity in the world that we will have to overcome.

I spent some time on the topic of sustainable development, but there is one aspect which I must really today in public mention here. This is one aspect where developed countries have joined forces to ruin our country.

Mr Chairman the Bengala stream of our West coast is one of the richest fishing grounds in the world, or at least it was. It was until the colonial powers and, unfortunately, Mr Chairman, certain developed countries started over-fishing there, started plundering our fishing grounds.

Before independence, something like one million metric tons of fish was taken from those fishing grounds per annum. This went on. There is nothing left. Our fishing grounds have been ruined to such an extent that we are struggling. But even today, after independence I would call them pirates of certain countries still come to our waters to catch fish in our waters, knowing that we as a small country do not have the infrastructure to stop it. Mr Chairman, the story or the excuse given by this particular government that it cannot control its people is not acceptable to me. It is not acceptable. We have reported it time and again with the names of the vessels catching illegally in our waters. But no action has been taken. I have faith that even from the FAO something could be done to stop this.

Our waters have to recover. We cannot do otherwise. The fishing waters of Namibia's coast can store something like US$1 billion per year.

Mr Chairman, for a small poor country with a GDP of only 2 billion it is an extra 1 billion. We need this. We need this to feed our people. And I think that if we get assistance there this could be to the better advancement of our country and also our people.

Mr Chairman, it is getting late and I think everybody would feel happy if I say Amen. In conclusion I wish to thank a number of countries who have assisted us, who are still assisting us.

I wish to thank a number of NGOs that are active in our country. I wish to thank more especially the FAO. FAO has opened an office in our country. I wish to thank you for that. I wish to assure you that they are amply represented there. Whenever we need their representative he is just five minutes away. We pick up a phone and within five minutes we are getting good service. Thank you very much for that.

Alexandre José ZANDAMELA (Mozambique): Your Excellency the Chairman of the FAO Conference, Your Excellency the Director-General of FAO, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Twenty-sixth Conference of FAO is taking place at a particularly important moment for Mozambique, marked by deep transformations in all spheres of life. But most important of all is the fact that after a long period of warfare, which has brought misery to millions of Mozambican families and has led the country to a critical economic and social situation, transforming it into one of the poorest countries in the world, at the present moment there appears a glimmer of a longed-for lasting peace. This peace will extend the possibilities for a wider and integral cooperation, aimed at the reconstruction and development of the country.

We wish to avail ourselves of this opportunity to express, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Mozambique, our deepest gratitude to the International Community for the multifarious support provided to the country, which significantly helped reduce the suffering of millions of Mozambicans, as well as to alleviate the effects of war and natural calamities that have struck us.

We still maintain our appeal to the international community, to all of those countries and friends that have assisted us in the difficult moments, in the hope that they will increase and extend their aid to various national reconstruction and development programmes to be launched once the war is over. In the framework of the legislation in force and within the areas defined by the Government, Mozambique is open to and supports the initiatives related to direct foreign investment, and encourages its association with national entrepreneurs, with a view to the assessment, exploitation and development of the various natural resources, aiming at the country's reconstruction and development.

Mozambique is a country of about 800 000 square kilometres with a coastline of over 2 500 kilometres. Besides the abundant fishery resources, the country is favoured in terms of maritime transport facilities and has a high potential for tourism.

Although it has never been totally self-sufficient in food, the country has all the essential resources for food production, the development of agro-industries and a potential for exportation. The subsoil is rich in ore,

with abundant natural gas; wildlife and vegetation are also abundant and varied.

Mozambique is essentially an agricultural country, which in the present stage makes agriculture the basis for its economic and social development.

Our policies favour integrated rural development, with the family sector as the main target, food production as the top priority and most immediate objective, while agricultural training, research and extension constitute the main instruments for that purpose.

Appropriate macro-economic policies will ensure the involvement of other socio-economic sectors of the economy and the participation of foreign investment.

In the national programmes for rural development we try to emphasize the role of women, through programmes that make possible their participation in larger numbers and their inclusion in jobs and tasks traditionally reserved to men, thus enabling them to increase their family income and to actually hold the place in society which they rightly deserve. In this connection, FAO is actively involved in the preparation of the International Conference on Nutrition, to be held here in Rome in December 1992.

We believe that, in order to make FAO's assistance more effective, this Organization should more actively promote technical cooperation amongst Developing Countries that have the same level of development or are linked geographically by neighbouring borders. This can be achieved by means of the United Nations' TCDC programme. Other important aspects to bear in mind when establishing rural development programmes are rural extension and plant protection. In this specific area, we are also counting on FAO's support, in implementing the appropriate formulation studies, as well as in financing the projects aiming to materialize these objectives.

The programme for national reconstruction and normalization of the lives of millions of Mozambicans once peace is attained in the country, places ahead of us a gigantic and difficult task, such as the resettlement of the displaced population and of the demobilized.

The problem of alleviating poverty amongst the most vulnerable families in the urban areas (presently being studied with the support of SDA) is another difficult problem, given the little financial resources available.

There is already an urgent need to appraise these problems and to design effective programmes, with the diversified support of the community. In order to make the most of this task and the initiatives on the part of the donors, FAO as a technical agency specialized in matters of food and agriculture could assume the responsibility of coordinating donors action in the areas of agriculture and fisheries, thus serving as a catalytic factor regarding the required funds for investments in these sectors.

Mr Chairman, the Twenty-sixth Conference of FAO precedes the World Conference of Rio de Janeiro on Development and Environment.

It is not excessive to mention that all over the world agriculture has always been and still is at present the most essential activity for Man's survival and his well-being. Agriculture has been the economic sector that most greatly affects and more greatly depends on the environment. With the

increased demand for technology, brought about by population growth, as well as the shortage of alternative employment opportunities in the rural areas, the conflict between agriculture and the environment has also increased, leading to the acceleration of natural resources degradation, inclusively to deforestation, desertification and the loss of biological diversity, as well as to various forms of pollution and contamination.

FAO has a great role to play in the search for solutions to make the agricultural activity feasible on a sustainable environmental basis.

Before I finish, Mr Chairman, I should like to make some comments on the work of FAO in my country, and I hope they will be understood and accepted as a constructive contribution.

FAO is one of the institutions of the United Nations operating in Mozambique that has greatly contributed to the financing and technical assistance of the various programmes in the areas of its mandate. I think it would not be fair not to refer in this regard to the personal commitment of its Director-General. In spite of that we believe that through FAO's Technical Cooperation Programme, TCP, we may receive even more benefits from its support, namely in relation to the proposals already submitted but not yet approved.

Mr Chairman, Mozambique would also like FAO to become more dynamic and flexible in trying to remove all possible obstacles, so that our already approved projects do not suffer the foreseen interruptions.

We have noted over the last few years that FAO should strive to creating a sounder atmosphere and an even stronger and closer relationship. It should endeavour to better integrate itself institutionally and change, even if slightly, its philosophy of action, for instance by giving greater emphasis to the training of nationals, and becoming more flexible in the recruitment of its staff in order to make fuller utilization of local human resources, thus contributing to reduce the heavy financial burden that international recruitment inevitably has on its own budget.

In this effort to improve its working and management methods, FAO might also try to modernize with a view to reduce the bureaucracy in its relationship with the recipient country. We believe that these changes, if adopted, would help FAO to carry out its mandate in a more dynamic, efficient and effective way.

The meeting rose at 19.05 hours.
La séance est levée à 19 h 05.
Se levanta la sesión a las 19.05 horas.

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