It was pointed out in Chapter 2 that during the present century, and particularly since World War II, governments have established many world and regional intergovernmental organizations that deal in one way or another with food and agriculture. Many non-governmental organizations have also been established in the agricultural, fisheries and forestry fields, both before and following World War II. It is not the intention here to deal in detail with this vast complex of organizations. Rather, brief mention is made of the main ones, and examples are given of relationships between FAO and certain of them.
There are 16 independent organizations in the United Nations system: the UN, which is the political organization, and 15 which deal with their respective subject-matter areas, as follows:
United Nations (UN)
International Labour Organisation (ILO)
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco)
World Health Organization (WHO)
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, or World Bank)
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
Universal Postal Union (UPU)
International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO)
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
GATT is not, strictly speaking, an organization but is rather a secretariat servicing the contracting parties to an Agreement, a device that was used in lieu of a proposed International Trade Organization which was never established. 13 of the 15 subject-matter organizations listed above, i.e., all those except IAEA and GATT, have entered into agreements with the United Nations under which they also serve as specialized agencies of the United Nations. In FAO's case, an agreement between the two organizations was approved by the Second Session of the FAO Conference, held in Copenhagen from 2 to 13 September 1946, and by the UN General Assembly on 14 December 1946.
In addition to the UN and the 15 other autonomous organizations mentioned above, there are also two which are affiliates of the World Bank:
International Development Association (IDA)
International Finance Corporation (IFC)
IDA was established as an arm of the World Bank to provide long-term credits for a small service charge, to countries not able to bear the burden of conventional loans. IFC, which has a separate structure and staff, is however an affiliate of the World Bank. The World Bank, IDA and IFC operate under the same Board of Governors and Board of Directors, and the President of the World Bank also serves as Chairman of the IFC Board of Directors and as President of IDA.
There are two other bodies in the system, each of which was created jointly by two of the above organizations:
UN/FAO World Food Programme (WFP), which is described in Chapter 12
International Trade Centre (ITC), created by UNCTAD and GATT
In addition, many other subsidiary bodies have been created which function within the framework of the United Nations, and quite a few of these touch in one way or another upon the work of FAO. These include —
Economic Commission for Europe (ECE)
Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)
Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA)
Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
Economic Commission for Western Asia (ECWA)
Office of the United Nations Disaster Relief Coordinator (UNDRO)
World Food Council (WFC)
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA)
United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)
United Nations University (UNU)
International Court of Justice (ICJ)
Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ)
International Civil Service Commission (ICSC)
Joint Inspection Unit (JIU)
United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UN JSPF)
International Computing Centre (ICC)
Some examples of cooperation between FAO and other organizations and bodies in the United Nations system are given below.
FAO cooperates with ILO and Unesco on many matters relating to agricultural training. Coordination is achieved through an FAO/Unesco/ILO Inter-Secretariat Working Group on Agricultural Education, Science and Training, which was set up in 1968.
FAO and WHO jointly sponsor the Codex Alimentarius Commission, through which international food standards are developed both to facilitate trade and to protect consumers.
FAO and the World Bank jointly finance the FAO Investment Centre, in the Development Department, and collaborate through it with the objective of fostering increased investment in sound agricultural, fishery and forestry development.
FAO and WMO cooperate on matters relating to agricultural meteorology, in such activities as locust control and the protection of possible food shortages.
FAO cooperates with IFAD in the development of some of the proposals for IFAD projects, which IFAD in turn may finance in the recipient countries.
FAO and IAEA maintain a Joint Division of Isotope and Radiation Applications of Atomic Energy for Food and Agricultural Development, which is jointly staffed and financed. Also, under an FAO/IAEA agreement, an AGRIS Processing Unit is maintained in IAEA in Vienna, for the processing of AGRIS data on the IAEA computer.
FAO cooperates with GATT on matters relating to agricultural trade and, through FAO's Committee on Commodity Problems, keeps under continuing review the situation in regard to major agricultural commodities, making the information thereby assembled available to GATT.
As noted above, FAO and the UN jointly sponsor the World Food Programme, which has its headquarters in FAO, and within the framework of which the Director-General has special responsibility for authorizing emergency projects.
Among the subsidiary bodies of the United Nations listed earlier, there are some that provide common servicing, some that provide project funds, and some with which FAO cooperates in other ways.
FAO and two of the regional economic commissions, ECLA and ECWA, maintain Joint Divisions which deal with agricultural economic problems in their respective regions. In a third instance, ECE, a Joint Division is also maintained, but it deals with both agricultural and forestry economic matters. Finally, a Joint Division with ECA deals with certain fisheries questions as well as with agricultural economic matters and certain aspects of forestry.
On occasion FAO and UNDRO cooperate on matters relating to relief of specific disasters.
FAO and UNCTAD maintain close working relationships on matters relating to agricultural trade, and through FAO's Committee on Commodity Problems UNCTAD has access to a continuing review of the situation with regard to major agricultural commodities moving in international trade.
FAO and UNIDO cooperate on agro-industrial matters, under an agreement that was signed in July 1969, in which complementary areas of joint concern were spelled out. A set of principles regarding cooperation in the food industry field is also included in the agreement.
FAO and UNEP cooperate on a number of matters relating to the environment, and UNEP provides funds for jointly agreed environmental projects.
UNDP is the largest single source of funds for FAO's Field Programme.
FAO collaborates with other organizations in the UN system on the handling of administrative and budgetary problems, and on many substantive matters, through the machinery of the Administrative Committee on Co-ordination (ACC).
FAO participates with other organizations in the UN system in a common system of salary scales and other uniform approaches to personnel matters, through the ICSC. Rather than maintaining its own separate pension scheme, FAO participates in the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UN JSPF).
FAO and other organizations in the UN system jointly finance the JIU, and FAO receive sall JIU reports which pertain wholly or in part to FAO activities.
Among the numerous organizations governments have established outside the UN system, often prior to the establishment of the organizations which collectively constitute that system, there are many that share interests with FAO, because they are concerned either with agriculture generally, or with agricultural commodities, or with the financing of agricultural development, or with some aspect of rural development.
In view of these areas of common interest, many of these organizations have sought some form of relationship with FAO. FAO's rules provide for two types of relations with intergovernmental organizations, namely Formal Agreements and Working Relations. There are currently 10 organizations, with which relations have been established in the first category, and 61 in the second.However, the nature of the relations between FAO and many of these organizations is being reviewed, so the numbers in the respective categories will vary over time.
There is a substantially larger number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that have an interest in one or more of FAO's areas of activity. Such organizations may request status with FAO in three categories: Consultative Status, Specialized Consultative Status, and Liaison Status.
In order to be eligible for Consultative Status an organization must be international in structure, sufficiently representative of its field of interest, of recognized standing, concerned with matters covering a substantial portion of FAO's field of activity, and have aims in conformity with the general principles embodied in FAO's Constitution. It must also have a permanent directing body, and machinery for communicating with its membership in various countries. 17 NGOs have thus far been granted status in this category.
To be eligible for Specialized Consultative Status, an organization must meet the same requirements as those given above for Consultative Status, except that it must be concerned with a particular portion of FAO's field of activity. Currently, 50 organizations hold Specialized Consultative Status.
To qualify for Liaison Status, an organization must meet the same requirements as those for Consultative Status, except that is must be concerned with matters covering a portion of FAO's field of activity and be in a position to give practical assistance in that field. Presently, 89 NGOs have Liaison Status.