352. The Fourteenth Session of the Conference, by Resolution 33/67, had decided to “create a new permanent feature of FAO activity associated with the name of B.R. Sen,” and requested the Council to take action as appropriate. The Director-General had accordingly put forward a proposal that a yearly award be given to the outposted FAO field officer who had made the most outstanding contribution to the advancement of the country or countries to which he had been assigned.
353. In presenting this proposal the Director-General had stressed his view that this proposal would be a particularly appropriate recognition of Mr. Sen's role in transforming FAO from a study organization to a development agency. The award would also be a great incentive to staff in the field, and an acknowledgement of the importance of their work.
354. Commenting on the Director-General's proposal, the Council stressed the importance of taking quality of work and human understanding fully into account in selection. Any evaluation of these should be made not only by the Director-General in consultation with the Chairmen of the Council and of the Programme and Finance Committees, but also with the advice of the appropriate ministries of the country in which the expert served.
355. During the discussion on this matter, a number of alternative proposals were put forward. The Council however concurred with the Director-General that in view of the already existing André Meyer Fellowships, a different type of award was advisable. It also agreed to the desirability of highlighting the role of field officers, on the understanding that such recognition should be given only for exceptional merits. The award should be limited to one a year, provided a fully qualified recipient could be selected. Should an award not be made in any one year, consideration would be given to making two in the subsequent year. It was understood that the award would be bestowed every two years by the Chairman of the Conference during the Conference session, and that the travel costs of the expert and his wife would be met by FAO. Note was taken of the suggestion that the awards might on occasion be extended to staff of the World Food Programme.
356. The Council decided that the Fifteenth Session of the Conference would convene from Saturday 8 November to Thursday 27 November 1969.
357. The Council decided to convene its Fifty-Second Session at FAO Headquarters in Rome from 9 to 20 June 1969.