JOINT MEETING OF THE EIGHTY-SEVENTH SESSION OF THE PROGRAMME COMMITTEE AND THE NINETY-NINTH SESSION OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE
Rome, 8 May 2002
PROPOSED REFORM OF THE GENERAL DEBATE AT CONFERENCE
1. The Joint Meeting of the Programme and Finance Committees has been examining the working procedures of Conference sessions since September 1998 in order to foster greater interaction among Ministers during the four Conference days presently dedicated to the General Debate.
2. At its May 2001 session, the Joint Meeting decided to defer further consideration of reforming the General Debate through the Introduction of Ministerial Roundtables until its May 2002 meeting. It was thought that, by such time, Members of the Committees and the Secretariat would have been in a position to draw lessons from the Round Tables which were to be held within the framework of the World Food Summit: five years later (originally scheduled 5-9 November 2001).
3. However, in view of the prevailing international context, the Council, at its Hundred and Twenty-first session (30 October-1 November 2001) agreed that the World Food Summit: five years later would be held in Rome from 10 to 13 June 2002.
4. In the light of the above, it is suggested that discussion on the proposed reform of the General Debate be deferred until the September 2002 Joint Meeting. By such time, it should be possible not only to benefit from the experience with the three Roundtables to be held in June 2002, but also that gained during the Multistakeholder Dialogue meeting, also to be held as part of the World Food Summit: five years later.
This document does not constitute an invitation to the session.