8. The Council recognized that this special session was a unique occasion and confronted the Council with the historic responsibility of giving the Organization the means to embark on a new era.
9. The Director-General's proposals were the culmination of a long series of events including the World Food Conference, the Seventh Special Session of the General Assembly, the deliberations of FAO's Governing Bodies, and the mandate given to the Director-General in Conference Resolution 16/75 to review the programmes, structures and policies of the Organization so as to enable it better to meet the needs of the developing countries and the challenge of the world food crisis. These needs clearly called for a new dimension to FAO, for departures from the past and for bold, imaginative policies to reorient the Organization to tackle the problems of famine and hunger of mankind.
10. The Council considered that the Director-General had responded with determination to this mandate and that document CL 69/2 was short, concise and focussed on essential issues. His proposals would enable the Organization finally to meet the long-standing desire of developing Member Nations for a closer working relationship with the Organization and for direct, effective contributions to their development from the Organization at the country level. His new policy orientation was thus a courageous step toward fulfilling FAO's primary constitutional obligations which the Council warmly welcomed. The Council appreciated that owing to the limited time available to him the Director-General's proposals had to be confined to broad principles and objectives with an indication of the working procedure, leaving details to be worked out at a subsequent stage.
11. The Council especially welcomed the increased emphasis on practical short-term action as compared with long-term, theoretical studies and the reductions in documents, meetings and new posts. Nevertheless, the importance and value were recognized of medium and long-term activities of the Organization and FAO's fundamental role as the world forum for agricultural policies.
1 CL 69/2, CL 69/2-Corr. 1 (E only), CL 69/2-Corr. 2 (F only), CL 69/2-Corr. 3 (S only),
CL 69/2-Sup. 1, CL 69/2-Sup. 2, CL 69/2-Sup.2-Corr.1-Rev.1, CL 69/4, CL 69/4-Corr. 1 (F only),
CL 69/4-Corr. 2 (E and S only), CL 69/INF/5, CL 69/INF/11, CL 69/PV/1, CL 69/PV/2,
CL 69/PV/3, CL 69/PV/4, CL 69/PV/7, CL 69/PV/8, CL 69/PV/9.
12. The Council welcomed the statement of the Director-General that work already being carried out under agreements and arrangements with the World Bank, regional banks, public and private national banks would be continued and strengthened as much as possible. It also supported the efforts being made to establish close links wherever possible with new sources of funds. The Director-General hoped, and the Council supported him, that FAO would develop its own programme along the lines proposed in paragraph 3.7 of CL 69/2, in readiness to cooperate with IFAD as well as other existing and potential sources of funds.
13. The Council considered that investment was an essential factor in increasing agricultural production. It agreed with the Director-General, that FAO should have considerably increased means which would make it possible to undertake action on the direct request of governments with regard to sector analyses, project identification, programming, project preparation, project appraisal, project implementation and training, and particularly the last three, which would be new activities for FAO. It recognized that the first two activities were sequential but that FAO could be asked to cooperate at any stage of project development depending on the situation in each case and the work already completed. The Council noted that FAO should continue to be actively involved in investment activities which pertained to a field of activity in which it was uniquely qualified, and that this would be a valuable complement to other kinds of expertise furnished by other organizations. Some countries emphasized that FAO should not duplicate the work of the financial institutions and that it should assure the usefulness of its pre-investment work.
14. The Council noted that the estimates of possible levels of activities and staff resources were only indicative since it was difficult to assess the magnitude of demand. It also endorsed the Director-General's views that the maintenance of a high standard of professionalism and objectivity will be a paramount consideration in determining the levels of these activities.
15. In this connexion the Council noted that some staff members would be released from present functions and transferred from the Economic and Social Policy and Agriculture Departments to the Investment Centre. The Council stressed the importance of training national staff in investment work. It felt further work in this regard would contribute to greater exploitation of investment opportunities and in the long term relieve the pressure on FAO resources, in keeping with the spirit of decentralization.
16. The Director-General's proposal to establish a Technical Cooperation Programme was warmly welcomed. This new and innovative programme should permit FAO to respond to urgent, small-scale requests from developing countries and, in addition to filling a serious gap in the types of development assistance currently available, would provide the Director-General with the means to make his proposals for investment and decentralization realities. In this connexion, the Council noted the Director-General's hope that the programme would have a multiplier effect by contributing to countries' development programmes on the most urgent problems, at critical times, and in turn encouraging and facilitating investment in food and agricultural development. Some members welcomed the Director-General's statement that the Technical Cooperation Programme would, as well as for other purposes, be used as far as possible to constitute a small but powerful adjunct to country programmes.
17. The vast majority of the Council believed that the Technical Cooperation Programme was well justified by prevailing world agricultural conditions, particularly in the developing countries, and by the need for a new departure in the history of FAO and the relevance of the proposal to the generally agreed desire to improve and increase the involvement of the Organization in action or field programmes of a concrete character. They noted the Director-General's view that FAO was one of a small minority of specialized agencies which had no technical cooperation programme and that the FAO Constitution provided for FAO to extend technical assistance. A few countries opposed or had serious misgivings about this proposal because, in their opinion, it would lead to the Regular Programme, which was financed by assessed contributions, no longer serving all Member Nations, whereas funds for technical assistance had traditionally been provided mainly on the basis of voluntary contributions by donor governments. These countries also thought that the amounts should be allotted to taking up again projects whose implementation had had to be suspended because of the financial crisis of UNDP. Some concern was also expressed that the establishment of a Technical Cooperation Programme would prejudice the deliberations of the ad hoc Committee on the Restructuring of the Economic and Social Sectors of the UN System. A few members felt that this programme should be of an experimental nature for the current budgetary period.
18. The Council noted that activities under the Technical Cooperation Programme would be normally unprogrammed. While this would be particularly the case with emergency and unforeseen requirements, the Council felt that broad planning could perhaps be attempted in due course as regards assistance under the Technical Cooperation Programme for investment and training, with a view to facilitating the allocation of adequate resources in future. The Council agreed that funds under the Technical Cooperation Programme could be effectively used as seed money to attract considerably greater financing from other sources. During emergencies this would enable the Organization to be quickly on the spot and to help mobilize additional assistance.
19. With further regard to emergency activities the Council requested that the Director-General investigate the possibility and desirability of rationalizing those under the Technical Cooperation Programme with those already provided for within the Working Capital Fund for animal, plant disease and crop pest control.
20. The Council noted the use to be made of national institutions under the Technical Cooperation Programme and welcomed this.
21. The Council considered that the criteria set out in para. 4.12 of CL 69/2 were adequate for the initial stage of the programme. It agreed, however, that they should be reviewed after some experience had been gained, to amend them if necessary. While reviewing the proposed criteria for project approval, the Council agreed to setting a ceiling of the order of $250 000 on single projects during this experimental stage of the programme. It recognized that the role of the programme would be both catalytic and promotional, both gap filling or supplemental. In this connexion, the Council stressed that, while projects should have their own identity, they should not compete with, but complement and render more effective, other forms of assistance. This implied close cooperation and coordination in the field.
22. The Council generally concurred in the procedure proposed in paras 4.16–4.21 1 and agreed that the Director-General should have considerable flexibility, particularly in the initial stages, when some experimentation would no doubt be necessary. As experience was gained, more precise procedures could be developed. Considering all factors, the Council recognized the need for flexibility in the financial arrangement of the programme and accordingly endorsed the recommedations set out in para. 4.23(a), (b) and (c).
23. Some members considered that, while activities of the Technical Cooperation Programme referred in substance to operations financed within the framework of the Regular Programme, the volume of credits to be effected thereunder should of necessity observe a reasonable equilibrium in relation to the overall budget of the Organization.
24. Regarding para. 4.23(d), it was generally agreed that funds for projects which had been committed during the biennium but remained unobligated at the end of a biennium should be carried over to the next biennium in order to give effect to the principle that full funding of an approved project would be a normal feature of the programme.
25. Some members opposed carry-over of any funds and others were against carry-over of uncommitted funds. The majority agreed however with both recommendations of the Finance Committee, that the Financial Regulations should be changed accordingly and that this should be proposed to the Conference, following review by the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters.
1 One member stressed the need for the projects to be examined and approved in advance by Member Nations in some way or other.
26. The Council agreed that the Director-General had carefully reviewed and studied the views and recommendations of the Conference with regard to Regional Offices, Country Representatives and the use of national institutions in the implementation of FAO's programme and that he had formulated an integrated package of proposals which would carry out the expressed wishes of developing countries and would permit FAO to take a much more positive and active role in agricultural development in those countries. It was recognized that the concept of decentralization was not new, since the Governing Bodies had expressed them many times in the past but that the proposals to implement these ideas constituted a new and welcome departure.
27. With respect to the Regional Offices, the Council noted the functions assigned in para. 5.24 of CL 69/2 and that the Director-General intended to review their role in relation to the new policy orientation of FAO. It felt that while their expansion at present was not necessary, their functions could be given a sharper focus in a regional context to make them effective instruments of regional cooperation.
28. The Council agreed that the most effective way of implementing decentralization was to upgrade the quality and strength of FAO representation at the country level rather than to expand Regional Offices. Country Representatives, fully funded by FAO, with knowledge of all FAO's resources and expertise, and properly selected and supported by a small auxiliary staff could make a valuable contribution to establishing better links between governments and FAO and within countries themselves, especially in the rural areas. The need for also having Country Representatives in developed countries or groups of these countries was pointed out. Some Members suggested that consultants from national institutions and technical officers from Regional Offices (within the limits of their present staff) could assist the Country Representative in his tasks. The Council stressed the paramount importance of ensuring that FAO was at all times responsive to nationally determined needs and priorities and with this understanding agreed with the proposed role and functions of Country Representatives as described in paras 5.13 and 5.14 of CL 69/2, and placed special emphasis on the quality of the staff to be selected. In order to carry out their role and functions Country Representatives should be practical-minded, down-to-earth and field-oriented, devoting a large portion of their time and attention to grass-roots agricultural production problems within the framework of government development programmes. Some members underlined the economies of sharing arrangements and seeking host government support in relieving country level administrative costs.
29. The Council agreed with the Director-General's pragmatic approach with respect to the phasing of the new arrangements. It noted that discussions with the UNDP on this matter were proceeding and that the Director-General would report further in this regard to the Council. In the light of recent developments, it appeared possible that it might be necessary to implement the new arrangements even more expeditiously than proposed, in view of some indirect consequences of the UNDP's liquidity difficulties. In that event, it would be necessary to make additional provision of up to $1 million, by transfer from the Technical Cooperation Programme. The Council authorized the Director-General to make this transfer if it should become necessary, after which it should be reported to the Finance Committee.
30. The Council noted the views of the Director-General that his proposals concerning the Technical Cooperation Programme and Country Representatives were in accord with the Constitution of the Organization and reflected the need to respond to the demands of Member Governments. Most of the other major members of the UN family had similar arrangements and provided technical assistance within their regular programmes. The Council noted his statement that in 1975 amounts approximating 250 percent of the Regular Programme budget had been effectively administered by FAO for UNDP and Trust Fund donors.
31. The Director-General indicated that the Consensus provision for the coordinating role by UNDP over UNDP-financed projects would remain unchanged, with the understanding, however, that the professional competence of FAO would be fully respected. He recognized the status of UNDP Resident Representatives as primus inter pares in recipient countries and respected their general coordinative functions. The Country Representative would continue to fit into the pattern of coordination that existed for the activities of other major executing agencies who have their own representatives in countries. The crucial point was the coordination of a country programme lay mainly with the government of the country itself.
32. The Director-General emphasized that coordination did not rest solely with the UNDP Resident Representative. FAO had a whole Department - the Development Department - which existed for the principal purpose of ensuring programme coherence and coordination covering all funds on a country and regional basis, and that this Department worked very closely with donor and recipient governments and with field representatives, as well as with UNDP Headquarters, various banks and private industry. The Director-General felt strongly that his responsibilities for matters within FAO's competence, in particular for the Technical Cooperation Programme, were directly to Member Governments of FAO. The Resident Representative would be informed and consulted, as necessary and desirable, but the control of the Programme would remain with FAO.
33. The Council welcomed the views of the Director-General and generally agreed with him that his position was within the Consensus. A number of members had had reservations on the question of coordination and relations at the country level between the UNDP Resident Representative and the FAO Country Representative, and in this connexion had referred to a decision of the Governing Council of the UNDP on the coherence of the UN Development System (which was in fact only officially transmitted by the United Nations in all the official languages at the conclusion of the Council debate) 1. Most of these members had however been reassured to a large extent by the statements made by the Director-General to the Council. The Council noted with satisfaction the assurance of the Director-General that he intended to give full attention to proper coordination at the country level in the spirit of the Consensus. The Council also welcomed the constructive statements made by the Administrator of the UNDP in his address to the Council 2. It noted in particular his references to the importance of FAO's activities and his determination to collaborate closely with the Director-General in full partnership.
34. The Council fully supported the intention of the Director-General to consult with the Administrator of the UNDP and, as appropriate, with the heads of other Specialized Agencies, on all pertinent issues and arrangements, with a view to developing the transitional arrangements which would be required.
35. On the subject of utilization of national institutions, the Council noted that the Country Representative would have as one of his functions the identification of those institutions which could and were prepared to participate in the execution of FAO programmes. The Council noted that, as requested by the Conference, the Director-General intended to provide it with a further report on this subject at a later date.
1 CL 69/INF/12.
2 CL 69/INF/13.
36. The Council welcomed the proposals to reduce substantially the number of meetings and volume of documentation. It noted that it was something that had been requested over the years by the Governing Bodies, and expressed its satisfaction that concrete action had now been taken. The Council suggested that further reviews should be made periodically to ascertain whether additional economies might be possible.
37. It noted in particular that the number of meetings proposed for the current biennium had been reduced by 155, i.e. from 408 in the Programme of Work and Budget to 253 which was a more manageable number. Similarly, it was proposed to suspend activity on 94 publications and main documents. The Council generally endorsed these proposals. In this connexion the Council noted that it was inevitable that there should be pressures to reinstate meetings and publications or agree to new ones and that it was impracticable for the Council to review lists of those cancelled. The Council would rely on the Director-General to make appropriate decisions and hoped that he would not authorize additions without compensating deletions. It noted and welcomed the Director-General's intention to keep these problems under continuing review so that they did not again get out of hand. It also noted that the Director-General was consulting the Secretary-General of UNCTAD so as to ensure that FAO cooperated, as appropriate, in the follow-up of UNCTAD IV.
38. The Council agreed with the further steps being taken by the Director-General to review statutory bodies and meetings and publications financed by extra-budgetary sources and to eliminate or consolidate periodical and annual publications.
39. The Council agreed with the overall approach to the review of programmes conducted by the Director-General, i.e. to avoid the large increases, especially the large number of new posts, previously proposed; to retain the main new activities initiated in 1975 with the objective of increasing food production; to restore selectively certain increases which coincided with the Director-General's proposals for a new policy orientation; and to achieve a better balance among both existing and new activities between concrete, practical action-oriented activities and long-term, and in some instances more theoretical activities. In this connexion, the Council welcomed the Director-General's statements in his opening address concerning FAO's role in policy analysis and harmonization. It agreed with his intention to correct a growing imbalance in programmes, while continuing to give high priority attention to certain long-term activities of a practical nature, e.g. those concerned with genetic resources and trypanosomiasis. The Council also emphasized the importance of women in rural agricultural development.
40. The Council generally agreed that, while various studies had been of value, a disproportionate amount of resources had been consumed by them. The value of Country Perspective Studies to the countries concerned was recognized, but not all countries could benefit from them.
41. The Council agreed that the work which would still be carried out on PSWAD and IAA should be transferred to the Office of the ADG, Economic and Social Policy Department, and the posts released in the Agriculture and Economic and Social Policy Departments should be transferred to the Investment Centre for investment work.
42. With regard to the Global Information and Early Warning System there was a suggestion that the Director-General might give some consideration to strengthening this activity. Flexibility would have to be kept to accommodate possible requirements made upon the Organization in the light of the integrated programme on commodities.
43. The Council agreed that a unit to serve as the central point for the Technical Cooperation Programme should be set up in the Field Programme Development Division and was assured that technical divisions would backstop the work of this unit.
44. The Council noted that, in the proposals submitted by the Director-General, the CARIS project (Current Agricultural Research Information System) would, during the 1976–77 biennium, be financed exclusively from extra-budgetary funds. The Council noted that the commitments made through the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research had now been confirmed. However, some members continued to be concerned over the possible long-term implications for FAO's Programme of Work and Budget, which had arisen from the initial introduction of this activity with financing from extra-budgetary resources.
45. With respect to AGRIS (International Information System for the Agricultural Sciences and Technology) the Council noted that virtually all of the budget for 1976–77 was for Level 1. Level 2 was still in the development stages. The most widely distributed output of Level 1 was currently the printed Agrindex. The Council agreed with the Director-General that it was Level 2, the specialized service providing the contents of the material, which was the important element for developing countries. Its feasibility and use would not be known until 1977 when Level 2 would to some degree be in operation, and when the whole programme would be evaluated, as had been agreed by the Conference in 1973. Meanwhile, the Council requested the Director-General to continue Regular Programme financing of the central coordination and processing costs for Level 1, which contained only bibliographical data and recommended that the publication of Agrindex be continued pending the conclusion of efforts to find a suitable publisher for it.
46. The Council agreed with the proposed programme emphasis in these fields of activity. It considered, however, that further attention should be given by the Council to these fields of activity when reviewing Programme of Work and Budget proposals for 1978–79.
47. With regard to the Director-General's proposals concerning the International Fertilizer Supply Scheme (IFS) the Council noted that the Commission on Fertilizers, which had recently held its Third Session, had expressed its appreciation for the valuable contribution made by the Scheme and its quick response to the needs of the developing countries, particularly during the crisis period when there was a serious shortage of fertilizers on the world market. There were mixed views on the question of continuation of the Scheme and in conclusion the Commission had recommended that the Scheme be continued up to the end of 1977 at which time the Council would decide on the future of the IFS. The Council noted that the Director-General had reduced the provisions for travel and consultants in order to cover part of the cost of the staff for the second year.
48. The Council agreed with the proposal to raise the Office to the status of a Department headed by an ADG, thus reinstating the status existing prior to 1968.
49. The Council also endorsed the recommendation of the Programme and Finance Committees in paras. 1–14 to 1–16 of CL 69/4 concerning the posts of ADG, Administration and Finance Department, and Director, Office of Programme and Budget.
50. The Council welcomed the reduction of proposed new posts by two thirds.
51. With regard to proposals for upgradings the Council noted that in overall terms this represented total upgradings of 50 General Service compared with 53 formerly proposed and 35 Professional compared with 51, and total proposed upgradings of 85 compared with 104. The Council noted that no financial implications were involved for the 1976–77 biennium as Divisions were required to abosrb the costs of the upgradings without increased budgetary provision during the biennium. It nonetheless recognized that financial implications did exist in the longer term.
52. The Council was assured that the Director-General had satisfied himself that all the upgradings were justified in terms of increased responsibilities of the post and that the present proposals were consistent with the revised priorities of the Programme of Work and Budget. In the light of this the Council endorsed the Director-General's proposals for upgradings.
53. Other aspects, proposals and transfers involved in the Review of Programmes (Chapter VII of CL 69/2) were approved, but some members referred to the desirability of reconsidering certain cuts such as the ECA Working Party on Home Economics and meetings of the Codex Alimentarius Commission.
54. As stated in full detail in the report, in conclusion, the Council,
Commending the Director-General's proposals as a bold and courageous step in fulfilling FAO's constitutional obligations, giving it fresh dimensions and capability, reorienting it to the needs of the developing world, and reflecting the long-standing demand of Member Nations for a flexible, action-oriented approach,
Agreeing with the proposals of the Director-General concerning the approach to decentralization at the country level and greater use of national institutions,
Concurred with the proposal to establish, gradually and in full consultation with the governments concerned, FAO Country Representative Offices fully funded by the FAO Regular Programme and fully under the authority of the Director-General and the FAO Governing Bodies, while ensuring, through proper consultations, continuing close and constructive collaboration between FAO and UNDP, as provided for in the Consensus;
Approved the Director-General's proposals for a Technical Cooperation Programme to enable FAO to give quick and flexible attention to immediate and short-term needs of Member Nations; and accordingly,
Agreed with the Director-General that increased investment is a key to increased food production and that the Organization should play a much more direct and active role to stimulate the flow of funds into the agricultural sector;
Decided that under the authority delegated to it by the Conference in Resolution 16/75, for the financial period 1976–77, the purposes for which Appropriations were voted by the Conference 1 are revised as follows:
|Chapter 1 - General Policy and Direction||10 666 370|
|Chapter 2 - Technical and Economic Programmes||80 432 900|
|Chapter 3 - Field Programmes and Development Support||16 665 940|
|Chapter 4 - Special Programmes||2 974 910|
|Chapter 5 - General Programme Services||9 651 585|
|Chapter 6 - General Support||25 940 295|
|Chapter 7 - Miscellaneous Expenditure||1 768 000|
|Chapter 8 - Contingencies||400 000|
|Chapter 9 - Technical Cooperation Programme 2||18 500 000|
Total effective working budget
|167 000 000|
|Chapter 10 - Transfer to Tax Equalization Fund||24 100 000|
Total Appropriations (Gross)
|191 100 000|
Recommended for approval by the Conference, subject to review by the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters, the following amendment to the Financial Regulations: 3
4.2 Except as provided for in Financial Regulation 4.3 relating to the Technical Cooperation Programme [A] appropriations shall be available for obligations during the financial period to which they related [.] and [U] unobligated appropriations at the close of the financial period shall be cancelled.
4.3 Appropriations voted by the Conference for the Technical Cooperation Programme together with any funds transferred to the Technical Cooperation Programme under Financial Regulation 4.4(b) shall remain available for obligations during the financial period following that during which the funds were voted or transferred. Unutilized appropriations at the close of that financial period shall be cancelled.
1 Section I of Resolution 16/75 of the Eighteenth Conference Session.
2 New Chapter replacing Transfer to Tax Equalization Fund, now Chapter 10.
3 Deletions in square brackets [ ], additions underlined.
55. The Council recalled that the Conference in November 1975 had given only interim approval to an arrangement for apportioning the costs of the World Food Council between the United Nations and FAO, pending a review to be made by the Sixty-Ninth Session of the Council on the basis of a report to be submitted by the Director-General. The Director-General's report had been prepared after consultation with the Programme and Finance Committees, which had supported his general approach.
56. The Council agreed that, since the World Food Council was a United Nations organ with a United Nations Secretariat, full financial responsibility for its meetings and for the functioning of its Secretariat should logically be borne by the United Nations. The servicing to be provided within the framework of FAO should be substantive in character, rather than taking the form of an administrative or budgetary subsidy.
57. In order to avoid any disruption, the Council decided to continue until the end of 1976 the present subsidy at the rate of $600 000 per biennium. For the period from January 1977 onwards it requested the Director-General to communicate to the Secretary-General of the United Nations the proposal of the Council that full financial responsibility for the World Food Council be assumed by the United Nations. The Council heard with appreciation a statement from the Representative of the Secretary-General to the effect that the Secretary-General had no objection to this proposal, but that final decisions would depend on the ACABQ, the Fifth Committee and the General Assembly. The Council agreed that the Director-General should have full flexibility to work out with the Secretary-General the stages by which the new arrangements could be implemented and requested him to report to the Council at its November 1976 Session on progress achieved.
58. With regard to the substantive servicing which FAO would provide to the World Food Council, the Council endorsed the proposal of the Director-General, supported by the Programme and Finance Committees, that $150 000 could be added to the Contingencies provision in Chapter 8 of the 1976–77 Programme of Work and Budget. These funds could be used to finance additional work on a problem-oriented basis, to be carried out either in response to requests from the World Food Council endorsed by the FAO Council, or in agreement between the Director-General and the World Food Council Secretariat. The increase in the Contingencies provision would be financed by savings on the administrative subsidy to the WFC in 1977.
59. The Council felt that it would not be practical at the present stage to seek a hard and fast demarcation of functions between the World Food Council on the one hand and the FAO Council together with its subsidiary bodies on the other hand. The functions of the World Food Council were laid down in World Food Conference Resolution XXII. The Council felt that complementarity of action between the WFC and FAO could for the moment best be promoted by close consultation and cooperation at secretariat level. In this connexion, the Council welcomed a message from H.E. Sayed A. Marei, President of the World Food Council, in the course of which Mr. Marei stated that “The FAO and the World Food Council should be able to work out proper and satisfactory arrangements governing their harmonious relationship in the noble and common cause of the fight against hunger.”
60. The Council considered arrangements for the submission of reports of FAO bodies to the WFC, and decided to maintain the flexible arrangement established at its Sixty-Fifth Session. Thus reports of subsidiary bodies of the FAO Council should in principle be reviewed by the Council before being transmitted to the World Food Council. If the timing of the various meetings made this impracticable, the Director-General could exercise his own judgement and with the necessary reservations make the report of a subsidiary body available before it had been reviewed by the Council. The same arrangement would apply to recommendations or requests addressed by the World Food Council to subsidiary bodies of the FAO Council.
61. The Council reviewed a preliminary report by the Director-General on the substantive results of the WFC's Second Session. The proposals of the Director-General for handling the recommendations of direct concern to FAO were endorsed by the Council, which requested that a fuller report on the results of that session be submitted to its November 1976 Session.
1 CL 69/4, paras. 1.6 – 1.9 and 3.37, CL 69/5, CL 69/5-Sup.1, CL 69/PV/5, CL 69/PV/9.
62. The Council was informed of the results of the Conference of Plenipotentiaries convened by the Secretary General of the United Nations and held in Rome from 10 to 13 June 1976. It reaffirmed its interest in the speedy establishment of the Fund which would increase the resource flow towards increased agricultural and food production. It therefore joined with the Conference of Plenipotentiaries in the view that it was urgent to mobilize the necessary additional resources to bring the pledged amount up to the target of $ 1 000 million.
63. In conformity with the recommendations of the Programme and Finance Committees, the Council authorized the Director-General to make available his support to the Preparatory Commission and subsequently to the Management of the Fund. The Council realized that IFAD, as a Specialized Agency, would wish to make cooperative working arrangements with agencies within and outside the United Nations and particularly other financing institutions, but it nevertheless felt that there was a need for particularly close collaboration between IFAD and FAO as expressed in the Articles of Agreement for the establishment of the Fund.
64. The Council was gratified to learn that the Italian Government had offered space and other essential services to IFAD, but also agreed to authorize the Director-General to make available as an interim measure and at appropriate terms such facilities to IFAD if this were requested.
1 CL 69/4, paras. 1.10 and 1.11, CL 69/6, CL 69/PV/5, CL 69/PV/9.
65. The Council shared the concern of the Director-General that the first two meetings of the Consultative Group on Food Production and Investment (CGFPI) had not yet given sufficient evidence of achieving the objectives for which it was created, that is to encourage a larger flow of resources for food production, to improve coordination between donors and to ensure more effective use of available resources.
66. It felt however that the Group should be given a further opportunity to develop a worth-while role for itself, in keeping with the basic task it was given.
67. The Council was informed by the Director-General that the co-sponsors had agreed on a joint document for presentation to the members of the Group as a basis for a discussion on its future at the third meeting to be held in Manila in September 1976.
68. The Council requested the Director-General to report fully on this matter to its next session in November 1976. At that time it should be possible to have available for the Council a report of the meeting of the Group containing its recommendations for its future and the views of the co-sponsors themselves.
2 CL 69/4 paras. 1.12 and 1.13, CL 69/7, CL 69/PV/5.
69. Mr. Morse, the Administrator of UNDP, made a statement to the Council informing it of the updated resource position as well as of various measures being taken by the UNDP administration to improve the management and monitoring of the programme. He noted in particular that he would call on the assistance of the Agencies to arrive at an effective reporting system so that all elements influencing the resource position of UNDP could be followed continuously. He concluded his statement with an assurance that the Agencies would at all times find in UNDP a sympathetic and responsible partner.
70. The Director-General in his answering statement confirmed FAO's wish for a strengthening of relations and an effective cooperation with UNDP, at the same time recognizing that within the System UNDP was to be considered primus inter pares.
71. The representative of the Director-General informed the Council of the latest position of the UNDP resource and programme situation with its consequences for FAO.
72. In addition to the special contribution from Sweden and other measures to improve the resource position of UNDP as already reported to the Programme and Finance Committees, there had now been further additional contributions from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Norway. Altogether the general impression had been gained that UNDP now had the financial situation reasonably under control. The June session of the UNDP Governing Council had also acted positively on the Administrator's request that a borrowing authority for UNDP be sought from the General Assembly. It was recalled that this question had been a major preoccupation of the FAO Conference last year.
73. The present forecast was that FAO would deliver a programme of $107 million for UNDP this year (compared to $120 million last year) through a gradual decrease in the programme level from the first to the last quarter. It was estimated that there would be some change in the “input mix”, the expert and sub-contract components increasing their relative importance, whereas that of the equipment component would decrease.
74. The Council was informed of the particular concern as regards the expert component. So far there had been a net reduction in the Organization's corps of long-term UNDP-financed experts from 1,642 to 1,457, i.e. a reduction of 185. During the next six months, from July to December, 741 long-term experts were scheduled to finish their assignments. Many of these experts would be separated, extended or re-assigned without difficulties. However, for a large number of experienced experts only the contents of the 1977 FAO/UNDP programme could be a basis to decide whether they should be kept on or separated. Pressure had therefore on several occasions been put on UNDP to come to a decision on next year's programme, and instructions were now going out to the Resident Representatives with a request for submission to the Agencies of 1977 Action Plans, for all countries, by the end of August.
75. The Governing Council had now approved IPFs for the next five-year planning cycle, 1977–81, and individual country and inter-country ceilings for 1977 to a total of $358 million had been issued. With the addition of the Programme Reserve, the SIS programme and Cost Sharing, the FAO/UNDP programme next year would probably in dollar terms be about the same as this year, i.e. well over $100 million.
76. The Director-General's representative pointed, however, to the Organization's concern over the situation as regards the approval of new projects and the consequent issue of fresh funds allocations to the Agencies. These had practically dried up, with about $10 million net allocations to FAO so far this year, compared to $60 million delivered. Experience had shown that in any one year there must be a certain quantitative relationship between delivery and allocations in hand, and such allocations must be received well before the time of implementation. It was the intention of the FAO Administration to take up this matter with UNDP urgently.
77. Finally, the Council was informed of progress made in attracting Trust Fund financing in relief of the FAO/UNDP programme. Thus Switzerland had undertaken to finance some projects, probably to be followed by several others. It was recalled that the Finance Committee had agreed with the Director-General's decision exceptionally to reduce the normal 14 percent Agency Costs charge on Trust Funds as a special effort to assist in the UNDP crisis.
78. The Chairmen of the Programme and Finance Committees each gave a short report to the Council on the Committee's review of this issue. The Chairman of the Programme Committee pointed out in this connexion the Committee's expressed wish that an examination be made of the relationship between, and roles of, UNDP as a funding agency and FAO as an executing agency. The Chairman of the Finance Committee drew the Council's attention to the Committee's wish that a working fund corresponding to some two months of operations (instead of the present one month) be placed at the Organization's disposal by UNDP. The UNDP Administration had not been in a position to react positively to the Organization's wishes in this regard.
1 CL 69/INF/13, CL 69/PV/6, CL 69/PV/9.
79. The Council was informed that the Eighteenth Session of the FAO Conference had adopted Resolution 8/75 on the Establishment of an International Agricultural Commodity Agency which inter alia, recommended that the Director-General, in consultation with Member Nations and appropriate bodies, consider the proposal of the Chairman of the Conference for establishing an International Agricultural Commodity Agency in order to manage the purchase and distribution of necessary world food products, taking fully into account economic interests of developing exporting countries, and submit recommendations in this regard to the Sixty-Ninth Session of the Council.
80. The Council was informed that the Director-General, in close consultation with the Chairman of the Conference and with his concurrence, had initiated a technical examination of the proposal. He had also taken into account the relationship between the proposal and the intensive intergovernmental discussions and negotiations being held on a number of major international commodity policy issues in several fora, both within and outside the United Nations system. In order that governments might take action on Conference Resolution 8/75 without delay, he had drawn it to the attention of UNCTAD IV which had subsequently agreed to take steps towards the negotiation of a common fund within the framework of an Integrated Programme for Commodities, including a number of foodstuffs and agricultural raw materials. In the Director-General's view the broad financial basis and multi-commodity character envisaged for the Integrated Programme could enable it to attain the objectives and carry out the functions of the proposed International Agricultural Commodity Agency.
81. The Council noted that in the period since the FAO Conference there had been a convergence of initiatives concerned with international commodity and financing problems, and that the FAO Secretariat was cooperating closely in the related discussion and negotiations. It agreed, therefore, that adequate provision had been made for action towards the objectives of Resolution 8/75.
1 CL 69/PV/6, C 75/REP, paras. 126–129, Res. 8/75.