Progress Report on Cooperation between FAO and UNDP
291. The Conference took note of the progress of cooperation with UNDP over the last two years and of the arrangements described in the Revised Memorandum of Understanding concerning the integration of UNDP ant FAO Field Offices at the country level, the latter having been already discussed under other items of the Agenda.
292. Although certain reservations were stated, the Conference expressed satisfaction with the progress of cooperation with UNDP, noting that about 30 percent of total UNDP earmarkings for projects in 1971 had been allocated to FAO, representing the most significant portion assigned to any single Agency.
293. As regards the cooperation between FAO ant UNDP, some delegations indicated the need for the Senior Agricultural Advisers/FAO Country Representatives to maintain their own identity and for due account to be taken of them in all aspects of agricultural development.
294. The importance of the UNDP Consensus and in particular of country programming was stressed.
295. The opinion was expressed that, in order to make full use of the country programming process, the Director-General should continue to consider the possibilities of including in it also the pre-investment activities of the Investment Centre.
296. With regard to the ECOSOC resolution recommending the Executing Agencies to adapt their structures with a view to the requirements of the Consensus, the Conference recognized that the organization of the Area Service Division had contributed to the coordination of efforts in programming and project formulation. Furthermore, evaluation activities had been effectively coordinated through the Evaluation Service and follow-up investment was assured through the close cooperation of the Investment Centre.
297. Several delegations expressed their concern over the dispersal of control of operations under the present system of operations services, which led to undesirably complicated and lengthy procedures. Other opinions were expressed that control of implementation could be organized on a departmental basis, such as is the case presently in the Forestry and Fisheries Departments. The opinion was also expressed by some delegations that such control could for all departments be centralized in a single unit. These views were based on the conviction that, unless responsibility for the implementation of UNDP projects was more centralized, FAO would not be able to meet either requirements of the multi-disciplinary approach, which would characterize many field projects in the future, or the quantum of FAO executed projects expected in the context of the five-year Indicative Planning Figure (IPF) ear markings. However, some other delegations did not agree with the above recommendations and opinions and suggested that the potential advantages of the recent reorganization have yet to come to full fruition.
298. While noting the commendable yet relatively recent and limited experience of the operations Centre and of the Operations Board in dealing with specific problems in project execution, the Conference requested the Director-General to explore further measures for improving project delivery and execution, and to report his findings to the Fifty-Ninth Session of the Council.
299. The Conference further requested the Director-General to prepare a more exhaustive documentation to be placed before the Council covering the rate of implementation, possible shortcomings and other relevant information affecting the performance of field activities.
300. The delegate of Tanzania raised the problems of relations between FAO and UNDP as affecting FAO's implementation of UN General Assembly Resolution 2704 (XXV). The resolution appealed for more aid from organizations of the United Nations System to the peoples fighting for freedom in Africa. In his opinion, the need for UN advice and assistance, including assistance from UNDP, was extremely great, and he hoped that a number of programmes would be aimed at these countries. The delegate pointed out that the Council had already debated FAO's part in this connexion, and it was agreed that there were certain activities within the competence of FAO which could be undertaken to give aid to the African countries without further delay. He also regretted that a report on FAO's activities concerning the implementation of the General Assembly resolution had not been presented to the Conference.
301. Having considered a report of the General Committee on decolonization, the Conference later adopted the following resolution:
Recalling the relevant resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly relating to possible assistance to the peoples under colonial and apartheid regimes, and in particular recalling Resolution 2704 (XXV) which, among other things repeated the General Assembly's ''... urgent appeal to the Specialized Agencies and the organizations within the United Nations System to render all possible moral and material assistance to the peoples struggling for their liberation from colonial rule and, in particular, to work out, with the active cooperation of the Organization of African Unity, and, through it, of the national liberation movements concrete programmes for assisting the peoples of Southern Rhodesia, Namibia, and the Territories under Portuguese Administration, including in particular the populations in the liberated areas of those Territories'',
Noting with satisfaction that the Director-General has already sent a mission to confer with the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and, through it, with the OAU-recognized liberation movements of some of the countries concerned, which has already submitted a report outlining some of the possible areas for action by FAO in compliance with that resolution (see document CL 57/8 Rev.1),
Considering that the Council has discussed the implementation by FAO of that resolution of the General Assembly during its Fifty-Fifth and Fifty-Sixth Sessions, and further that it deliberated on the mission's report at its Fifty-Seventh Session,
Aware that assistance from the organizations of the UN System is usually made available to refugees with the cooperation of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees,
1. Authorizes the Director-General to carry out, in collaboration with the other organizations of the UN System where necessary, those activities mentioned in the mission's report which lie within the competence of the FAO with respect to all the territories concerned and as indicated in the resolution of the General Assembly;
2. Further authorizes the Director-General-once the necessary consultations have been completed with regard to the remaining areas-to similarly include the implementation of the approved recommendations in the overall programme to be undertaken by FAO for all the peoples striving to liberate themselves from colonial domination and all forms of apartheid as a contribution to their early liberation, and as a contribution to their rapid development;
3. Re-affirms its adhesion to the principles of the resolutions of the UN General Assembly which oppose any collaboration with or assistance to the colonial or racist regimes;
4. Requests the Director-General to implement the relevant General Assembly resolutions within the mandates of FAO, and to make periodic reports to the Council on the implementation of this resolution.
(Adopted, 24 November 1971)
FAO's Participation in the UN Conference on the Human Environment, Stockholm, 1972
302. The Conference noted with satisfaction that the Director-General had established an Inter-Departmental Working Group on Natural Resources and the Human Environment to ensure effective coordination of FAO's activities in this area. It commended the active role played by FAO, through this Working Group, in the preparation for the UN Conference on the Human Environment to be held at Stockholm in June 1972.
303. The Conference was informed of the recent developments in the formulation of proposals for the Action Plan to be launched by the Stockholm Conference. It was noted that several of these action proposals are closely related to FAO's Programme Objective 2.4, War on Waste, and also to other sub-programmes. The Conference therefore requested the Council to review at its Fifty-Ninth Session the relevant components of the FAO Programme of Work and Budget for 1972-73 in the light of the Plan of Action adopted and the immediate measures recommended by governments at Stockholm in 1972. It also recommended that the Council consider the implications of this Action Plan for the biennium 1974-75 and the Medium-Term Plan of the Organization.
304. It was recommended that the Organization should wait for the outcome of the Stockholm Conference before implementing new actions in this field, and the Director-General was requested to review priorities, policy and future plans in the light of the Stockholm Conference's resolutions, and to report to the Council as mentioned above.
305. The Conference approved the views of the Director-General that the establishment of new international institutions or mechanisms to deal with environmental matters separately from development activities should be avoided. To this end, the Conference recommended the strengthening of FAO's capabilities and coordination in its own field of competence and a closer cooperation of the Organization with existing UN Specialized Agencies.
306. The Conference stressed the importance of the conservation of natural resources for maintaining both the quality of the environment and the development of agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Attention was also called to the waste disposal and pollution problems associated with agro-industries. It was also pointed out that most of the actions for the protection of the human environment should be taken at national and regional levels.
307. The Conference recommended that FAO should take a leading role in the protection of the environment in the conservation of natural resources at international level and thereby assist in protecting the vital interests of agriculture, forestry and fisheries and their positive role for economic growth and improvement of the environment in developing countries:
UN Joint Inspection Unit
308. The Conference took note of the Review of the Work of the UN Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) and of the Fifty-Seventh Session of the Council's report on JIU. It directed its attention to the question of the extension of the UN Joint Inspection Unit beyond 31 December 1973.
309. The Conference noted that the United Nations General Assembly had extended JIU on the existing experimental basis for a further period of two years beyond 31 December 1971 and that at the same time it had requested the views of, inter alia, the governing bodies of the specialized agencies concerned, in advance of a review of the question of JIU which would be carried out at the Twenty-Seventh Session of the UN General Assembly.
310. The Conference was informed that the Programme and Finance Committees and the Council had given considerable attention to this matter over the past two years and that these bodies proposed to carry out a more detailed review of the work of JIU at their 1972 sessions. The Conference supported the proposal.
311. The Conference accepted the views of the Council on this subject. Specifically, it endorsed the Council's expression of strong support for the continuation of JIU. At the same time, it agreed that changes might be made in the Unit's terms of reference, structure and procedures to enhance the effectiveness of services rendered to the members of the UN family.
312. The Conference requested that its position on this subject be transmitted through the appropriate channels to the UN General Assembly.
FAO Activities Related to International Agricultural Research
313. The Conference strongly supported the initiative taken by the Director-General in cooperating with the UNDP and IBRD to sponsor a Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. It noted that the purpose of the Consultative Group was to identify major gaps and problems in existing agricultural research being conducted for or on behalf of the developing countries, on which a strong concentration of resources might result in a significant breakthrough with important consequences for more rapid development of the agricultural sector which should be understood in its broadest sense, to include fisheries and forestry. This new international effort would not affect the ongoing work on FAO in other fields of research nor would it detract from the necessity for continuation of strong research efforts at the national level. On the contrary, it was intended that any international research activities, whether they involved new initiatives or strengthening of existing facilities, would serve to complement current national and regional work.
314. Welcoming the establishment a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to the Consultative Group composed of eminent scientists representative of diverses disciplines and of different geographical regions, the Conference noted with approval that FAO had been charged with forming the Secretariat of that Committee. The TAC would draw its information on international research needs from several sources including FAO Headquarters and Country and Regional Representatives, and from the members of the Consultative Group including the representatives to be appointed to the Group from the developing regions of the world. The Conference was informed that in the deliberations of the TAC to date note had been taken of the findings of FAO's Ecological Zone Conferences, strong emphasis had been placed on research related to protein needs of developing countries, and that the role of, and the need for, strengthening socio-economic research had been fully realised.
315. The Conference stressed the need to assemble better knowledge on current research programmes and facilities, as well as for the exchange of information between scientists in both developed and developing countries along the lines proposed in FAO's CARIS and AGRIS projects. This was considered essential for the identification of future research needs. to ensure that best use was made of existing research systems, and to facilitate. communication and cooperation between research establishments with consequent possibilities of economies of resources.
316. The Conference noted with satisfaction the proposal of the Consultative Group to widen its membership through full member status of representatives from the developing regions of the world and noted that FAO had been asked to arrange at the Conference for the selection by its member countries of one country to represent each region. It considered such representation absolutely essential in order to ensure that the needs of the developing nations could be brought to the notice of the Consultative Group at the earliest possible stage in discussions regarding the continued financing of ongoing international research or the allocation of resources to new undertakings. Considerable reservations were expressed, however, as to whether one country from each of the developing regions of the world, as proposed by the Consultative Group, could adequately serve the needs of those regions. It was pointed out that the great diversity of conditions within the regions would make it virtually impossible for any one individual adequately to express the views on, and needs for, research in the region as a whole.
317. A strong feeling was indicated that the short notice received of this request of the Consultative Group would not permit of an adequate discussion regarding their representation, and it was believed that the selection of representatives could better be done by the FAO Council. It was recognized that time was of the essence if developing country representation wee to be possible at the second meeting of the Consultative Group on 3 December 1971 and it was further noted that any proposal to increase the membership over and above that invited by the Consultative Group would require the prior approval of that Group.
318. The Conference recommended that the FAO Council propose two countries from each of the five developing regions of the world, Africa, Asia and the Far East. Eastern/Southern Europe. Latin America and the Near East to serve on the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. It was suggested by some delegations that consideration should be given to selection of such representatives from amongst individuals with adequate administrative and technical experience to permit their active participation in the deliberations of the Group. It further requested that the FAO Regional Conferences should be the principal forum for briefing the selected representatives of each region on the research needs and priorities for that region.
319. The Conference then adopted the following resolution:
Emphasis on Research
Having considered that it should be more in the interest of the developing countries to have FAO's activities effectively concentrated on some few major items of agricultural development, in accordance with the priorities laid down in the Medium Term Plan,
Welcoming the tendency of the Programme of Work and Budget for 1972-1973 to concentrate resources, in a significant way, on agricultural development planning as well as on matters related to the growth of outlets in the markets of the industrialized countries,
Convinced that a similar emphasis should be placed on agricultural research, including research on end-uses for primary products, taking into consideration regional needs,
Taking account of the efforts already made by developing countries in the field of agricultural research,
1. Authorizes the Director-General to present to the Seventeenth Session of the Conference a Programme of Work and Budget in which, within programmes and subprogrammes, greater emphasis would be placed on encouraging agricultural research, including research on end-uses for primary products, taking also into consideration regional needs;
2. Further authorizes the Director-General to intensify contacts with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research in order to harmonize that emphasis with the work of the said Group;
3. Recommends that FAO, in cooperation with order interested agencies, support to the fullest extent possible the programmes whether nationally or internationally orientated, of existing research institutions in developing countries, so as to ensure the maximum utilization of their scientific and technical resources and to reinforce them by appropriate means if this should prove necessary;
4. Recommends to the Director-General to include in the Agenda of the competent Council Committees an item regarding needs and priorities on research for development purposes;
5. Requests the Director-General to submit a proposal to the Fifty-Ninth Session of the Council concerning the exchange of information and the organization of cooperation between Member Nations and institutions both in research and the related field of development, in order to promote scientific and technological advancement of agriculture in the developing countries;
6. Agrees that research priorities established at Regional Conferences should be offered as guidelines in the choice of regional projects to be financed by the Consultative Group;
7. Emphasizes that any adjustments necessary to enable these recommendations to be implemented in the 1974-75 Programme of Work and Budget should to the maximum extent possible not entail additional contributions to the Regular Programme from Member Nations and that as required efforts should be made to obtain extra budgetary resources.
(Adopted 22 November 1971)
Relations with Intergovernmental and International Non-Governmental Organizations
320. The Conference took note of a report on some of the new or more significant developments between FAO and Intergovernmental Organizations (other than the United Nations and Specialized Agencies) and non-governmental organizations that had taken place since its Fifteenth Session. It also noted the report on an informal meeting of representatives of international non-governmental organizations attending the Sixteenth Session of the Conference.