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The State of Food and Agriculture: Review of its Form, Content and Timing

7. The Council noted the suggestions for changes in the form, content and timing of the Director-General's report on The State of Food and Agriculture1 that had been prepared in response to the request made at its Fifty-First Session and the observations on these by the Programme Committee 2.

8. The proposals had two principal aims: to provide Member Governments and the general public with as timely information as possible on the major developments in the food and agricultural situation; and to make the treatment of these developments as cohesive and meaningful as possible. To this effect, the following principal changes had been suggested by the Secretariat:

  1. The review chapter of the report would be reorganized to consist of a shortened world review, followed by a review by individual regions.

  2. The preparation of the report would be divided into two stages. A preliminary version, dealing quantitatively mainly with the preceding year, would be issued around the end of July or early August. Subsequently, a final version would be prepared on the basis of the review of recent developments customarily issued at the time of the Council and Conference sessions, and would be published as soon thereafter as was technically feasible.

  3. In addition, efforts would be made to increase the analytical and forward-looking content of the report, and to publish more up-to-date statistical and other information in it.

9. The Council agreed that the Secretariat proposals reflected appropriately the views that had been expressed by the Council, and felt that their implementation would further enhance the usefulness of this report. It noted that for practical reasons the preparation of SOFA 1969 had already started along the lines proposed, and that the 1969 issue of the report was therefore to be regarded as experimental. While a number of members made suggestions regarding the timing and content of future issues of the report, it was generally agreed that any judgement on the adequacy of the changes made should be withheld until after the 1969 issue of the report had been examined by governments.

10. The Council agreed with the observations of the Programme Committee on the Secretariat proposals. In so doing, a number of members stressed the importance of maintaining a proper balance between description and analysis in the report. A more analytical approach was likely to make the report more useful for policy makers and administrators. At the same time, it was essential that such analysis be as objective as possible, and not detract from the proved value of the report as a reference work.

11. Several members, while recognizing the technical difficulties arising from the special requirements in an international organization, stressed the importance of early distribution of both the preliminary and final versions of the report. A possible way of saving time was to distribute the purely statistical data contained in the annex tables ahead of the text of the report.

12. The Council noted that, thanks to a shift to internal composing and printing of the report with newly acquired machinery, it appeared possible to produce the two versions of the report at no extra cost.

13. A number of members referred to the particular problem of the special chapters which under the new proposals would, for reasons of economy, be distributed only as a part of the final version of the report. Various arrangements for their publication were possible, but in the view of these members it appeared preferable to have them available for government review before the Conference or Council session. One method of doing this was their advance distribution as pre-prints.

14. Other observations included the need to avoid overlapping with the contents of the FAO Commodity Review, and to make sure that the two reports complemented each other. At the same time, the importance was pointed out of giving sufficient emphasis in SOFA to developments in trade, in view of the importance of agricultural trade to most developing countries.

1 CL 52/2.
2 CL 52/3, Section II, paras. 298–302.

Review of the Activities of Selected Divisions of the Organization: Format, Guidelines and Procedures for the Preparation of Future Review Papers

15. The Council recalled that at its Fifty-First Session, while considering the reports of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Sessions of the Programme Committee and the relevant documents on selected sectors and activities of the Organization (Agriculture Department and Nutrition Division), it had emphasized the importance of continuing such reviews on an improved and strengthened basis by the Programme Committee and the Council itself. It had stressed in particular the need for greater comparability in the content of the documents submitted by the Secretariat and the need for the Secretariat to adhere more closely to the approved format. It had requested the Programme Committee to reexamine the format, guidelines and procedures for the preparation of future review papers aimed at further improving and facilitating the review.

16. The Programme Committee at its Spring 1969 session considered these aspects in the light of the guidelines given by the Council and the Committee since the Twenty-Fifth Session of the Council (June 1961) and the Sixth Session of the Committee (June 1962), including in particular the outlines of the reviews suggested at the Eighth Session of the Programme Committee (June 1964), namely, (1) objectives; (2) organization and main areas of work; (3) methods adopted to achieve objectives; (4) problems encountered; (5) evaluation of results achieved; (6) trends of the division's work. The Committee agreed with the Director-General that adequate guidance had already been given by the governing bodies and experience gained on the preparation and presentation of these reviews, and in this connexion drew particular attention to the discussion of the Fifty-First Session of the Council where some further expositions were given.

17. The Committee noted that every effort would be made to present all pertinent information in the suggested format for the divisions to be reviewed (Economic and Social Department) in 1970.

18. The Council supported the Director-General's proposals and concurred with the suggestions of the Programme Committee.

19. The Council considered that this review exercise was extremely useful and agreed that at the completion of the present six-year cycle the format, guidelines and procedures for the preparation of review papers should again be considered by the Programme Committee and the Council.

Impact of Field Programmes on the Regular Programme: Report on the 1968 Survey

20. The Council reviewed the Joint Report of the Programme and Finance Committees 1 that dealt with the results of FAO's biennial survey (November-December 1968) of the impact of field programmes on the Regular Programme - the seventh of a series begun in 1953.

21. The Committees had indicated that in addition to providing information on the impact of field programmes on the Regular Programme the survey also served, in line with the formula agreed upon by the Council, as the principal basis for the presentation in the 1970–71 Programme of Work and Budget 2 of the tabulations showing all funds administered by FAO, their distribution into (i) funds used for field operations, and (ii) funds available for management and operation of the Regular Programme and field projects, and the extent to which the Regular Programme is financially supporting the various field programmes.

22. The Committees had noted that the 1968 survey showed essentially the same results as previous surveys, i.e. that the Regular Programme supports close to three fourths of Headquarters and Regional Office costs, while Headquarters and Regional Office staff devote half of their time to non-Regular Programme matters.

23. The Committees had also indicated that in addition to the further review of the problem of the reimbursement of agency costs to be undertaken by the United Nations Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), the matter had also been examined by the Joint Inspection Unit which had made a progress report (see paras. 68 to 70 below).

24. Some members observed that this complex problem had been constantly before the governing bodies of agencies participating in the United Nations field programmes. In the view of some, a solution might be sought through the introduction of a cost accounting system evolved by the agencies in cooperation with the Joint Inspection Unit. In this respect the Programme and Finance Committees had agreed with the Director-General that the costs of implementing a cost accounting system for the purpose of establishing, inter alia, a basis for reimbursement may not be justified in terms of the benefits to be derived. Other members considered that the problem could only be resolved at the political and policy levels and not through arithmetical refinements. Some members considered that increased use of these funds for agency costs would divert funds from field projects. Others emphasized that a strong Regular Programme could be the only basis upon which FAO could acquire knowledge in depth of, and therefore orient its policies to, the needs of developing countries. It was wrong therefore to allow the Regular Programme to be neglected. If Member Nations were to be served effectively, the Organization could not become a mere employer of technical consultants. Still others considered that governments which contributed to the programmes were not so concerned about the cost sharing problem as about the efficient use of the funds provided. In any case, the executing agencies on the one hand and UNDP on the other should attempt to reconcile their conflicting views and arrive at a jointly satisfactory system of reimbursement of the costs involved in the efficient management of field programmes.

25. The Council expressed the hope that the studies currently under way would lead to an equitable solution of the problem.

1 CL 52/3.
2 C 69/3.

“Ceres” - Report on Replies to Questionnaire 1

26. The Council, noting the replies from Member Governments to the questionnaire sent to them on 29 November 1968, as requested by the Fourteenth Session of the Conference, considered that the standard so far achieved by the FAO Review, both as regards format and contents, was encouraging. In particular, the Council felt that the two special issues published so far (No. 6 on Regional Integration and No. 8 on Foreign Investment in the Third World) were of high interest to opinion formers, which the Council stressed should be the target audience of the Review.

27. The Council noted that the advertising revenue contracted as of 6 June 1969 amounted to more than $59 000. This figure was net after (a) discounts to advertisers depending on the amount of space booked by them in a 12-month period, (b) 15 percent commission to advertising agencies of clients, and (c) 15–25 percent commission paid to media representatives. The cost of printing advertisements - in black and white, within the limit of 64 pages per issue - was charged to the overall printing costs of the Review, but their preparation was undertaken by the advertising agencies and advertisers also defray extra costs such as use of colour or additional pages.

28. The Council also noted that, as of the same date, the number of individual subscriptions was over 4 000 and that the bulk sales for the latest issue (No. 8) were so far more than 1 250.

29. The Council, noting that negotiations were proceeding for the publication of a German edition of “Ceres,” requested the Director-General to study the feasibility of providing the prototype editorial material, including illustrations, to governments wanting to publish “Ceres” in other languages, such as Hindi, and to consider the possibility of making funds available to assist in the publication of other language editions. It was also suggested that, in order to facilitate the production of other language editions, the merits of a pocket format, free of advertisements and other ancillary material, might be considered.

30. Differing opinions were expressed about the title of the Review. While some members regretted that it did not incorporate the initials FAO, others expressed the view that to do so might not promote the circulation of “Ceres.” In this context it was noted that the Review had commendably avoided the pitfall of appearing to be a house organ promoting the Organization.

31. The Council pointed out that the use of more colour photos and better paper, as some replies to the questionnaire had urged, would increase the costs of the Review. It was also suggested that articles on the integration of agriculture with other sectors of national economies in developed countries could be particularly helpful to national planners in developing countries.

1 See also para. 261 below.

Multilateral Food Aid 2

32. The Council also took note of paragraph 5 of Resolution 2462 (XXIII), adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations after its consideration of the second report of the Inter-Agency Study on Multilateral Food Aid 3. This paragraph was specifically addressed to the Director-General of FAO and invited him, in consultation with the executive heads of other interested organizations, to consider possible ways of making appraisals of prospective food deficits and food aid needs and of ensuring that sufficient foodstuffs were available to cope with unforeseen urgent situations.

2 See also paras. 125 to 135 below.
3 CCP 68/17 or E/4538.

33. The Secretariat, in a preliminary note 1, outlined what FAO was currently undertaking in the area referred to in paragraph 5 of the Resolution and indicated further approaches that would be examined in the context of the Resolution. Thus, in the appraisal of food deficits FAO was engaged on forward assessment through its commodity projections work and the Indicative World Plan, its work on nutritional improvement and its pilot reviews of the medium term food outlook. The assessment of food aid needs, however, went somewhat beyond the scope of secretariat studies since the extent to which deficits of individual countries could or should be met by food aid would be influenced by such factors as capacity to import commercially, capacity to absorb food aid, the effects of food aid on domestic agriculture and the relationship of food aid to other development aid. These were matters which required interagency cooperation and intergovernmental consultations though, as some members pointed out, governments working through FAO could go far in the formulation of criteria and the assessment of food aid requirements.

34. As regards emergencies, the Director-General already had the authority to organize appeals for food supplies and also the power to grant emergency aid out of WFP resources, though on a limited scale. It had been suggested in the Interagency Study that fuller assurance of supplies for the meeting of emergencies could possibly take the form of the earmarking for such purposes of food reserves normally held in developed countries. The building up of national food reserves in vulnerable countries could also be important. Intergovernmental consultation would no doubt be required, both in assessing the minimum inventory that might be required and in mobilizing emergency supplies in response to an appeal. The Director-General intended to explore these matters further.

35. The Council took note of the approach being adopted by the Director-General and felt that at this stage consideration of what more FAO might do in the context of paragraph 5 of the General Assembly's Resolution could only be provisional. The outcome of the review now being conducted by the CCP on the functions of its Sub-Committee on Surplus Disposal and on the need for a clearing house of information on food aid, and the results of the studies being undertaken under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Committee in connexion with paragraph 6 of the General Assembly's Resolution would have an important bearing on future work in this area. Moreover, as required in the Resolution, consultations with other interested international agencies had still to be undertaken. The Council looked forward to further reports on action by FAO and WFP in the whole field contemplated in the General Assembly's Resolution.

1 CL 52/7.

Inter-Agency Relations and Consultations on Matters of Common Interest

FAO/UNIDO Relations

36. The Council expressed grave concern about delays in reaching a mutually acceptable working agreement between FAO and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and thus resolving a problem on which clear directives had been given as far back as 1967 by the Fourteenth Session of the FAO Conference. Such delays, it was felt, could only have an adverse effect both at the secretariat working level in clearly interpreting the responsibilities of each organization and also in regard to aid-seeking Member Governments faced with the disadvantage of not knowing the Organization to which particular types of requests should be addressed. In this connexion the Council noted that the Industrial Development Board at its May 1969 session had also called for longterm agreement between UNIDO and the international organizations concerned.

37. The Council regretted that the document 2 placed before it could not provide more detailed information about the stage of progress so far reached in the negotiations towards an agreement, as this would have facilitated more meaningful discussion. At the same time, however, it was appreciated that at this stage any information of such a nature given unilaterally might not assist in promoting a climate which would be conducive to a rapid conclusion of the negotiations in progress at the level of the executive heads.

38. The developments leading to the creation of UNIDO were recalled and the responsibility entrusted to it to coordinate the overall programme of industrial development was recognized. At the same time, the Council stressed that the establishment of such a body did not imply that it should take over industrial activities of other organizations with long-standing experience and competence. The great amount of work still to be accomplished in the field of industrial development left no doubt that the objective of building up a strong UNIDO could be achieved without weakening FAO. Any adjustments made to harmonize the activities of UNIDO and FAO should therefore be rational and in the best interest of the developing countries and not merely a matter of convenience in reaching an agreement.

39. In this context, the Council was of the view that interim arrangements were no solution and that there was need for establishing as clear as possible a division of responsibilities between the two organizations, which could be easily understood and acted upon by staff concerned at all levels who will have to interpret their practical application, as well as by aid-seeking Member States and by other international organizations.

40. The Council was strongly in favour of the two executive heads reaching an agreement at their level, but at the same time made it clear that, should such negotiations fail, consideration would have to be given to taking up the matter at the intergovernmental level.

41. The Council noted with appreciation the Director-General's assurance that his approach to the problem was identical to that which he had already used, with success, in strengthening relations with other organizations within the United Nations system. It took note also of this affirmation that both executive heads were genuinely trying to reconcile their joint and several responsibilities for an approach to industrial development based on renewable natural resources, which in turn is dependent on close integration of their production, storage, industrial processing marketing and distribution.

42. In response to the Director-General's plea for more time to conclude a mutually acceptable definitive agreement, the Council expressed the strong hope that the July 1969 meeting of the two executive heads should result in a definitive settlement of all outstanding issues, a clear demarcation of the roles and responsibilities of each of the two organizations, and the formulation of a precise long-term agreement for ratification by the governing organs of both organizations. The Council noted that the Director-General would report on the matter to its next session, meeting just prior to the Conference.

2 CL 52/29.

Forty-Seventh Session of ACC

43. The Council reviewed the report of the Director-General on the important decisions and recommendations made by the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) at its April 1969 session in Rome 1.

44. The Council noted that the ACC had reviewed its own procedures and machinery and had taken certain measures to enable it to devote more time to policy issues. With reference to clarifications sought by some members about the Director-General's proposals to make ACC a dynamic instrument in the formulation of economic and social development policy, and the appropriateness of the proposal, the Director-General explained that ACC interpreted coordination in a dynamic sense, and had sought through coordination to increase the effectiveness of international efforts. He pointed out that the process of development required complementary policies in related fields; and with the growth and complexity of United Nations programmes, the ECOSOC, the General Assembly and the governing bodies to which AFF proceedings were reported, looked to it for initiative in broad issues of policy on matters affecting the United Nations system as a whole.

45. One of his suggestions to ACC, which had been well received, was the manner in which a small Committee of ACC members might study in depth important current problems falling within ACC's broad area of activity, and submit its conclusions for consideration by ACC itself. Such studies would be limited to key issues which should receive direct attention from the members of ACC themselves, and should not normally be delegated to others.

46. The Council noted that the Director-General was not opposed to UNCTAD setting up appropriate machinery to deal with “transfer of operative technology” within its areas of concern as distinct from the wider issue of science and technology for development. It shared the concern expressed in the document regarding the establishment by ECOSOC of further sessional committees for this purpose. In this respect, the Council emphasized the importance of the rapid transfer of modern technology to developing countries, recalling that the technological gap is widening, this being one of the factors which most interfere with the success of efforts to achieve development.

47. The Council noted that the Director-General would respond positively to a recommendation of the Science and Technology Sub-Committee of the United Nations Outer Space Committee that space technology and remote-sensing techniques be pragmatically applied to the general area of food production, to the benefit of developing countries in particular.

48. The Council appreciated also the positive action taken by the Director-General to implement the relevant General Assembly resolutions concerning the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples and related questions. It expressed the wish that such action should continue to be undertaken to the extent that it was within the constitutional mandate of FAO.

49. The Council recalled the obligations of FAO flowing from the report of the ACAST and the relevant General Assembly resolution for intensification of work on the protein problem. It expressed the hope that FAO would continue to intensify its work in that field in collaboration with those members of the United Nations system concerned. It also agreed that operational and executive responsibilities in the field of closing the protein gap should continue to rest with the agencies concerned, notably FAO, WHO and UNICEF. The Director-General fully recognized that this was a field in which much more had to be done, and he outlined the steps already taken by FAO in this direction. The Council requested the Director-General to continue to increase his efforts in the protein field, and noted that further discussions could take place at the forthcoming session of the Committee on Commodity Problems as most of the protein improvement measures would have to be based on conventional sources of food supply.

50. Finally, the Council endorsed the line taken by the Director-General in cooperating to harmonize FAO's activities with those of other members of the United Nations system.

1 CL 52/34.

FAO Contribution to the Second Development Decade

51. The Council decided it was important that the governing bodies of FAO should define the role of agriculture in overall economic and social development during the Second Development Decade. It expressed the hope that the Indicative World Plan for Agricultural Development would be helpful to the Conference and Council in carrying out this task. Nevertheless some members expressed reservations concerning the role of the Indicative World Plan in the Second Development Decade; they stated among other things that some of the preliminary studies carried out in the process of preparation of the IWP should be the subject of thorough corrections, so that the Plan could represent an important contribution to the Second Development Decade. The Council considered that the importance of the agricultural sector in developing countries was so great that the Director-General should take an active part in helping to formulate the overall framework for the Second Development Decade.

52. Special emphasis was laid by many members on the importance of the terms of trade for developing countries, with particular reference to the markets for and prices of agricultural products.

53. The Council pointed out that the contribution of FAO to the planning for the Second Development Decade should not consist only of the Indicative World Plan but should be based on the whole work of FAO, and that FAO should take part in the elaboration of an international strategy for development that contained not only general targets and objectives but also concerted policy measures of a national and international character would make the greatest contribution to meeting the needs of developing countries. It noted that the specific contributions which the Director-General had proposed to make included:

  1. FAO's evaluation of the overall goals for GDP (Gross Domestic Product), tentatively suggested by the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the Second Development Decade of the United Nations General Assembly, naturally with special reference to the feasibilities of growth in the agricultural sector. The Council recognized that the FAO Secretariat must provide this evaluation in accordance with the timetable requested by the Preparatory Committee, but was assured that the judgements given would be explicitly stated to be subject to review by the governing bodies of the Organization.

  2. Projections of food demand for the terminal year of the Second Development Decade.

  3. Interpolations of the quantitative aspects and the policy judgements of the Indicative Plan for the initial and final year of the Second Development Decade, as soon as the plans for the latter - and particularly the degree of detail which is required - are sufficiently definite to indicate what data and what analyses are needed.

Some members mentioned also other types of contributions that FAO could make, including the definition of the role of agriculture in world development, the intensification of economic analysis activities which could take into account the changes occurring in the world, and the support to developing countries in their efforts to narrow the technological gap and liberalize world trade. The Council noted with appreciation that the Netherlands Government had made available a second grant of $100 000 to assist in this task of adequately linking the Indicative World Plan for Agricultural Development and the Proposals for the Second Development Decade.

54. It was noted that the replies of the Organization to the questions addressed to it by the United Nations presented a good analysis regarding the United Nations questionnaire and should be a useful guide in helping to shape up the development strategy for the forthcoming decade.

55. The Council recognized that an important task for the Preparatory Committee would be to ensure the involvement of the public in achieving the goals of the Second Development Decade. An essential for the success of any strategy is the will to act, and the will to act depends in a large measure on the degree and extent of information and attention directed to it by public opinion. This approach had been fundamental to the concept of the Freedom from Hunger Campaign, and FAO's efforts through this Campaign to achieve better public understanding of and appreciation for the urgencies of development action should also be an essential element in FAO strategy and the FAO contribution to the overall activity under the Second Development Decade.

Fiftieth Anniversary of ILO

56. The Council took the occasion of its discussion of interagency relations to mark the Fiftieth Anniversary of ILO which was being celebrated in 1969. Warm tribute was paid to the notable achievements of ILO in the field of social justice and it was pointed out that much of the progress in social and working conditions made in the past fifty years had been won in large part through its efforts. The close cooperation between ILO and FAO, as well as the importance of the working man as the foundation stone of civilized nations, were also stressed. The Council unanimously adopted the following resolution of congratulations, to be transmitted to ILO:

Resolution 1/52



Being aware that in 1969 the ILO is celebrating its Fiftieth Anniversary;

Expresses satisfaction that the ILO and FAO have cooperated throughout their existence in a spirit of mutual understanding and goodwill;

Notes that the working arrangements between ILO and FAO are continuously being improved, especially in the fields of agricultural education and training, land reform, settlement, cooperatives, rural sociology and other related aspects of rural life;

Reaffirms the determination of FAO to continue to strengthen its cooperation with the ILO;

Expresses its sincere appreciation for the constructive contribution that the ILO has made during its first half-century of existence to social justice and to economic and social progress throughout the world; and hereby

Transmits the congratulations of FAO on the occasion of ILO's Fiftieth Anniversary and expresses FAO's conviction that the ILO will continue its high tradition of international service toward the goal which FAO shares, namely the betterment of human conditions throughout the world.

57. The Representative of the ILO expressed appreciation on behalf of ILO, of the resolution adopted by the Council.

UN Joint Inspection Unit Reports

Procedures for Handling these Reports

58. The Council was informed of the detailed procedures for the handling of reports of the Joint Inspection Unit which had been agreed to at a recent interagency meeting and which had been approved by the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC). The Council concurred with the opinion of the Programme and Finance Committees that the procedures appeared workable and could be tried out on an experimental basis. The Council noted that the Committees had requested that the results be reported at a later session to ensure that every effort was being undertaken by the Secretariat to handle all aspects of the reports with a minimum of delay.

59. The Council recalled that it had approved the suggestion of the Programme and Finance Committees that the reports of the Joint Inspection Unit, together with the comments of the Director-General, be reviewed first by the Committees before the Council took action 1. The Council recognized, however, that there might be delays in the handling of these reports if the Council's review of the comments of the Committees were to be held at a time when the Council's comments could not reach ECOSOC and CPC well before the sessions of these bodies. In order to avoid delay in such a case, the Council authorized the Committees to forward directly to ECOSOC and CPC those reports, or portions of reports of the Joint Inspection Unit which concern the coordination of the activities of FAO in the economic and social field with those of other organizations in the United Nations system, together with the comments of the Committees and the detailed comments of the Director-General. The Council, thereafter, when it reviews the matter will forward to ECOSOC and to CPC any comments it may have.

1 Report of the Fifty-First Session of the Council, para. 222.

Consideration of the Report on Turkey

60. The report on UN activities in Turkey by one of the Inspectors of the Un Joint Inspection Unit was the first of its kind to be brought to the attention of the Council.

61. The Council noted that the Programme and Finance Committees had forwarded to ECOSOC and to CPC their comments, together with the detailed comments of the Director-General, on the report of the Joint Inspection Unit on Turkey, as had been previously authorized by the Council as a special procedure 2.

62. The Council reviewed this report together with the Director-General's comments and those of the Programme Committee. However, before going into the substance of the points at issue the Council first wished to place on record its appreciation of the work done by the Inspector and his thoughtful recommendations. The Council did not feel that it was necessary to agree with every conclusion or recommendation of the Inspector, in this as in other cases, in order to recognize the value of an independent judgement brought to bear on a programme or important subject related to the UN Development Assistance efforts. This also meant that one should not expect from an inspection covering a variety of activities in a country the same treatment in depth as would be possible in a proper evaluation which would, under all circumstances, take more time and would have to rely on the expertise of more than one person.

63. With respect to the issues raised in the report itself, the Council, while in general endorsing the comments of the Director-General and the Programme Committee, stressed the following points:

  1. The question of making available to the countries the best expertise to assist in national development efforts would remain one of the most important and difficult tasks facing any participating and executing Agency. Unrelenting attention to this problem was required because the quality of the development assistance depended almost entirely on the human and technical qualities of the experts concerned.

  2. The proposal to allow the UNDP representatives a greater control of project funds - in order to utilize savings - and the Director-General's comments thereon needed clarification. The Council realized that UNDP support to projects is in the nature of services which are expressed in expert or fellowship man-months or years, together with certain items of equipment. The costing of these services is on a standard basis and cannot be considered as a monetary allocation to the country concerned. On the other hand, the Resident Representative, as the representative of the Administrator of UNDP, should be kept currently informed of the rate of project implementation and participate in deliberations and decisions regarding possible amendments to the provision of services required during the implementation stage. In this connexion, the Council was informed that as a matter of standard procedure there was now at least one formal tripartite review of project implementation at a mid-way point of a project's duration. In several cases such reviews were held more often.

  3. The Director-General did not agree with the Inspector's conclusion that more accurate initial planning of projects was required to “identify all the items involved in carrying the project to the operational stage and cover them either in the original project or in an anticipated Phase II.” In this connexion, the Council was informed that UNDP, together with the Agencies, has already come to the conclusion that for the more complicated projects phased implementation or development was required. In practice, this meant that operations would start on a small scale in a country and would gradually increase as a result of continued joint planning with the Government, taking also into account beforehand the long-range planning of particular projects.

2 Report of the Fifty-First Session of the Council, para. 223.

Consideration of the Report on Coordination and Cooperation at the Country Level

64. The Council reviewed the report of UN Joint Inspection Unit on Coordination and Cooperation at the Country Level together with the comments of the Director-General and the Programme and Finance Committees.

65. As in the case of the Turkey Report, the Council complimented the UN Inspection Unit on the thoroughness and quality of the Report under review.

66. The Director-General had indicated to the Programme and Finance Committees his view that one important way of achieving an integrated approach in economic and social development matters at the country level, would be for the United Nations organizations working in a given country to assemble regularly under the chairmanship of the UNDP Resident Representative to discuss and agree on joint policies to be pursued. The Committees felt that this would be one further step on the way toward full coordination which the Director-General had already followed with respect to the coordination of the work of FAO Country Representative or Senior Agricultural Advisers and UNDP Resident Representatives.

67. While the Council agreed with the Director-General's comments and those of the Programme and Finance Committees, it wished to re-emphasize that the role of the United Nations family in planning and programming assistance was one of an advisory nature to governments for which a coordinated approach through the UNDP Resident Representative was essential. The Resident Representative, in order to be adequately equipped for this task, should have the technical advice of Agency Representatives at least for the major sectors of the economy. Furthermore, Agency Representatives were required to work with and advise technical ministries and departments from where initiatives and suggestions should emanate for development programmes. Last, but not least, Agency Representatives had a substantive role to fulfil in ensuring coordination of the work of the project managers and experts on individual assignments, and due recognition and attention should be given to the required interlocking of the work done in several different projects in each country, particularly in the field of agriculture. The task of Agency Representatives was therefore not predominantly of an administrative nature, as suggested by the Inspectors, but a much more substantive one. For this reason, while their work should be coordinated whenever required, by the Resident Representative, they should be given a clear identity of their own.

Consideration of the Report on the Overhead Costs of Extra-Budgetary Programmes and on Methods of Measuring Performances and Costs

68. The Council reviewed the report of Inspector M. Bertrand, the comments of the Director-General summarized in the report and the comments of other organizations in the United Nations family. The Council considered that the report contained a comprehensive analysis of the problems and presented preliminary proposals which warranted the most serious consideration.

69. However, in view of the preliminary nature of Mr. Bertrand's proposals and their relationship to other studies in similar fields, the Programme and Finance Committees had made only preliminary comments on the report. The Council considered that it was premature to forward to ECOSOC or to CPC the preliminary comments of the Programme and Finance Committees.

70. The Council noted that the Committees will review the matter as more definite information is available as to the progress being made by the Organizations in arriving at an acceptable solution to the problems. In order to avoid delay, the Committees will forward their comments to ECOSOC and CPC in accordance with the procedure authorized by the Council (see para. 59 above). Further comments with respect to this report appear in paragraphs 23–25 above.


71. The Report of the Fourth Session of the Committee on Fisheries 1 was presented by its Chairman, Dr. Babacar Diop (Senegal). He brought to the Council's attention a number of matters raised by that Committee upon which the Council might give guidance for further consideration by the Committee. These included consideration of the Committee's own further status and structure, and various action that had been taken by organs of the United Nations family in response to United Nations General Assembly Resolutions 2172 and 2413. The Committee's observations on the work of FAO in the field of fisheries were considered by the Council under Item 16 of its Agenda 2.

72. The Council adopted the Report of the Fourth Session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) and placed on record the following comments.

73. The Council agreed that a reexamination of the status and structure of COFI would at this stage be premature, and that this might be reconsidered later especially in the light of experience with the new arrangements for Technical Committees of the Conference.

74. The Council noted that COFI had critically reviewed and had commented helpfully on an early draft summary of the Fishery chapter of the Indicative World Plan and welcomed the procedure outlined in the Committee's Report whereby in the refinement of the Study opportunity would be taken to consult governments, appropriate experts, and expert bodies.

75. The Council appreciated the Committee's handling of a number of difficult and complex problems of an international nature and in this context concurred with the Committee's views as regards fish stock assessment and management and with its doubts about any universally applicable systems for management. The Council noted that the work of FAO in assisting in the solution of international problems in fisheries, particularly that carried out by the six international fishery bodies established within the framework of the Organization, involved a considerable number of expert groups and consequently a rather large number of Category 3 sessions 3.

1 CL 52/12.
2 See paras. 92 to 114 below.
3 See paras. 187 to 189 below.

76. The Council also took note of the actions arising from United Nations Resolution 2172 which had taken place since the Council's Fifty-First Session 1. It noted that arrangements for closer collaboration between the various organizations concerned with different aspects of the oceans and their resources were being made, including a broadening of the base of participation in the work of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and the establishment in the near future of an inter-secretariat Committee. The Council agreed that COFI should have an opportunity to comment at an early stage on relevant plans and subsequent activities of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission in order to safeguard fishery interests. It also concurred with the Committee's proposals for FAO's part in implementation of United Nations General Assembly Resolutions 2413 and 2414.

77. The Council noted that the Committee had examined again the respective merits of horizontal and vertical organization within the Department of Fisheries and was unanimous in agreeing that a vertical system best suited the requirements of FAO's work in fisheries. The Council therefore decided not to discuss this matter further unless the Director-General had some new proposal to offer.

78. The Council also noted that the Director-General had not proposed at this time re-structuring the Department of Fisheries into services, since he considered this type of structure was more appropriate for departments with large divisions, the branch structure being retained for smaller divisions such as those at present existing in the Department of Fisheries, in Administration and Finance and in Forestry.

1 See CL 52/12, paras. 67–69.


Report of the Ad Hoc Committee-of-the-Whole on Forestry

79. The Council took note of the report of the Ad Hoc Committee-of-the-Whole on Forestry 2 which met in Rome in March 1969, at a session authorized by the Fifty-First Session of the Council. This Committee had been convened to examine the implications of the proposal for the creation of a Forestry Department, and the Director-General's suggestions for any strengthening of the Organization's work in forestry, and to report thereon to the Council and the Programme Committee.

80. Most of the matters dealt with in the report of the Ad Hoc Committee are covered in paragraphs 92 to 114 below (in relation to the 1970–71 Programme of Work). As regards the proposal of the Ad Hoc Committee that a standing Committee on Forestry be established, open to participation by representatives of all Member Governments, the Council endorsed the views of the Programme Committee 3 that (i) the new arrangements for reviewing the programmes of the Organization at the Fifteenth Session of the Conference must be given full trial before any other modifications are taken into consideration by the Council, and (ii) the question of setting up a standing Committee on Forestry must subsequently be viewed against the other existing statutory forestry bodies, especially the Regional Forestry Commissions, and against the nature and usefulness of their functions.

2 CL 52/13.
3 See CL 52/3, paras. 216–218.

Seventh World Forestry Congress, 1972

81. In fulfilment of the responsibilities regarding the convening of World Forestry Congresses assumed by FAO in absorbing the functions of the former International Institute of Agriculture, the Council considered the selection of a host country for the Seventh World Forestry Congress, as requested by the Conference at its Fourteenth Session. Details of the formal offers to host the Congress received from Argentina, Greece and the U.S.S.R., were set before the Council in documents CL 52/14 and CL 52/14-Add. 1. The Director-General informed the Council that the U.S.S.R. had not found it possible to send an observer 1 to the present session of the Council, owing to the short notice received, and that the U.S.S.R. had therefore requested that the Council consider postponing the selection of a host country until its next session.

82. The Council noted that the Conference had called for an early decision. The Council considered that sufficient time had elapsed since the Director-General had made known to all interested countries the recommendation of the Conference, to enable all countries wishing to host the Congress to provide the details on the basis of which the Council might reach a decision. The Council felt that the formal offers made by the countries did in fact provide sufficient information to permit selection, and consequently decided to select a host country without delay.

83. The Council agreed that from the technical point of view, all the three countries which were prepared to host the Seventh World Forestry Congress appeared to offer good tokens of maintaining the high standards of previous Congresses. It noted, however, that of the six Congresses held so far, four - including the most recent one in the Mediterranean area - had been held in Europe. The other two had been held in North America and Asia, and none in Latin America. The Council decided, therefore, that Argentina was the most appropriate host for the Seventh World Foresty Congress. At the same time, the Council expressed deep appreciation to the governments of the other countries which had extended invitations.

84. At the beginning of the discussion the delegate of Turkey had informed the Council of his Government's willingness to host the Seventh World Forestry Congress if it was not possible to decide among the three original candidates. When it appeared clear that there was a consensus, he withdrew the offer and the Council also expressed its appreciation for the Turkish proposal.

85. The Council reaffirmed its understanding that the host country would invite and admit without discrimination representation from all Member States of the United Nations and of FAO. It noted with pleasure the statement by the observer from Argentina that his Government would comply with these requirements. It further noted that Argentina intended to provide certain fellowships, including travel expenses, for participants from developing countries, and expressed the hope that in the manner of this generous gesture, other countries might also grant fellowships of a similar character.

1 See para. 5 above.

Future Operation of the Freedom from Hunger Campaign

86. Mr. T.N. Saraf of India, First Vice-Chairman of the Council Committee-of-the-Whole, introduced the Report of the Committee-of-the-Whole on the Future Operation of the Freedom from Hunger Campaign 2.

87. The Committee-of-the-Whole had met in Rome from 4 to 6 June 1969, and had discussed future lines of development for the Freedom from Hunger Campaign based on the Director-General's proposals 3, which should be read in conjunction with the Committee's Report to the Council.

88. The Council agreed that in order to increase the effectiveness of FFHC projects, it was necessary to widen the scope of the Campaign and to use a broader approach, so as to encompass not only the question of hunger and increased food production but also related aspects of development, with the understanding that the focus of the Campaign must be kept on agricultural and rural development. The Council felt that the Campaign's objectives should be seen in the context of eradicating poverty rather than simply increasing food production, and that future programmes should take this into consideration. Some members, however, stressed the need for caution in developing the arrangements in view of the limited financial resources of the Campaign. The Council welcomed the Director-General's proposed emphasis of a closer cooperation between the work of the FFHC and of the joint United Nations/FAO World Food Programme, and also underlined the importance of stronger emphasis on youth activities. Campaign concentration on the five areas of concentration, with particular reference to the area on “mobilization of human resources” was also welcomed.

89. After commending the Committee, the Council unanimously adopted its Report, noting particularly paragraphs 32 and 34 of CL 52/15 which requested further study and reports by the Director-General.

2 CL 52/15.
3 CL/CW/1.

Progress Report on the Second World Food Congress

90. The Council had before it document CL 52/16. The Council noted that the arrangements for the Congress were making good progress. The programme for the Congress had now been completed, and would be circulated with the Director-General's letter of invitation on 1 July 1969. This would allow 12 months for preparatory study of the issues which would come before the Congress.

91. The Council also took note of the Director-General's intention to invite participants in their personal capacities, in order to ensure both the widest possible range of participation, and to allow participants to express their views freely, without committing either governments or organizations to their view.

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