Guatemala City, Guatemala, 26-30 April 2004


1. The Constitution of the Commission on Livestock Development for Latin America and the Caribbean (CODEGALAC) lists its functions as recommending animal production and health policies to its members; planning and promoting measures for animal production and the control of animal disease; in consultation with interested members, determining the nature and scope of the assistance they need to implement their national livestock development programmes; and providing support to regional programmes.

2. Membership of the Commission is open to all FAO Member Nations and Associate Members in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Commission is made up of entitled Member Nations and Associate Members that inform the Director-General of their desire to become members.

3. The Commission on Livestock Development for Latin America and the Caribbean held its Eighth Session on 28 and 29 October 2003 in Santiago, Chile, at the kind invitation of the FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean. The meeting was attended by 23 participants, including country representatives, officers from FAO Headquarters and observers from non-governmental organizations.

4. A summary of the main conclusions and recommendations of the Eighth Session of CODEGALAC, drawing upon discussions in respective subregional groups, is given in paragraphs 5 to 28. The purpose of the Session was to determine the relevance of the continuing existence of the Commission on Livestock Development for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The livestock situation in the Region

5. The Commission stressed that its aim should be to maximize the contribution of animal husbandry to economic and social development and food security in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, and that its effective performance depended on the support of a Technical Secretariat appointed by FAO.

Characteristics and conditions needed for its functioning

6. Include the livestock sector as a whole and all animal species of social and economic importance, that contribute to food supply and income generation, in all stages of production, processing and trade.

7. Recognize the existence of country and subregional differences and thus the need for regional, subregional and national discussion and consultative bodies.

8. Make use of other fora and commissions, and the actions pursued by national and international organizations, notably FAO, IFAD, IDB and WB.

9. Secure the political will and the economic support needed for the Commission to accomplish its assigned functions. At country level, consider the participation of the private sector (producer organizations and agrifood chambers of commerce) in delegations to CODEGALAC.

New functions

10. Recommend integrated livestock development policies to CODEGALAC member countries.

11. Establish and promote instruments for the integrated development of livestock production chains in the Region.

12. Promote and introduce measures and instruments to study, prevent and control animal diseases of importance to public health and trade in livestock products, and recommend common standards and practices to this end.

13. Establish and promote measures and instruments for the generation, adaptation and transfer of technologies that will give national and international competitiveness to the different links of livestock production chains in the Region.

14. Establish and promote measures and instruments to establish training and education programmes that will satisfy the needs of livestock production chains in the Region.

15. Promote the horizontal exchange of experiences in areas of common interest among members of the Commission.

16. Evaluate periodic reports on programme implementation and progress.

Functions of the Technical Secretariat

17. Channel to CODEGALAC national focal points the flow of information on livestock topics issued by FAO and of potential interest to countries.

18. Promote the exchange of experiences in livestock development policies and strategies.

19. Collaborate with CODEGALAC member countries in generating regional project proposals for the generation of value products for livestock development in the Region.

20. Provide the services needed to organize and conduct Commission meetings.

Functions of the Commission

21. Serve as a forum for debate and decision on livestock strategy and policy issues.

22. Report to FAO and other international organizations on the support required by countries to further their livestock development.

23. Endorse project proposals made by Vice-Chairs and the Secretariat in order to facilitate the procurement of resources for their implementation.

Support Technical Secretariat

24. FAO was asked to provide a Permanent Technical Secretariat to act as focal point so that the Commission could carry out its functions to the full.

25. In order to facilitate the restructuring and initial functioning of the Technical Secretariat, it was recommended that FAO implement a regional technical cooperation project (TCP) in order to secure the resources needed for activities relating to information, reorganization of CODEGALAC, training and research, and to enable the Commission to meet.

Regional Chair and Subregional Vice-Chairs

26. In order to have the Member Nations play a more active and effective role in the Commission and to accommodate the specificities of each subregion, it was agreed to establish a Regional Chair for the Commission and four Subregional Vice-Chairs which would be held for a period of two years by countries elected by the member countries themselves. The governments of selected countries would nominate the individual office holders. The following countries were selected for the current period:

Regional Chairperson: Chile
Vice-Chairperson of the Andean Subregion: Bolivia
Vice-Chairperson of the Central American Subregion: Mexico
Vice-Chairperson of the Caribbean Subregion: Cuba
Vice-Chairperson of the Southern Subregion: Argentina

27. It was also agreed that meetings would be held annually, with the Subregional Meetings alternating each year with a plenary Regional Meeting; and that the Technical Secretariat would support and follow up on both types of meeting. The subregional meetings would discuss items of local interest while the plenary meetings would discuss items of general interest.

Principal support projects

28. Recognizing the need for the Commission to have updated information and for it to help develop country capacities, it was agreed that, as soon as the Technical Secretariat had been set up, and with the active participation of the Vice-Chairs, resources would be marshalled and managed for the following projects: a) restructuring and strengthening of the Commission on Livestock Development for Latin America and the Caribbean; b) strengthening of the National Systems of Promotion of Animal Health and Traceability and Safety of Livestock Products, with an explicit focus on aspects relating to international trade; and c) strengthening of national capacities for the enhanced competitiveness in livestock production chains. These projects would have to rely heavily on information systems and the dissemination of knowledge, and would have to recognize the specificities of institutional systems.