CL 123/INF/13

Council

Hundred and Twenty-third Session

Rome, 28 October – 2 November 2002

SUMMARIES OF THE MAIN RECOMMENDATIONS
OF REGIONAL CONFERENCES HELD IN 2002

Table of Contents


TWENTY-SIXTH FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR THE NEAR EAST


TWENTY-SECOND FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR AFRICA

SUMMARY OF MAIN RECOMMENDATIONS

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

1. Reiterated its support for NEPAD, noting the excellent opportunities afforded through this initiative, emphasizing commitments made during the 1996 World Food Summit by world leaders and their political will to assume responsibility for their national agricultural development (paragraph 16 d).

2. Commended the initiative and suggested that NEPAD must move urgently to develop programmes and activities involving grassroots communities which should be the engine that would drive and sustain the desired increase in agricultural productivity (paragraph 16 e).

3. Emphasized the role of women in eradicating hunger and poverty along with the need to promote and integrate women in the processes of development, noting that other social and cultural norms such as those relating to land tenure also have a significant impact on the achievement of agricultural potential (paragraph 16.i).

4. Highlighted the importance of furthering the identification and promotion of measures to deal with the issue of trans-boundary diseases and other matters related to the intra-regional movement and trade in plants and animals, including promotion of sub-regional commissions on the use of pesticides and similar agro-chemicals (paragraph 16. j).

5. Stressed that drought must be considered as one of the natural phenomena to be dealt with in agricultural policies, emphasizing that desertification; land and water use; and soil fertility were critical related topics requiring urgent attention (paragraph .16 k)

6. Noted the importance of training, extension, research as well as access to credit for establishing sustainable systems for increased agricultural production (paragraph 116 l).

7. Underscored the importance of intra-regional exchanges, communication, technology transfer and sharing of experiences which would be further facilitated through partnerships that have the capacity to translate agricultural potential into agricultural production (paragraph 16 o).

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

8. Expressed its satisfaction to the Director-General for the expansion and continued benefits being achieved through the implementation of the Special Programme for Food Security and the positive impact of South-South Co-operation; several delegates underscored the excellent results obtained from South-South Agreements with the host country, Egypt, urging Member Countries to take full advantage of this programme (paragraph 16 a).

9. Stressed the need for solidarity with rural people and urged FAO to further expand the Special Programme for Food Security (paragraph 16.b).

10. Commended FAO for its related interventions in the Region such as Telefood and the Technical Co-operation Programme, which provided invaluable assistance to communities in meeting their food security goals (paragraph 16 c).

11. Applauded efforts by the FAO to address the critical and pressing effects of HIV/AIDS on the Region’s agricultural production, noting that vulnerability should be a key criterion when prioritizing assistance (paragraph 16 c).

12. Expressed their satisfaction with FAO assistance to fisheries and aquaculture, including the promotion of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, and urged that increased assistance be provided to strengthen monitoring, control and surveillance to combat illegal fishing in the coastal waters of Member Countries (paragraph 16 n).

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

13. Urged Member Countries to attend the “World Food Summit: five years later” with the highest level representation (paragraph 23 d).

14. Recommend that Member Countries join the “global coalition against hunger” to combine forces in order to achieve the basic pre-conditions for sustainable development (paragraph 23 e).

15. Recommend that a meeting of African Ministers for Agriculture and Trade be planned to launch the establishment of an African Common Market for Agricultural Products and suggested such a meeting takes place during the World Food Summit: five years later scheduled for June 2002 in Rome (paragraph 24 a).

16. Urged the pragmatic ratification and implementation of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture as adopted by the 31st Session of the FAO Conference for the benefit of food security in Member Countries (paragraph 26).

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

17. Commended the Director-General for initiating the WFS:fyl, providing an opportune occasion to reinforce political commitment and facilitate resource mobilization towards the fight against hunger (paragraph 23a).

18. Urged FAO to join forces with Member Countries to reduce trade barriers and enhance intra-regional trade opportunities for agricultural produce in view of increasing returns, especially for small farmers (paragraph 23c).

19. Urged FAO to provide logistic support for the organization of this meeting (paragraph 24 b).

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

20. Unanimously adopted the Resolution ARC/02/RES (paragraph 31).

21. Recommend the adoption of the FAO-supported Special Programme for Food Security as a NEPAD programme (paragraph 31 iii).

22. Invited each country to establish a National Focal Group for NEPAD responsible for various aspects of the agricultural sector (paragraph 31v).

23. Recommend that NEPAD initiative be disseminated at national and sub-regional levels so that its main strategic thrust would be understood at the grassroots level (paragraph 31 x).

For the attention of the Donors and Financial Institution

The Conference:

24. Encouraged Donors and Financing Institutions to provide funding support for the NEPAD agricultural programme (paragraph 31 iv).

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

25. Recommended the use of the expertise available in the Regional and Sub-Regional Offices of FAO to provide technical support to the NEPAD Secretariat (paragraph 31 vi).

26. Recommended that FAO should provide support and advice to NEPAD with the view to maximize the use of African experts and expertise, with financial support of donor countries, in the preparation and execution of NEPAD projects and programmes (paragraph 31 vii).

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

27. Recommended that Governments, particularly Ministries in charge of Agriculture and Rural Development, should make political commitment to initiate agricultural policies and multi-sectoral actions that will link HIV/AIDS with food security initiatives through a people-centred, gender and culturally – sensitive community – based approach to rural development (Appendix F, paragraph 21 a).

For the attention of Governments and FAO

28. Recommended that FAO, Ministries of Agriculture and private employers should adopt the AIDS workplace policies developed by WHO and UNAIDS in order to reduce stigma, protect their workforce and enable those infected to continue to contribute productively (Appendix F, paragraph 21 d).

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

29. Recommended that FAO should continue to support its member countries in their fight against the effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in order to mitigate the impact on food security and rural development. This should be done with technical advice and adequate resources from the regular budget and extra-budgetary sources for the formulation of programmes and projects for both the prevention and treatment of AIDS (Appendix F, paragraph 21 b).

30. Recommended that FAO should recognize HIV/AIDS as one of the core causes of food insecurity and to make it prominent in all its statutory and technical meetings (Appendix F, paragraph 21 e).

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

31. Urged that given the critical role inland and marine fisheries play in the Region’s nutrition and socio-economic well-being, their development and management should be given high priority by Member Countries (Appendix F, paragraph 24 a).

32. Underscored the pivotal role of fish handling, processing and marketing, noting that reduction of high post-harvest losses could produce a significant increase in fish supply (Appendix F, paragraph 24 c).

33. Agreed that significant additional investment and private sector participation were necessary in the fisheries sector in order to achieve optimum advantage from aquatic systems (Appendix F, paragraph 24 f).

34. Noted the necessity for increased information exchange, networking and sharing of experiences and technologies among Member Countries of the Region and with others outside the Region (Appendix F, paragraph 24 h).

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

35. Requested FAO to assist the Member Countries in their efforts to develop fisheries sectors (Appendix F, paragraph 24 j).

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

36. Recommended that Governments, and particularly Ministries of Agriculture, should translate the recognition of women’s contributions to agricultural production into concrete policy actions and a more equitable distribution of resources, notably access to land and credit, in the overall framework for enhancing food security and promoting sustainable agricultural and rural development (Appendix F, paragraph 28 a).

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

37. Recommend that FAO should reinforce its support to Ministries of Agriculture’s efforts to mainstream gender concerns into their planning and implementation of agricultural programmes, while promoting the production and use of up-to-date gender-disaggregated data (Appendix F, paragraph 28 b).

38. Recommended that FAO should ensure regular reporting on the implementation of its Gender and Development Plan of Action, and report back to the next Africa Regional Conference on the progress made towards achieving the regional priorities (Appendix F, paragraph 28 2).

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

39. Recommended that Member Countries, which possess information and knowledge on suitable resources use on mountain areas, should share such information with other countries (Appendix F, paragraph 31 c).

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

40. Recommended that FAO should assist Member Countries with mountain areas to develop appropriate and workable technologies to arrest soil erosion and environmental degradation on mountain slopes (Appendix F, paragraph 31 b).

41. Recommended that FAO should intensify and focus its efforts on research and information exchange pertaining to sustainable development and management of watershed areas (Appendix F, paragraph 31 d).

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

42. Recommended that the programme of tsetse and trypanosomiasis control should be driven by African stakeholders (Appendix F, paragraph 33 a).

43. Recommended that the programme should encompass the control of both human and animal trypanosomiasis (Appendix F, paragraph 33 c).

44. Recommend that the alliance in the tsetse and trypanosomiasis eradication campaign should involve the scientific community and other stakeholders at national, regional and international levels (Appendix F, paragraph 33e).

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

45. Recommended that the technical approaches adopted should adhere to international scientific standards and principles (Appendix F, paragraph 33 d).

46. Recommended that the alliance in the tsetse and tyrpanosomiasis eradication campaign should involve the scientific community and other stakeholders at national, regional and international levels (Appendix F, paragraph 33).

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

47. Noted that FAO would be developing an “Information Management Resource Kit” to support and strengthen the capabilities of Member States in this crucial area (Appendix F, paragraph 35a).

48. Noted that the Second Consultation on Agricultural Information Management (COAIM) would be held in Rome from 25-27 September 2002 and urged Member Countries to endeavour to participate fully in both the preparatory process and the main event. Information about the COAIM could be found at http://www.fao.org/coaim (Appendix F, paragraph 35 b).

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

49. Recommended that FAO elaborates and disseminates to Member Countries a synthesis of simple techniques that have given positive results within the framework of the Special Programme for Food Security (Appendix F, paragraph 36).
 

TWENTY-SIXTH FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR THE NEAR EAST

For the attention of Member States

The Conference called upon Member Sates to:

50. Strengthen joint activities and programmes, at sub-regional and regional levels, to control and eradicate transboundary plant pests and animal diseases.

51. Enhance exchange of experiences and information among Member States of the Region in relevant priority areas of common interest through the TCDC modality, and

52. Strengthen national capacities and technical skills in negotiations, implementation and assessment of the impact of multilateral trade agreements and arrangements, including WTO.

For the attention of FAO

The Conference requested FAO to:

53. Provide, within its available resources, technical and financial support for the rehabilitation of the agricultural sector in Palestine, and assist in approaching the donor community to finance the reconstruction of that sector.

54. Provide every possible assistance to the most vulnerable countries to food insecurity in the Region, particularly Afghanistan and Somalia.

55. Encourage and assist Member States to conduct animal disease surveys and to develop appropriate quarantine and control measures to safeguard their communities against BSE, FMD and other zoonotic contagious diseases, in cooperation with OIE, as well as to assist in establishing a regional/sub-regional reference laboratories independently, or in affiliation with other international reference laboratories.

Report of the Senior Officers Meeting

The Conference adopted the report of the Senior Officers Meeting with the following recommendations:

For the attention of Member States

The Meeting called upon Member States to:

56. Ensure an effective participation of national delegations at the highest possible political level at the WFS:fyl to be held in Rome (10-13 June 2002) to guarantee reaching the desired commitments for enhancing efforts to combat food insecurity in the world.

57. Give voluntary contribution to the established Fund for Food Security and Safety and speed-up making pledges on top of the already received US$ 100 million in order to reach the declared target of US$ 500 million for this Fund.

58. Provide support to the setting up of Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping System (FIVIMS) and Food Security Information and Early Warning System (FSIEWS) at the national level, and urge all interested parties to provide needed resources to enable the conduct of initial assessments and to prepare appropriate plans for strengthening national FIVIMS/FSIEWS with coordinated donor support; and

59. Enhance the exchange of expertise and information on SPFS among member countries.

For the attention of FAO

The Meeting requested FAO to:

60. Formulate specific and clear operational modality for effecting the “International Alliance Against Hunger and Poverty”, based on the call made by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany on the occasion of World Food Day 2001 in Rome, and submit the proposed modality to Member Countries for consideration and approval.

61. Assist Member States in approaching donors and international organizations for supporting their national efforts towards implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action; and

62. Respond positively to government requests to take part in the SPFS and to enhance technical collaboration between countries of the Region through the South-South Cooperation initiative.

For the attention of Member States

The Meeting called upon Member States to:

63. Prepare WTO related pre-negotiations in a meticulous manner in order to have specific and clear objectives for the negotiating teams. Near East countries are encouraged to have collective consultation and bargaining stand before and during negotiations in order to have a strong voice concerning agricultural agreements and commitments.

64. Assess the competitiveness of various agricultural products as a basis for formulating adequate agricultural export promotion strategies, including attempts to internalize externalities and environmental impacts.

65. Develop measures of control against non-indigenous species to protect their environment and indigenous species.

66. Diversify their export system and aim at re-structuring certain agricultural enterprises into commercially run business corporations.

67. Develop TRIPS and SPS rules and regulations in order to address WTO requirements based on scientific information, thus avoiding arbitrage.

68. Improve the efficiency of resource use, especially irrigation water, as one of the most limiting factors for increased productivity.

69. Assess the impacts of recent changes in global political and economic environments, including WTO agreements, on the welfare of small farmers in both rainfed and irrigated areas, with particular emphasis on the availability of purchased farm inputs.

70. Study the promotion of intra-regional trade and the best ways to reap the benefits of comparative advantage within the Region.

71. Strengthen the laboratory facilities for food safety to combat emerging threats and hazards of food contamination of chemical, microbial or physical origin.

72. Establish and support public information/education centres for extension in promoting food practices that augment the present food safety and control measures as well as environmental concerns in the public image.

73. Strengthen national analytical capacity to estimate Aggregate Measurement of Support (AMS) for agriculture, based on reliable and scientific data.

74. Ensure that the country permanent representative at WTO headquarters is at the level of Ambassador, who is adequately supported by a well trained staff in international trade and agricultural policy matters.

75. Harmonize SPS and TBT standards and coordinate positions within the WTO; and

76. Study the possibility of setting up regional/sub-regional stabilization mechanisms and, establishing and strengthening regional trade compensatory mechanisms.

For the attention of FAO

The Meeting called upon FAO to:

77. Continue assisting countries in preparing for multilateral trade negotiations in agriculture, fisheries and forestry inter alia through studies, analysis and enhancing national capacities in the area of agricultural policy analysis related to international trade and WTO requirements, with emphasis on issues pertaining to the current round of negotiations.

78. Assist Member Countries of the Region to analyze recent changes in the global economic and trade environments and to assess the implications of globalization on the agricultural sectors in the Region, through holding of regional/sub-regional workshops or expert meetings.

79. Assist in strengthening of national capacities to meet Codex requirements and WTO’s Agreements on the SPS and TRIPS, including food quality and safety.

80. Continue providing assistance in developing agricultural sector strategies based on comparative advantage and efficient resource allocation, taking into consideration environmental and gender aspects in order to reap the benefits of trade liberalization and to cope with its negative impact.

81. Support efforts for enhancing the country food supply capacity by reducing small farmer risk in rainfed areas, and re-orienting land use in irrigated lands.

82. Participate in, and encourage regional/sub-regional group actions to confront environmental threats (such as desertification, pollution and transboundary plant and animal diseases) and other similar threats that cut across national borders.

83. Assist in organizing a Regional Expert Consultation on capacity building in the area of post-harvest technology, food processing, agro-industries, food safety and standards, in the context of export markets’ requirements, in collaboration with UNIDO and other relevant international and regional agencies and institutions.

84. Continue supporting the Near East and North Africa Regional Network for Agricultural Policies (NENARNAP) and the Agricultural Food Marketing Association for the Near East and North Africa (AFMANENA) through active participation in their meetings and activities and the exchange of experiences and information concerning the formulation and implementation of national strategies for agricultural development and the development of effective marketing systems and intra-regional agricultural trade arrangements; and

85. Re-establish the post of Regional Statistician in the Regional Office to assist Member Countries in enhancing their capacity in data collection and statistical analysis, in line with emerging needs for access to accurate and timely statistical data to facilitate adequate planning and operational purposes.

International Year of Mountains (IYM), 2002

For the attention of Member States

86. The Meeting called upon Member States of the Region, particularly those with important mountain regions, to formulate and implement integrated strategies for mountain management; with the support and collaboration of FAO, other international agencies (such as UNEP) and the donor community.

For the attention of FAO

87. The Meeting requested FAO to convene, as early as feasible, an Expert Consultation on the Long-Term and Sustainable Development of Mountain Regions.

For the attention of Member States

The Meeting called upon Member States to:

88. Take the necessary steps for formulating “National Action Programmes for Drought Mitigation”, within the framework of overall development programmes for communities in drought-prone areas.

89. Create the required institutional set-up for implementing, coordinating and monitoring the execution of national programmes for Drought Mitigation and attach this set-up to the highest governmental level possible.

90. Provide the necessary resources to establish a “Drought Watch and Early Warning System” for timely alert and preparedness at country level.

91. Adopt a “participatory approach” that closely involves community sectors at grass-root levels, including NGOs, women and youth, in formulation/implementation of programmes and in launching an awareness and education campaigns to sensitize all stakeholders to drought impacts; as well as identification of the role of each sector in the relief and rehabilitation activities.

92. Provide facilities and enact required legislation and policies to allow the initiating of relevant enabling mechanisms that could be entrusted with drought mitigation measures to be implemented at village, district, provincial and national levels;

93. Establish adequate liaison with regional and international organizations, such as UNCCD, UNSO, UNEP, ICARDA, ACSAD and other interested organizations for the follow-up of drought mitigation activities at regional and global levels.

94. Accord due attention and consideration to the socio-economic dimension of drought within the framework of the “Preparedness and Mitigation Plans”, which should be comprehensive and integrated to address rehabilitation and development, including rangeland, livestock, forestry and crop production.

95. Adopt the improvement of water demand management and efficiency of use as the basis for drought mitigation, and review the current use of natural resources to better cope with drought.

96. Establish monitoring stations on wadis and dig monitoring wells to assess the short- and long-term fluctuations in available surface and groundwater resources; as well as construct small dams for water-harvesting whenever this is socially, economically and environmentally feasible, in order to mitigate the negative effects of drought.

97. Increase investment in agricultural research including research to improve water use efficiency, crop production under water shortage conditions, development of drought and salt tolerant varieties and the identification, classification and registration of indigenous drought resistant crop species and landraces.

98. Endorse the recommendation by the Agriculture, Land and Water Use Commission for the Near East (ALAWUC) Second Session (5-7 March 2002), in relation to the conservation and use of germplasms in the Region.

99. Endorse the recommendation by the ALAWUC Second Session in relation to considering the possibility of establishing a Regional centre for Drought Mitigation and Management, in a country of comparative advantage, and if decided, the Islamic Republic of Iran offered to host such Centre; and

100. Support and strengthen the established Regional Network on Drought Management for the Near East and North Africa, and promote regional cooperation and exchange of experiences among Member Countries.

For the attention of FAO

The Meeting requested FAO to:

101. Provide technical assistance and advisory support to Member Countries in formulating and developing their long-term Action Programmes for Drought Mitigation.

102. Examine the feasibility of establishing a regional drought monitoring and early warning system for assisting Member States to cope with drought, with FAO as the lead agency and in collaboration with relevant international and regional organizations, and explore possibilities of funding with potential donor agencies.

103. Assist Member States in the formulation of a Regional Project on Drought Mitigation for submission to interest donors; and

104. Support the operation and sustainability of the recently launched Regional Network on Drought Management for the Near East and North Africa.

For the attention of Member States

105. The Meeting called upon Member States of the Region, particularly those at risk of BSE, to implement effective surveillance for BSE and to apply controls on animal feed and meat industries and imports, as per recommended OIE standards.

For the attention of FAO

The Meeting requested FAO to:

106. Continue supporting BSE diagnostic, prevention and risk assessment capacity in Member States through national or regional Technical Cooperation Projects (TCPs).

107. Assist Member States in preparing and implementing and FMD control programme and to examine the possibility of initiating a Regional Project for that purpose, in collaboration with the Animal health Commission for the Near East and North Africa (AHCNENA) and with other Member States.

For the attention of Member States

108. The Meeting called upon Member States to endorse the Tehran Process and to support its Secretariat through the provision of expertise and financial support, particularly with regard to the formulation of National Forest Programmes, in view of the importance of the Process to Member Countries.

For the attention of FAO

109. The Meeting requested FAO to support the Tehran Process through a Regional Technical Cooperation Project (TCP to initiate National Forest Programmes).

110. The Meeting reviewed the Report of the Agriculture, Land and Water Use Commission for the Near East (ALAWUC), which met from 5 to 7 March 2002 in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran. Following thorough examination and discussion, the Meeting adopted the Report, after introducing some amendments.

111. The Conference formed a committee, consisting of representatives of four Member States (Algeria, Iran, Iraq and Yemen), plus the Secretariat, to assist in collating proposed topics by Member Countries and to prepare a list of topics for consideration by the Conference. The Conference debated the various topics compiled by the committee and requested that the Conference Secretariat prepare a consolidated list of proposed topics and submit the condensed list of topics (shown below) and submit to FAO/HQ for consideration and possible inclusion in the Conference Agenda for the 27th Regional Conference for the Near East:

      1. Fisheries Resources Development.
      2. Post Harvest Losses Cum Food Industry and Food Sefety within the New International Multilateral Trade Environment.
      3. Marketing Development and Export Promotion.
      4. Research, Extension and Technology Transfer.
      5. Plant and Animal Genetic Resources: Collection, Utilization, Classification, Registration and Certification.
      6. Evaluation of Technical and Economic Feasibility of Desalination and Utilization of Brackish and Saline Water as well as Utilization of Treated Sewage Water in Irrigation.
      7. From Emergency/Relief to Rehabilitation to Development: a Programme Approach.
      8. Agriculture Investment Policies in the Region.
      9. Prospects for the Development of Organic Farming.

112. The Conference welcomed the two invitations, extended by the Government of Yemen and by the Government of Qatar, to host the 27th FAO Regional Conference for the Near East and requested he Director-General of FAO would take these kind invitations into consideration when deciding on the date and place of the coming Conference, in consultation with Member Governments of the Region.
 

TWENTY-SEVENTH FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

113. Endorsed the claim that food security was an individual right and a collective responsibility, as well as an essential condition for combating poverty.

114. Decided to propose that the World Food Summit: five years later establish and intergovernmental working group in FAO as a formal mechanism which, in coordination with relevant agencies of the United Nations, would formulate a Voluntary Code of Conduct on the Right to Food within a period of two years.

115. Took note of the proposal to create a Global Alliance against Hunger to ensure the targets of the World Food Summit were achieved; and indicated that this coalition should not only elicit action from governments and states, but also harness the creativity and moral energy of the societies and peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean.

116. Suggested that a specific financial commitment would be needed if the Global Alliance against Hunger was to function effectively; in other words, a specific percentage of developed countries’ gross national productions should be earmarked for fighting hunger. Aid for this purpose should be channelled through FAO, in order to avoid political conditions being attached. Resources would be allocated to regions and countries, according to their poverty levels. The use of these resources would be supervised by FAO, and would be strictly audited, and their impact on reducing hunger would be evaluated. Beneficiary countries would undertake to provide counterpart resources

117. Emphasized that agricultural subsidies in developed countries, and the international trade barriers those countries put in place, were seriously hampering progress towards the goals of the World Food Summit.

118. Underlined that to achieve the targets of the World Food Summit, it was essential to eliminate agricultural subsidies in developed countries, and introduce far-reaching changes in the world trading system, in order to remove the obstacles currently raised by an unfairly globalize world, bearing in mind the interests of food-importing developing countries and least developed countries.

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

119. Suggested the need for a more in-depth analysis of the causes of the unfavourable trend of undernutrition in certain subregions of Latin America and the Caribbean, in order to address existing problems more efficiently.

120. Suggested that, with a view to advancing food security in the region, projects geared towards income generation should also be considered, including areas such as agrotourism or rural tourism, as these tended to enhance access to food..

121. Commended efforts made to quantify the gross investment volumes needed to meet the targets set at the World Food Summit, and suggested that the analysis should be extended to provide a more detailed breakdown of these amounts, including information on potential sources and their possible distribution between different allocations or ends.

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

122. Acknowledged the importance of taking the decentralization process further and ensuring the widest possible participation in agricultural and rural development activities. It expressed the view that this process required more than a political decision to decentralize and channel financial resources; it was also essential to strengthen human resource training and management capacity in the decentralized bodies. The Conference also expressed its concern that the decentralization of programmes could run the risk of dispersion of actions and political exploitation by local elites; decentralization needed to be accompanied by greater civil-society involvement, ensuring participation by all the different interest groups.

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

123. Expressed its support for focusing projects on the family economic unit rather than the productive nucleus alone. This would make it possible to consider survival strategies within the household economic system and identify appropriate instruments for agents with distinct roles in the development of the family economy, such as rural women. It would also help to identify specific problems, such as women’s access to assets and incomes, or the implications of outmigration by specific groups.

124. Recommended that child labour and rural education should be made priority issues for FAO’s work in the region.

125. Called upon FAO to support the development of programmes targeted on women and rural youth.

126. Stated that risk management was an important issue in the analysis of agricultural development in the region, and called upon FAO to support the exchange of experiences with innovative policy instruments that have been developed in this area by several of the region’s countries.

127. Underlined the importance of FAO support in the development of agricultural information systems. These should give broader support to information flows both horizontally between countries and vertically towards users.

128. Requested technical support from FAO to develop national capacities for building, analysing and using statistical systems. It suggested that cooperation activities should be held on this issue.

129. Stated the need to evaluate projects and that evaluation should focus on overcoming problems in programme execution, as well as measuring their impact in achieving their objectives. Although programme targeting normally meant higher intermediate costs, one of the elements to quantify was the proportion of funds actually reaching the final beneficiaries.

130. Requested FAO support to improve instruments and methodologies for evaluating agricultural development policies and programmes.

131. Recommended that FAO provide technical assistance and training in areas of regional interest, such as biosecurity, intellectual property rights and the management of autocthonous plant genetic resources.

132. Asked for consideration to be given to the problems arising in development projects as a result of cooperation failures; and for support to be given to better organization of public policies, drawing on lessons learned from experiences in projects implemented in the various countries.

133. Indicated that technical cooperation from international organizations should be guided by demand from individual countries, and be flexible enough to adapt to rapidly changing conditions. It acknowledged the efforts being made by FAO to send programming missions to work with governments on defining multi-year cooperation programmes with a medium- and long-term outlook.

134. Advocated compiling a database of technical cooperation projects affording accessible and efficient consultation, with a view to enhancing the design of new projects. It recommended that a project monitoring system be set up, making sure that projects were firmly anchored in national institutional structures and adequately coordinated with agriculture ministries. It also stressed the importance of projects having a clear exit strategy, in order to ensure permanent effects and prevent the benefits from disappearing when the project ended.

135. Suggested that, where appropriate, preference be given to regional projects which exploit cooperation between countries, and promote and stimulate the creativity of national capacities.

136. Recommended greater cooperation between international organizations to avoid duplications in their work. South-south cooperation also needed to be intensified, particularly through the Special Food Security Programme (SFSP), and existing commitments needed to be implemented. Efforts should also be made to reduce intermediation costs so that a larger proportion of funds could be used in direct actions with beneficiaries.

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

137. Highlighted the problems of managing natural resources and food security in the absence of a regulatory structure consistent with conditions in each country.

138. Stated the need to establish permanent national policies of prevention, mitigation and restoration of the impacts arising from the use of production systems and techniques that encouraged environmental degradation processes, especially in soil resources.

139. Highlighted the potential offered by appropriate biotechnologies for solving production problems.

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

140. Called upon FAO to support a comprehensive long-term strategy for natural resource sustainability, involving government policies with broad social participation.

141. Suggested that FAO should help governments in the region to establish legal and regulatory structures supporting natural resource sustainability, and to develop genuine regulatory capacity.

142. Asked FAO to support the development of information systems on natural resource use, establishing sustainability indicators and environmental deterioration monitoring mechanisms, to enable timely actions to be taken with a long-term outlook.

143. Recommend that FAO support the development of trustworthy information systems for measuring the availability and deterioration of natural resources.

144. Called upon FAO to continue exploring mechanisms of payment for environmental services, since these gave local populations greater incentive to conserve natural resources, while enabling them to share in the benefits.

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

145. Acknowledged the importance of establishing strategic alliances to enable agricultural producers to integrate better into productive chains; and to more effectively address problems of market access, financing difficulties, infrastructure shortcomings, limited access to technological development and deficient institutional capacity. Production partnerships could bring farmers closer to consumers, thereby promoting greater participation by agricultural producers in the value added chain.

146. Stated that, notwithstanding the advantages offered by production partnerships, it was essential to ensure they were capable of harmonizing interests and genuinely solving disputes, since the latter generally involved highly asymmetric negotiations, in which farmers and fishermen were nearly always at a disadvantage.

147. Stressed that cooperative organizations could sometimes be an appropriate mechanism, while recognizing that diversity among countries, and between productive sectors and market conditions, called for flexibility in the forms of association and partnership mechanisms implemented in each situation.

148. Urged the region’s governments to implement consistent policies in forming production partnerships, assisted by FAO.

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

149. Recommended that FAO help countries in the region to develop productive chains, through workshops, meetings and events with stakeholders from the governmental and business domains, and with participation from small-scale producers.

150. Recommended that FAO promote business and investment opportunities among organized small-scale producers, to enhance competitiveness through business forums and trade fairs, and to encourage the establishment of business management centres among associations of small-scale producers and/or agribusinesses, focusing particularly on technical training and the strengthening of negotiating capacity among productive agents themselves.

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

151. Acknowledged the fundamental importance of this issue for the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, and stated that a freer and fairer trading system could boost economic development in the region, and thus help solve problems of food insecurity.

152. Expressed its frustration at the disparity between commitments made in the Uruguay Round and results achieved so far. Not only had old problems not been resolved, but new tariff and para-tariff protectionist measures were emerging in developed countries, with seriously distorting effects on markets, resulting from trade practices involving exclusion and discrimination that made international trade even more unfair. In addition, export credits in developed countries could represent another form of unfair competition..

153. Identified agricultural subsidies in developed countries as the main cause of distortions in agricultural product markets. Such subsidies resulted in lower international prices, undermined competitiveness and productive capacity, and reduced employment possibilities in developing countries, thereby aggravating conditions of poverty and food insecurity. The Conference also expressed its concern that trade distortions were generating overproduction and overexploitation of natural resources.

154. Argued that developed countries needed to eliminate indiscriminate subsidies on agriculture, forestry and fishing activities, as these were undermining competitiveness, distorting the exploitation of natural resources, aggravating poverty and making it more difficult to achieve food security.

155. Stated that the conditions of globalization and market integration posed new challenges for health controls.

156. Recommended strengthening technical cooperation on issues of agricultural plant and livestock health between the countries of the region, by exploiting existing capacities, exchanging experiences and running training programmes in the public and private sectors.

157. Stressed the need to develop regional projects for the prevention and eradication of transboundary plant and animal diseases that had a major effect on the region’s agricultural trade.

158. Highlighted its concern at the excessive capacity of fishing fleets from certain developed countries; and the arrival in the region of fishing units from those countries, using predatory fishing methods that led to overexploitation of the region’s fishery resources.

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

159. Call upon FAO to encourage the development of national, subregional and regional capacities, both technical and in terms of laboratory services and other health tools, in order to more effectively address requirements of food safety, equivalences and other health aspects affecting trade. It recommended implementing cooperation projects in these areas, including actions coordinated with specialized international bodies.

160. Asked FAO to support cooperation between the countries to combat transboundary diseases.

161. Asked FAO to provide information and assistance to the region’s countries in preparing their negotiating positions in WTO and other trade frameworks.

162. Requested that FAO support the countries of the region in conducting prospective studies of different scenarios arising from the new round of WTO negotiations. This would help offset the disadvantage resulting from the preparatory studies made by developed countries and reduce the level of information asymmetry in the negotiations.

163. Called upon FAO to conduct studies on market opening and the impact of liberalization on trading possibilities, and also on the price of food, purchasing power and food security in net food-.importing developing countries, and the least developed countries.

164. Suggested that FAO should analyse the emergence of hidden trade barriers which, in the name of safety, set consumers against producers.

165. Asked FAO to undertake studies to evaluate the impact of indiscriminate subsidies that led overexploitation of the region’s fishery resources, with serious consequences for vulnerable groups in Latin America such as such small-scale fishing communities.

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

166. Acknowledged that approval of a binding International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, at the thirty-first session of the FAO Conference, provided the region and the international community in general with an important legal instrument dealing with resources on which food security depends.

167. Recommend that countries of the region take steps to ratify the Treaty as soon as possible, hopefully even before the World Food Summit: five years later, to be held in June this year, in order to ensure good regional representation in the first meeting of the Governing Body.
 

TWENTY-THIRD FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR EUROPE

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

168. Expressed concern at the slow pace at which food security was being achieved in many countries of the world (paragraph 12).

169. Highlighted that the fight against undernutrition and poverty required a sustained effort from governments, internal organizations, financial institutions, NOGs and civil society at large (paragraph 15 a).

170. Highlighted the need to look at the right to food and how this right can be effectively implemented (paragraph 15 g).

171. Highlighted the need to further discuss a code of conduct on the right to food (paragraphs 15 h).

172. Highlighted the important role played by fisheries in supporting food security and attention should be given to the improvement of sustainable fishery management practices (paragraph 15 i).

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

173. Took note that there was a need to strengthen FAO’s focus in the European Region, especially for countries in transition and non members of FAO, by addressing issues which were of common concern for the fundamental reform which should take place in the agricultural sector in Europe, such as food safety, land reform and market access (paragraph 13).

For the attention of Governments

The Conference underlined:

174. The importance for all stakeholders to invest and participate in an integrated food safety approach (paragraph 22 a).

175. The need to reinforce food safety and quality policies (paragraph 22 b).

176. The need to improve the transparency of food safety control systems (paragraph 22 c).

177. The need to further develop and extend throughout Europe, systems for early detection and prevention of food safety hazards (paragraph 22 d).

178. The need for countries in transition to build up their capacity in food safety inspection and control systems (paragraph 22 f).

179. The need to further develop scientific and research networks, and education on food safety issues (paragraph 22 g).

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

180. Endorsed the conclusions of the Pan-European Conference and requested that its recommendations be forwarded to member countries, the European Union, international organizations and non-governmental/civil society organizations (paragraph 20).

181. Took note of the importance of food safety in the enlargement process of the European Union and of the call for FAO and WHO to play an enhanced role in assisting countries that are not part of the enlargement process (paragraph 21).

182. Called for a follow-up to the Pan-European Conference recommendations covering the 22 countries in Central and Eastern Europe targeted at methodologies for risk analysis, capacity building and rapid alert (paragraph 21).

183. Took note of the proposal of the Delegation of France to place food safety and quality issues as one of the main items on the agenda of the 24th European Regional Conference and to undertake the technical preparation of this item within the framework of the 33rd Session of the European Commission on Agriculture (ECA) (paragraph 23).

Sustainable management of Land and Water Resources

For the attention of Governments and FAO

The Conference:

184. Took note of the cohesion between the work of FAO on land degradation issues and the objectives of the 6th Environmental Action Programme and the strategy for soil protection to be adopted by the European Union, which provided an additional framework for collaboration (paragraph 27 c).

185. Took note of the proposal to organize an international workshop to foster regional collaboration and allow exchange of experiences and methodologies (paragraph 27 d).

186. Took note of the need to strengthen and promote inter-country cooperation in forest fire management and refinement of tools for forest fire control in order to protect and maintain diversity in forests in Europe (paragraph 27 e).

187. Took note of the situation regarding land degradation and desertification in a number of member countries (paragraph 28).

188. Endorsed the recommendations forwarded by the 32nd Session of the European Commission on Agriculture (ECA) (paragraph 29).

189. Urged member countries, FAO and all relevant international and regional agencies to promote their implementation in the European Region (paragraph 29).

190. Underlined the importance of maintaining and strengthening the existing collaboration between FAO and the UNCCD Secretariat (paragraph 29).

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

191. Acknowledged the conclusions contained in the document (paragraph 31).

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

192. Request that in future documents, the fisheries and forestry sectors be included in view of their importance to food security and rural development (paragraph 33).

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

193. Acknowledged that the European Commission on Agriculture, within its revised mandate, had successfully prepared the item on sustainable management of land and water resources for review by the Conference (paragraph 35).

194. Request that FAO further develop its collaboration with the Central European Initiative (CEI) working group on agriculture (paragraph 36).

195. Highlighted the importance of maintaining FAO servicing of ESCORENA with its focus on transfer of research results to developing countries and countries in transition (paragraph 38).

196. Expressed its support for a project approach to service ESCORENA and called for funding in the regular budget of FAO for its continuation (paragraph 40).

197. Welcomed the proposal of France to provide a visiting scientist for secretariat support to ESCORENA (paragraph 41).

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

198. Welcomed the renewed offer by France to host the next Conference and also welcomed the offer by Latvia to host the 25th FAO Regional Conference for Europe in that country (paragraph 44).

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

199. Agreed that both offers should be conveyed to the Director-General for decision in consultation with the Members of the Region (paragraph 44).
 

TWENTY-SIXTH FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

200. Welcomed the initiative of the Director-General in convening the upcoming WFS:fyl and noted the potential for a “Global Alliance Against Hunger” to further mobilise political will in combating hunger; delegates looked forward to further discussion of the concept at the WFS:fyl.

201. Urged FAO to assist in building capacity in biotechnology, paying special attention to human and environmental risks.

202. Encouraged the further strengthening of mechanisms promoted by FAO for exchanging technical knowledge and experience through South-South Cooperation, regional networking, and other partnerships.

For the attention of Governments and FAO

The Conference:

203. Urged member countries and international organizations to collaborate in addressing forest fires, illegal and reckless logging and forest encroachment.

204. Recommended that member countries, with assistance from FAO and other partners, initiate specific studies to determine optimal and efficient systems for marketing mountain products and services in competitive markets.

205. Recommended that member countries work with FAO and partner organizations to identify products and niches that command competitive and comparative advantages and strengthen the production capacities for those which appear most promising.

206. Urged member countries and FAO to give increased attention to enhancing food security in mountainous regions.

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

207. Urged governments and communities to establish and strengthen policies and strategies for protecting mountain forests, water, soil and biodiversity resources.

208. Encouraged member countries to implement holistic, participatory, integrated watershed management programs that address the needs of local people and protect and enhance natural resources.

209. Called on member governments to give high priority to establishing and improving transport, energy and communication links and services to mountain communities.

210. Encouraged governments to support viable alternative income and employment opportunities in mountain regions, including innovative new options such as out-sourcing of tasks via modern electronic systems.

211. Recommended that governments and national and local non-governmental organizations provide targeted “Safety nets” and social programs to reduce hunger, increase employment, and enhance self-worth of vulnerable groups, especially women and children.

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

212. Requested FAO to work with member countries to assess the likely positive and negative impacts of exposing mountain communities to more open economies.

213. Request FAO to strengthen its community nutrition programs in mountain areas.

214. Recommended that FAO, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOND), the Regional Community Forestry training Centre (RECOFTC) and other international organizations increase their support for research, development, promotion and capacity building aimed at developing ecotourism, consistent with sound environmental, social and livelihood objectives.

215. Requested FAO to support improved networking and effective dissemination of development-related information to mountain areas, via modern as well as traditional mechanisms.

216. Recommended that FAO identify and support effective approaches for decentralization and devolution of natural resources management, assist governments and local communities in strengthening capacities for local resources management and help clarify associated rights and obligations.

For the attention of Governments and FAO

The Conference:

217. Urged member countries, with support for FAO and other international organizations, to create favourable institutional and political environments that would enable the poor to share in the benefits from the surge in growth of the livestock and fisheries sectors.

For the attention of Governments

218. Called on countries to support and implement the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries; the Asia Regional Guidelines for the Responsible Movement of Live Aquatic Animals; and other voluntary agreements, guidelines and international plans of action.

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

219. Requested FAO to assist countries in developing appropriate policies to reduce the financial, technical and cultural barriers that limit small-scale producers’ ability to benefit from the expansion of the livestock and fisheries sectors.

220. Urged FAO to assist member countries in formulating appropriate legal and policy frameworks in support of the rural poor and to help build institutional capacity for implementing effective policies and programs..

221. Requested FAO to assist member countries in developing appropriate policy and legislation related to small-scale coastal fisheries.

222. Requested FAO to support networks that encourage governments, national and international organizations, civil societies and the corporate sector to review livestock and fisheries policies and strategies vis--vis the poor.

223. Requested FAO to assist countries in developing the necessary capacity to ensure food safety throughout the production and processing chain.

224. Requested FAO to help countries build capacity for addressing food safety and sanitary and phyto-sanitary regulations of importing countries.

225. Recommended that FAO formulate a plan of action for the livestock sector for supporting, among others, a regional emergency response system to deal with transboundary animal diseases, a regional program for the control of foot-and-mouth disease, a diagnostic information reference system and procedures for harmonising laboratory standards.

For the attention of Governments and FAO

The Conference:

226. Endorsed empowerment of the rural poor as a key approach for sustained and rapid poverty reduction and enhancement of food security; there was consensus that devolution of decision-making authority and development resources to community levels is crucial to the empowerment process.

227. Urged FAO and member countries to integrate gender considerations into the process of empowering the rural poor.

228. Encouraged FAO and member governments to identify practical ways and means (both modern and traditional) to bridge information and technology gaps for the benefit of the rural poor.

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

229. Urged countries to adopt public policies and programs to ensure that the rural poor have access to productive resources such as land, water and capital as well as support services like research, extension, marketing, credit, etc.

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

230. Requested FAO to provide technical support and organize resources to assist member countries in conducting agriculture and rural sector reviews, including assessment of policy issues and options for food security and poverty reduction.

231. Urged FAO to provide technical assistance and advice and to strengthen country capacities, in areas related to agri-business development and rural extension.

For the attention of Governments and FAO

The Conference:

232. Called for substantial increases in agriculture and rural development investments.

233. Urged follow-up action to the International Conference on Financing for Development to enhance allocations of financial resources to the agriculture and rural development sectors.

234. Urged national and international organizations to step up research efforts to identify sound approaches for adapting agriculture to meet the challenges of climate change.

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

235. Urged member countries to give priority to sustainable, broad-based agricultural growth (including enhanced productivity) and rural development as cornerstones for reducing undernourshiment.

236. Encouraged all countries, that have not yet prepared national action plans, to do so as quickly as possible and to support their effective implementation.

237. Recommended that countries pay special attention to the roles of women in agriculture and utilise the vast potential of community-government partnerships in combating hunger.

238. Urged countries to ensure that the important principles adopted at the Fourth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization in Doha are implemented.

239. Urged member countries to participate fully and effectively in the upcoming round of negotiations on agriculture to ensure fairness and equity in existing arrangements.

240. Encouraged member countries to extend their full support to the application of food insecurity and vulnerability information mapping systems (FIVIMS).

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

241. Requested FAO to strengthen national capacities to analyse trade issues, assist countries in formulating and updating national trade legislation and facilitate regional and sub-regional information sharing related to trade negotiations.

242. Requested FAO to provide support to member countries in establishing and strengthening national FIVIMS.

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

243. Urged member countries to participate in the upcoming Consultation on Agricultural Information Management (COAIM) in September 2002.