29. FAO is currently reviewing the relationship between FAO and the Regional Fisheries Bodies (RFB) established under the FAO Constitution (APFIC:ExCo/07/04 and APFIC:ExCo/07/Inf.6). Main issues faced by RFBs relate to the lack of financial and human resources. Most bodies established under the FAO Constitution are not autonomously funded and rely on FAO regular programme funding. RFBs, such as APFIC, can however improve their resourcing beyond the FAO regular programme allocation soliciting extra budgetary funding (being channelled through FAO).
30. The Executive Committee was informed that APFIC has already received ad hoc financial contributions from Members in support of specific workshops. APFIC has also received in-kind contributions from Regional Fishery Organizations and from member countries chairing APFIC, i.e. costs relating to the hosting of the sessions of the Executive Committee and of the regular session of the Commission. The Executive Committee noted that costs of hosting the Regional Consultative Forum Meeting and the main APFIC Session were significant and thanked Malaysia for its generous contribution in the last biennium.
31. It was noted in the FAO review that RFB's rely on administrative support to discharge their mandate and functions. In this respect, there is a need to clarify the amount of time the Secretaries (often a FAO Senior Officer) spend in support of the work of the Commissions and on other FAO work that may not be directly related to the work of the Commission.
32. It was noted in the review that RFBs established within the framework of the FAO should initiate action to make themselves more effective, including considering reducing their area of competence. It was further noted that, where both fishery bodies established within and outside of the framework of FAO exist, efforts should be made to promote further cooperation and reduce duplication. The Executive Committee agreed to clarify APFIC's area of work.