125. The Council took note of the Seventh Annual Report of the Intergovernmental Committee (IGC) of the UN/FAO World Food Programme to the Economic and Social Council to the United Nations and to the Council of FAO 2. This report covered the period between 25 April 1968 and 13 May 1969. It consisted of a short introductory paper accompanied by the reports of the Committee's Fourteenth 3 and Fifteenth 4 Sessions and included a draft resolution, recommended to the Councils by the Fifteenth Session of the IGC, for submission by these bodies to the General Assembly and to the FAO Conference. It also included a Progress Report 5 on action taken by the IGC on Resolution 2462 (XXIII) of the General Assembly of the United Nations on Multilateral Food Aid for consideration by the FAO Council and the Economic and Social Council.
126. In introducing the Report, the Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) pointed out that the WFP was now in transition to maturity, evidenced by the accelerated rate of growth of its activities, the number of requests for large projects and the rising rate of commitment of resources. Present indications were that the demand for WFP aid might soon exceed available resources. In 1968 total commitments increased to $203 million and in 1969 might reach $400 million if resources permitted. And as for size of projects, the two largest approved in 1969 exceeded $42 million and $45 million, respectively.
127. In the matter of resources, the Executive Director stressed the importance of Food Aid Convention contributions channelled by governments through WFP, which had raised the 1969–70 availabilities from $136 million to about $170 million. If the European Economic Community decided to channel through the Programme part of its large surpluses of dairy products, the available resources for the period could exceed the target of $200 million. Such contributions, however, would not suffice to support the current expansion of WFP activities in accordance with present and prospective demand, and moreover after 1971 Food Aid Convention grains may no longer be available. This made it imperative that pledges for the biennium 1971–72 be adequate. He therefore strongly recommended adoption of the draft resolution before the Council submitting a draft Conference resolution embodying the target figure of $300 million recommended by the IGC.
128. With reference to Resolution 2462 (XXIII) of the General Assembly of the United Nations calling for a study by the WFP's governing body of the role of food aid and other aid-in-kind for economic development, the Executive Director reported the appointment of a committee of seven to undertake - with the assistance of WFP, the United Nations and FAO - preparatory work on which the IGC would base its report on this subject to the Council and ECOSOC. The committee's first meeting would be held on 21 July 1969, its second in October 1969 and its third towards the end of January 1970. This would enable the IGC to prepare its report at its spring session 1970. The Executive Director stressed the importance of this study for the future work of the WFP and for the considerable role it should play in the Second Development Decade.
129. The Council welcomed the statement made by the Executive Director, and approved the contribution being made by the Programme to promoting economic development, particularly the development of human resources, and in meeting emergency food needs. Most members welcomed the 1971–72 pledging target of $300 million, although some considered it might be difficult to attain. The Council was reminded that acceptance of it did not commit individual countries to increase their pledges, but many members urged that every effort should be made to reach this target.
130. Some members pointed out that the WFP might soon have to slow down its approval of projects in order to keep in line with available resources, and suggested that for this purpose a system of geographic and other priorities might soon be needed. The Council generally accepted the trend towards large projects, but emphasized at the same time that this should not be at the expense of smaller ones essential in particular to the advancement of the more needy countries.
131. The Council took note of the action undertaken by the IGC, and looked forward with interest to receiving its report. Several members urged the opening up of WFP assistance to include non-food items, some suggesting a beginning with one or two items, e.g. fertilizer and farm tools. Some wondered whether WFP was the appropriate agency for this, and it was hoped that the committee of seven could include recommendations on the subject in its study.
132. The importance of the Second Development Decade was stressed by several members, who urged that consideration of future projects should take into account the contribution that WFP can make to this effort. In this connexion, continued close cooperation with other programmes was recommended, especially with the Freedom from Hunger Campaign.
133. As for further Food Aid Convention contributions, the Representative of Belgium believed that his Government might soon be channelling part of its contribution through WFP. Some members warned that it might be unwise to rely too much on Food Aid Convention and occasional surplus contributions. Others urged that food aid be rationalized by placing it on a basis of organized production rather than on a surplus basis.
134. In its consideration of the draft Council resolution proposed by the IGC, the Council agreed to an amendment thereof by the addition of the following operative clause in the draft resolution which the Council was transmitting to the Conference:
“Urges governments which have pledged contributions of commodities or services for the period 1969–70 to make every possible effort to carry over and make available for the period 1971–72 any portion of such pledges which may remain unused at the end of 1970, and to indicate their readiness to effect such a carryover when announcing pledges at the Fourth Pledging Conference.”
1 See also paras. 32 to 35 above.
2 CL 52/19.
3 WFP/IGC: 14/20.
4 WFP/IGC: 15/23.
5 WFP/IGC: 15/22.
135. The Council then adopted the following resolutions, with one abstention:
REVIEW OF THE WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME
Having considered the Seventh Annual Report of the Intergovernmental Committee of the World Food Programme;
Noting the recommendation of the Intergovernmental Committee concerning the target for voluntary contributions for the period 1971–72;
Recalling Resolution 2462 (XXIII) of the General Assembly of the United Nations which recognized the special competence and experience of the World Food Programme in the field of multilateral food aid:
Submits for consideration and approval of the FAO Conference the annexed draft resolution;
Urges States Members of the United Nations and Members and Associate Members of the Food and Agriculture Organization to undertake the necessary preparation for the announcement of pledges at the Fourth Pledging Conference for the World Food Programme.
DRAFT RESOLUTION FOR THE CONFERENCE
Review of the World Food Programme
Recalling the provisions of Resolution 2095 (XX) (4/65) that the World Food Programme is to be reviewed before each pledging conference;
Recalling the provisions of operative paragraph 4 of Resolution 2290 (XXII) (7/67) that, subject to the review mentioned above, the next pledging conference should be convened at the latest early in 1970, at which time governments would be invited to pledge contributions for 1971 and 1972 with a view to reaching such a target as may be recommended by the General Assembly of the United Nations and the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations;
Noting that the review of the Programme was undertaken by the Intergovernmental Committee of the World Food Programme at its Fifteenth Session and by the Council at its Fifty-Second Session;
Having considered Resolution 3/52 of the Council as well as the recommendations of the Intergovernmental Committee;
Recognizing the value of multilateral food aid as implemented by the World Food Programme since its inception and the necessity for continuing its action both as a form of capital investment and for meeting emergency food needs:
Establishes for the two years 1971 and 1972 a target for voluntary contributions of $300 million, of which not less than one third should be in cash and services, and expresses the hope that such resources will be augmented by substantial, additional contributions from other sources, in recognition of the prospective volume of sound project requests and the capacity of the Programme to operate at a higher level;
Urges States Members of the United Nations and Members and Associate Members of the Food and Agriculture Organization to make every effort to ensure the full attainment of the target;
Urges governments which have pledged contributions of commodities or services for the period 1969–70 to make every possible effort to carry over and make available for the period 1971–72 any portion of such pledges which may remain unused at the end of 1970, and to indicate their readiness to effect such a carryover when announcing pledges at the Fourth Pledging Conference;
Requests the Secretary-General in cooperation with the Director-General of FAO to convene a pledging conference for this purpose at United Nations Headquarters early in 1970;
Decides that the next following pledging conference, subject to the review provided for in Resolution 2095 (XX) (4/65), should be convened at the latest early in 1972 at which time governments should be invited to pledge contributions for 1973 and 1974 with a view to reaching such a target as may be then recommended by the General Assembly and the FAO Conference.