1. The Fifty-Seventh Session of the Council was held in Rome from 1 to 4 November 1971, under the Chairmanship of M. Cépède.
2. The Agenda of the Session as adopted is set out in Appendix A to this Report. In agreeing to the Timetable of its session, the Council decided to establish a Committee of the Whole to deal with the constitutional and legal, as well as administrative and financial matters on its Agenda. It was understood that, as had been the case at its previous session, no verbatim records would be provided for this Committee of the Whole.
3. The Council elected Mohammed Al Faisal (Saudi Arabia) and Lundondo Mumeka (Zambia) as First Vice-Chairman and Second Vice-Chairman respectively.
4. The Council elected A.T.M. Silva (Ceylon) as Rapporteur and Chairman of the Drafting Committee. The members elected to the Drafting Committee were Belgium, Iraq, New Zealand, Peru, United States of America and the Zaire Republic.
5. The Council paid tribute to the memory of Lord Boyd Orr of the United Kingdom, first Director-General of FAO (1945–48), who had died in June 1971.
1 CL 57/PV/1.
6. The Report of the Forty-Sixth Session of the Committee on Commodity Problems 3 was introduced by the Chairman of the Committee, Soegeng Amat (Indonesia). The Council endorsed the report, which it regarded as a valuable contribution to the discussion of commodity questions and related matters at the coming Session of the Conference.
7. The Council noted the analysis presented by the Committee of the salient features of world agricultural markets in 1970/71. The Committee had accepted the conclusion that the outlook for 1971 was by no means one of sustained improvement in export earnings or prices or of any change in the underlying situation of recent years. The short-term outlook was further complicated by recent developments in the monetary situation, and by the decision of the United States of America to impose a temporary surcharge of 10 percent on certain categories of imports. Thus, while there had been an improvement in prices and trade in 1970, the outlook for world trade in farm products remained basically unchanged and difficult.
8. Many members pointed out with concern, that the benefits of the expansion of agricultural trade in 1970 had accrued primarily to the developed rather than the developing countries, and that the share of exports from the latter in world exports had continued to decline. They also noted that the improvement in 1970 had been the consequence not of the adoption of policies favouring trade expansion but of some accidental factors. A more permanent improvement in agricultural trade and in particular in exports from developing countries depended largely on the adoption of new policies such as greater access to markets and gradual reduction in agricultural protection within the developed countries. The necessary structural changes were also recommended.
9. The Council noted the Committee's preliminary discussion of the agricultural commodity projections 1970–1980 prepared by the Secretariat in accordance with the wishes of the Conference and as part of FAO's contribution to the UN Second Development Decade. While recognizing that caution had to be exercized in the use of the findings of the study because of the limitations inherent in the methodology available, the Council felt that the study was a useful contribution which could assist the evolution of more rational policies for dealing with commodity problems. Some members pointed out that the projections showed the continuation of certain adverse features already present in the current situation, such as the tendency towards surpluses and towards a decline in the share of developing countries in world exports of agricultural commodities. With respect to the overall growth of agricultural production in developing countries, some members also drew attention to the findings of the study which indicated that, even if the projections were fully realized, the rate of growth which would be attained in developing countries would be somewhat lower than the goal of 4 percent per annum established as part of the international strategy for the Second UN Development Decade.
10. The Council generally agreed with the Committee that FAO should contribute with practical suggestions aiming at an accelerated growth of the agricultural sector in developing countries. In this respect, some members also noted the contribution that rapid technological improvements now increasingly possible in the world could make to the attainment of this result.
11. The Council supported the proposal by the Director-General that world agricultural adjustment should be one of the main themes of the FAO Conference for 1973, and noted the discussion held in the CCP on the role of FAO in this field. The Council also agreed that there were national and international aspects of agricultural adjustment and that FAO already had substantial programmes of work in both areas which should be continued and strengthened. At the international level, the FAO's main role was to undertake fact-finding studies and analyses which brought together technical, economic and social aspects of agricultural policy designed to help international discussions and negotiation in appropriate fora.
1 CL 57/PV-1, and CL 57/PV-6.
2 See paras. 87–94 below.
3 CL 57/2.
12. The Council recognized that agricultural adjustment was an area in which a high degree of coordination among the international agencies concerned was a primary necessity. FAO should participate fully as an objective analyst with competence in all aspects of agriculture, and should not limit itself to the identification of the problems but should also propose solutions where possible.
13. Some members pointed out that there was an urgent need for the identification of the objectives of agricultural adjustment and that the discussion by the Conference in 1973 should lead to the identification of these objectives. The CCP should continue to be associated with the more general studies to be made on the subject of international agricultural adjustment and, through the analysis of individual commodity problems, contribute to the identification of appropriate measures for agricultural adjustment.
14. Some members noted that the discussion in the CCP on tobacco and pepper had not led to the establishment of standing machinery for consultation on these products, but that the Committee would continue to examine the problems of these commodities. In their view, the Committee might be in a better position to accept requests for the establishment of additional machinery for consideration of problems of individual commodities if it were possible to ensure a more flexible periodicity of sessions of bodies which did not have major problems to consider.
15. The Council noted that the CCP had approved the establishment by the Study Group on Bananas of a Standing Committee of Exporters whose recommendations to governments would only be indicative and not obligatory.
16. The Council noted that representatives of only 29 of the CCP's 34 Members had registered attendance at the Session, and that some of these had been unable to attend on a regular basis. On the suggestion of the Committee, the Council urged members of the CCP to participate more fully in its debates, and recommended that Members Nations offering themselves for election to the Committee should ensure the active participation of their representatives in the event of their election.
17. The Council had before it three documents on, or in part relating to, the respective roles in country programming of Senior Agricultural Advisers/FAO Country Representatives, Regional Offices and Headqurters.
18. The Council took note of document C 71/34 Add. 1 (revised memorandum of understanding concerning the integration of UNDP and FAO Field Offices at the country level).
19. The Council gave general approval to document CL 57/7 on the roles of the various FAO offices or officials in country programming and expressed complete agreement with the comments thereon of the Joint Meeting of the Programme and Finance Committees 2. The Council agreed with the Committees' view that the success of FAO's participation in country programming would largely depend on the capacity and quality of the SAA/FAO Country Representatives. It emphasized that care should be taken in the selection of these officials and accepted the Secretariat's explanation that the selection criteria included the possession of a sound agricultural background, an understanding of the planning process, field experience, an insight into the problems of agricultural development assistance and of the special situation of developing countries and of their capacity to adapt to these situations. It was informed that attention had been paid to the need for a wide geographical spread, since these officials were drawn from 28 different countries. Forty percent of the present incumbents came from developing countries.
1 CL 57/REP/CW and CL 57/PV-6.
2 CL 57/5, paras. 14–18.
20. The Director-General informed the Council that a very large number of governments were asking UNDP to enter country programming in a very short period of time. These requests obliged the secretariats of UNDP and the agencies to carry out the studies necessary under such conditions that final results might be prejudicial to the spirit of country programming. The Council requested the governments concerned to consult with each other in the UNDP Governing Council to make it possible for the UNDP Administrator to arrange for a more convenient staggering in programme formulation.
21. The Council examined the appropriate role of the Regional Offices in programming. While certain members emphasized the need to place at the disposal of the SAA/FAO Country Representatives (for among other things country projects) the special knowledge accumulated over the years in these offices, the general feeling was that these offices should concentrate on regional policy and planning, particularly in view of the access by the Regional Representatives to national development and planning ministries, which was not always available to the SAA/FAO Country Representatives. The Regional Representatives were in a specially favourable position to identify intercountry and regional projects, explain the implications thereof to countries, and guide these countries both as regards their most suitable role in the projects and on the best manner of obtaining follow up financing. While the Regional Offices should be able to provide rapid services to the countries in the region, it was important that the Offices' functions should be both precisely defined and limited in order to avoid duplication with Headquarters and the SAA/Country Representatives.
22. With particular reference to the FAO Regional Office for Europe, it was pointed out that, in view of the fact that FAO had a SAA/FAO Country Representative in only one European country, it was essential to strengthen that Office, as well as its relations with the UN Economic Commission for Europe and other regional bodies.
23. The Council noted that the Director-General immediately after the Conference would prepare a study on the interrelation between various segments of Headquarters, the Regional Offices and the SAA/FAO Country Representatives and that the findings would be presented to the next sessions of the Programme and Finance Committees. These findings would be preliminary because of the experimental nature of FAO's experience so far and because of the need to take account of other studies such as that by the UN on Regionalization, and also of the role of WFP and other agencies in the food and agriculture sector. The study would aim at identifying which tasks could be most competently performed by each of the three levels involved, in the light of the duties assigned to the SAA/FAO Country Representatives by the UNDP Consensus and the Agreement concluded on 22 October 1971 between the Administrator of UNDP and the Director-General of FAO, the circumstances under which the various levels were working and cost/benefit considerations. In general, the Council requested the Director-General not to take any irreversible action until the projected study had been carried out, this without delaying the implementation in the Regional Offices of measures approved by the Conference within the Programme of Work and Budget for 1972–73.
24. The Council endorsed the comments of the Director-General and of the Programme and Finance Committees on Inspector Macy's report on UN activities in Indonesia (JIU/REP/71/3) 2, agreeing that this was a particularly useful field inspection report. The key role being played by the Central Planning Agency in Indonesia was recognized, but at the same time great importance was attached to the work of FAO's planning team in this country.
1 CL 57/PV-1.
2 CL 57/6.
25. The Council took note of the comments by the Finance Committee and the IGC at their Twenty-Sixth and Twentieth sessions respectively on the conclusions of the FAO/WFP Working Party which had been set up to review “the services needed by WFP which should be supplied by FAO” in the light of the recommendations in Inspector Bertrand's report on this subject (JIU/REP/70/7). It noted that these conclusions which were in line with the JIU Report had been accepted by the Director-General of FAO and by the Executive Director of WFP. The Council was informed, however, that neither the Director-General nor the Executive Director had considered it appropriate to accept the Inspector's recommendation regarding the transfer of technical, budget and internal auditing posts to WFP.
26. The Council was also informed that this JIU report had been prepared at the request of IGC. Appreciation of the report was expressed as well as satisfaction regarding the positive action which had been taken by both Organizations in respect of its main recommendations.
27. The Council gave particular attention to the comments of the Programme and Finance Committees on the question of the extension of the Joint Inspection Unit beyond 31 December 1973. It noted that while both Committees believed that the Unit could perform a useful “inspectorate” function, they felt that changes should be made in its terms of reference, structure and procedures to enhance the effectiveness of its services to the United Nations family.
28. The Council was informed that the Joint Inspection Unit would appreciate receiving constructive suggestions for the improvement of its services and methods of operation. It was suggested that the agencies themselves could take a more positive approach towards the work of the Unit and propose subjects which might be examined in depth by it. It was also suggested that the Unit might co-opt specialists from the agencies to assist the permanent staff in conducting particular studies. It was agreed that there was an obvious need for greater leadership within the Unit and more uniform procedures in dealing with its work programme.
29. The Council expressed strong support for the continuation of the Joint Inspection Unit. It considered that the Unit could be most useful in promoting coordination and avoiding duplication of effort within the UN System. While it agreed that the cost of operating the Unit should be carefully examined, these costs should be considered in the light of overall savings and greater efficiency which should result from the Unit's work.
30. Some questions were raised about the proposal by the Finance Committee to institute biennal meetings of chairmen of Finance Committees of the agencies to review the work of JIU. It was noted that the substantive aspects of the inspector's reports were often as important as the financial aspects; and it was therefore agreed that this proposal was not a practicable one.
31. The Council agreed that the Programme and Finance Committees, guided by the above comments and the comments of the Sixteenth Session of the Conference, should carry out a more detailed review of the work of the Unit. This review would have to be completed in time for the Organization's suggestions to be transmitted through the appropriate channels to the Twenty-Seventh Session of the UN General Assembly in 1972.
32. The Director-General drew the attention of the Council to Resolution 2758 (XXVI) of the General Assembly of the United Nations on the restoration of the lawful rights of the People's Republic of China in the United Nations, and informed the Council that in view of the fact that the Government of the Republic of China had withdrawn from the Organization in 1951, the question presented itself in FAO in a different way than in the other Agencies in which China was at present a member. Recalling similar approaches to other Governments recommended by the Council in the past 2, the Director-General sought the Council's guidance as to the question whether an approach should be made to ascertain whether the Government of the People's Republic of China would wish to seek membership in FAO. At the same time he informed the Council of the measures that had been taken in the light of the above-mentioned General Assembly Resolution, pending receipt of an application by the Government of the People's Republic of China 3.
1 CL 57/PV-2 and CL 57/PV-7.
2 See Report of the Forty-Ninth Session of the Council (1967), paragraph 163.
3 The full text of the Director-General's statement was distributed as document CL 57/LIM/4, and is reproduced as Appendix D.
33. The Council authorized the Director-General to invite the People's Republic of China to seek formal membership in the Organization and, if it so requests, to attend the Sixteenth Session of the Conference. The Council noted the Director-General's statement that precedents existed for a suspension of the provision of Rule XIX.2 of the General Rules of the Organization (GRO) which requires that an application for admission to membership should be received by the Director-General thirty days before the opening of the session at which the Conference is called upon to decide on such application.
34. The Council approved the measures taken by the Director-General with regard to communications, distribution of publications, invitations to meetings and eligibility for adherence to Conventions as far as China is concerned.
35. The Council considered the report of an FAO/WFP Mission 2 which, as it had noted at its Fifty-Sixth Session, the Director-General had agreed to set up to work out with the Organization of African Unity (OAU) ways and means whereby FAO could assist peoples struggling to liberate themselves from colonial rule.
36. The Council was in general agreement with the approaches mentioned in the Report; and approved the suggestions of the Director-General, as contained in paragraph 2 of the document, which were designed to promote requests and concerted action by the UN family in respect of projects and assistance in the broad fields of food aid and training. It therefore requested the Director-General to pursue his contacts with all parties concerned for the implementation of these requests.
37. As regards the implementation of the provision of General Assembly Resolution 2704 (XXV) inviting Specialized Agencies to examine the possibility of providing for the participation of leaders of liberation movements in conferences, seminars and other regional meetings, the Council was advised that, as the matter raised a problem generally applicable to all members of the UN system, it had been considered at the October 1971 session of the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC), where all such questions of inter-agency concern were discussed. In view of the political nature of the problem, the ACC had agreed that the issue should be clarified in the first instance in the appropriate political forum. The Secretary-General of the United Nations who is also Chairman of the ACC, had accordingly agreed to raise the matter in a report he was making to the General Assembly on the progress of implementation, by the international organizations concerned, of the relevant General Assembly resolution on decolonization. One request had in fact been received from a liberation movement leader to participate in the Sixteenth Session of the FAO Conference.
38. Some members felt that further delay could be avoided by acting upon the relevant General Assembly resolution and inviting liberation movement leaders at least to meetings where items of direct interest to them were discussed. Another view expressed was that FAO, as a technical organization, should avoid involvement in a controversial political issue which should be resolved centrally rather than at a level of individual agencies. In this connexion, the Chairman pointed out that similar divergencies of views had been expressed at the previous session of the Council.
39. The Council therefore agreed that this matter might be further considered after clarification had been received from the General Assembly.
1 CL 57/PV-2 and CL 57/PV-7.
2 CL 57/8 Rev. 1 (for Fr. and Sp. Texts: CL 57/8).
40. The Council considered the Director-General's revised proposals for the Programme of Work and Budget 1972–73 2 and the Joint Report of the Programme and Finance Committees 3.
41. The Council noted that the Director-General's original proposal was for an effective working budget of $87 090 000; that the Programme and Finance Committees had recommended to the Fifty-Sixth Session of the Council certain adjustments involving savings of $405 800; and that the Director-General had presented to the joint meeting of the Programme and Finance Committees, in accordance with the request of the Fifty-Sixth Session of the Council, proposals for further reductions not substantially affecting programme activities. These totalled $686 200 (net) as follows:
|Travel - Programme Reductions||150 104|
Travel by Headquarters staff to Regional Conferences
|50 000||200 104|
|Office of Director-General-Second DDG||123 830|
|Senior Agricultural Advisers/ FAO Country Representatives||137 266|
|General Operating Expenses||100 000|
|Miscellaneous Expenditure||50 000|
|Programme increase - Technical Advisory Committee||+ 75 000|
|Total additional (net) reductions||686 200|
The combined reductions of $1 092 000 would reduce the working budget level to $85 998 000 and the assessment budget to $79 618 000 (rounded to $79 620 000 for assessment purposes).
42. The Council agreed with the Director-General's proposals in C 71/3-Add.2, which had been concurred in by the Programme and Finance Committees. It noted that this would provide an increase in the working budget level of $13 780 000 over 1970–71 (of which $12 619 970 or 17.5 percent was for cost increases and $1 160 030 or 1.6 percent was for programme increases).
43. The Council was informed that the current estimates of additional cost of increases for salaries and wages in 1972–73 amounted to about $4 755 000. Since only $1 963 000 was included in the Draft Programme of Work and Budget for this purpose, a potential deficit of around $2 792 000, plus an estimated $756 000 in exchange losses, (as estimated at 1 November 1971), around $3 550 000 in total, could result. In view however of inevitable uncertainties about the currency situation, as well as the rate of inflation, this estimate could not be regarded as as definitive. It was indicated that the Council had not been alerted to such large salary and wage increases at its Fifty-Sixth Session in June 1971 because current data on the cost of living index was not available at the time of the session. It was hoped that this would not occur again.
1 CL 57/PV-2, CL 57/PV-3 and CL 57/PV-7.
2 C 71/3 - Add. 2.
3 CL 57/5.
44. The Council agreed with the Director-General's proposals, supported by the Programme and Finance Committees, to (a) withdraw $1 million from the Working Capital Fund at the beginning of 1972, 1 which amount it was expected could be recouped from the cash surplus which would develop in 1970–71, provided Member Nations paid their contributions in good time; and (b) to make further savings of $600 000 during 1972–73 which could be applied against further cost increases, the source of such savings to be determined by the Director-General so as to preserve the basic programme of work to the maximum extent possible.
45. Noting that this still left an unprovided-for amount of about $ 2 million which could be met by(a) a further withdrawal from the Working Capital Fund, or (b) an increase in the budget level, or (c) a combination of (a) and (b), the Council agreed that although in principle the budget level should be increased in strict accordance with full budgeting, it would be preferable, in the light of the very exceptional circumstances which had arisen and the tentative character of the present estimates of additional costs, to retain the revised proposed budget level at $ 85 998 000 and to be prepared to withdraw from the Working Capital Fund a further amount up to nearly $ 2 million to the extent that might prove necessary. Such action should of course be regarded as exceptional and not to be taken as a precedent. Some members felt that this course was financially unsound and that the amount should be included in the draft budget.
46. As regards the additional $ 2 million which might possibly have to be withdrawn from the Working Capital Fund in the course of the biennium, it was noted that an additional Council resolution would be required for this purpose in accordance with the Financial Regulations, following review and consideration by the Finance Committee and the Council of any specific proposals which might be made in this connexion by the Director-General.
47. The Council also agreed with the Director-General's proposal to extract $ 4 338 000 representing UNDP(TA) overheads from the Regular Programme budget and to combine it with a consolidated overhead budget for total UNDP allocations as soon as possible after 1 January 1972, since this would be logical in view of the recent decision of UNDP to merge the UNDP (Ta and SF) programme as of 1 January 1972 into a single integrated programme. The extraction from the Regular Programme Budget would reduce the effective Regular Programme working budget by $ 4 338 000, but would have no effect on the assessment budget level.
48. In reaching these conclusions, the Council generally expressed serious concern at the rising cost increases and its implications for the future of the Organization, in particular regarding the minimal amount available for programme increase despite a large increase in the budget level. The Council generally agreed that every effort must be made to reduce costs and find further savings to the benefit of programme expansions in 1972–73.
49. While generally accepting the additional reductions amounting to $ 686 200 proposed by the Director-General, some members of the Council considered that provision for travel in the Regional Offices should not be reduced. Others felt that the suggestions made at the Fifty-Sixth Session of the Council for a freeze in upgradings and reductions in General Service staff at Headquarters should have been adopted.
50. Many supported the Director-General's decision to proceed with strengthening the staff of the Regional Offices. Others felt however that this should be accomplished by transferring staff from Headquarters or by other means. Yet others felt that strengthening the Regional Offices would be inadvisable pending a review of the roles of Headquarters, Regional Offices and SAA/FAO Country Representatives and a clear definition of the future role, task and organization of the Regional Offices.
51. Disappointment was expressed over the reduction of extra SAA/FAO Country Representative posts from 7 to 3. It was however noted that this was a joint decision by the Administrator of the UNDP and the Director-General in the light of the discussions at the UNDP Governing Council in June, 1971.
1 See paras. 117 and 120 below.
52. A number of members drew attention to the effect of currency changes which result in reducing the cost in national currencies of contributions of some developed countries and strongly suggested that these countries should relieve the Organization of the corresponding burden on its finances.
53. In general, the Council was deeply concerned at the large increase in the budget level due to cost increases coupled with the minimum rate of increase in programme activities, notwithstanding that there had been switches amounting to approximately $ 1.6 million from lower to high-priority activities and other new activities foreseen within the budget level, and stressed the need for continued elimination of lower-priority activities and the cutting down of costs.
54. The Council supported the helpful recommendations of the Programme Committee concerning C 71/15 and welcomed it as a signal advance in the medium-term planning of the Organization, since it provided a helpful indication of FAO's role and a basis for discussion of the policy and programming of the Organization's future activities.
55. The Council agreed that, especially having regard to the problem of continuing inflation in costs and doubts about the availability of extra-budgetary funds at the projected rate, the projections and gradings should be regarded as trend indicators and not as financial targets, and that the provision of resources had to be decided on the basis of biennial Programmes of Work and Budget in the light of circumstances then obtaining.
56. It was generally agreed that further effort was necessary to define strategies and objectives, select priorities and relate them to the strategies and objectives, rigorously to eliminate lower-priority activities, to economize in the use of resources and to improve evaluation of both extra-budgetary and Regular Programme activities. In this connexion, it was noted that with this end in view the Director-General had decided to speed up implementation of the next stage of the programme, planning and budgeting system as from the beginning of 1972.
57. Members of the Council made comments on the balance between Areas of Concentration and the priority gradings of some sub-programmes, but agreed that these questions required further detailed study by the Council in the light of the views of the Sixteenth Session of the Conference. With this in view the Council agreed that as appropriate, the Council Committees on Fisheries, etc., and the Programme Committee should review the sub-programme gradings and report thereon to the Council.
58. The Council commended the attention of the Conference to C 71/15 as a valuable document upon which the Conference could provide the necessary guidance to the Organization for the planning of its future activities, within the limits of available resources as approved in biennial Programmes of Work and Budget, and for the scheduled biennial revisions of the Plan.
59. The Council also noted the proposal of the Director-General that the first item on the Agenda of the proposed new Committee on Agriculture should be a review of the programme in C 71/15 relating to the work of the Agriculture and Economic and Social Departments and that other suggested agenda items were consideration of the possibilities and opportunities of an FAO Seeds Programmes, certain food and nutrition problems (especially in view of the Conference discussion on protein Problems) and certain problems relating to increasing agricultural productivity with special reference to problems and needs in the more difficult or less favourable areas.
1 CL 57/PV-3, CL 57/PV-4 and CL 57/PV-7.
2 C 71/15.
60. The Council had before it two documents on this subject, CL 57/9 and CL 57/9 Add. 1. Document CL 57/9 stated that while the Council at its Fifty-Sixth Session had considered the Ninth Annual Report of the Intergovernmental Committee of the World Food Programme, it had been unable at that time to take action on the draft resolution to the FAO Conference contained therein concerning WFP's pledging target for 1973–74. This was because the IGC itself at its Nineteenth Session had been unable to determine the amount of that target, postponing such action until its Twentieth Session in Rome in October 1971. Document CL 57/9 Add. 1 informed the Council that the target had now been set by the IGC at its Twentieth Session at $340 million and hence the draft resolution, amended to contain this figure, could now be considered by the Council.
61. In introducing the draft resolution, the Executive Director said he hoped the Council would approve the target as the Economic and Social Council had done the week before. He pointed out that while the target perhaps appeared optimistic, in fact it justly interpreted the needs of the developing countries and would enable the Programme to continue to maintain the level of its development and emergency projects. Recent levels had unfortunately been limited by lack of resources and therefore even if pledges to the Programme resumed their former steady growth, WFP would probably not be able to attain by the end of the decade the levels foreseen in 1969 and 1970. The Executive Director stated that it had been hoped that by 1975–76, WFP could have doubled the amount of resources called for by its present 1971–72 target, but this did not now appear likely. He further noted that such progress depended in great part on the willingness of certain donors to extend more aid through the WFP. This eventuality was to be hoped for, as the needs of developing countries for food aid remained high despite the improvement of food production and the particular impact of the introduction of high-yielding varieties of grain.
62. Several members voiced their disappointment that the current WFP target of $300 million had not yet been fulfilled because some potential donors had not participated to the extent anticipated. It was noted that the resulting diminished multilateral nature of the Programme would not permit the kind of growth needed to reach the goals of the Second Development Decade.
63. The Council expressed its strong support for the work of WFP. One member specifically said that his Government would substantially increase its pledge for 1973–74. Another member, representing one of the major donors, said that in the interest of multilateralism, beginning with the 1973–74 pledge, his Government would contribute a percentage share not exceeding 40 percent of actual total contributions up to a stated total maximum pledge.
64. The Council then adopted the following resolution:
TARGET FOR WFP PLEDGES FOR THE PERIOD 1973–74
Having considered the ninth annual report of the IGC of WFP;
Noting the comments of the IGC and its recommendation concerning the target for voluntary contributions to the Programme for the period 1973–1974;
Recalling resolutions 2462 (XXIII) and 2682 (XXV) of the General Assembly, which recognized the experience gained by WFP in the field of multilateral food aid:
Submits for consideration and approval of the Conference of the FAO the attached 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 Fifth Pledging Conference for the World Food Programme.
1 CL 57/PV-4 and CL 57/PV-7.
DRAFT RESOLUTION FOR THE CONFERENCE
Target for WFP Pledges for the Period 1973–1974
Recalling the provisions of resolution 4/65 that the World Food Programme is to be reviewed before each pledging conference;
Recalling the provisions of operative paragraph 4 of resolution 3/69 that, subject to the review mentioned above, the next pledging conference 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 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 Nineteenth Session and by the FAO Council at its Fifty-Sixth Session;
Having considered Resolution 1/57 of the FAO Council as well as the recommendations of the Intergovernmental Committee;
Recognizing the value of multilateral food aid as implemented by WFP 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 1973 and 1974 a target for voluntary contributions of $340 million, of which not less than one third should be in cash and/or 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 of the United Nations, to make every effort to ensure the full attainment of the target.
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 1972.
Decides that, subject to the review provided for in resolution 4/65 the following pledging conference at which Governments should be invited to pledge contributions for 1975 and 1976 with a view to reaching such a target as may be then recommended by the General Assembly and the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization, should be convened at the latest early in 1974.
65. The Council agreed to put the following nominations before the Conference:
|Chairman of the Conference:||Ian M. Sinclair (Australia)|
|Commission I||:||Habib Thiam (Senegal)|
|Commission II||:||Hans Jorgen Kristensen (Denmark)|
|Commission III||:||Francisco Medina Ascensio (Mexico)|
66. In accordance with Rule XXIV-5(b) of the General Rules of the Organization, the Council elected the following eleven Member Nations to the Nominations Committee:
Germany (Fed. Rep. of)
67. The Council nominated Tom S. Bavin, (International Federation of Plantation, Agricultural and Allied Workers) to be Chairman of the informal meeting of observers from non-governmental organizations, which would be held on the afternoon of Monday 8 November 1971.
68. The Council noted that since is had approved the Provisional Agenda for the Sixteenth Session of the Conference it had been necessary to add a few sub-items to the Provisional Agenda. These were:
|Item 14(f)||Relations with International Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations|
|Item 23(a)||Granting of Official Status to International Non-Governmental Organizations|
|Item 23(b)||FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission|
|Item 27(a)||Regulation III: Budget|
|Item 27(b)||Regulation XII: External Audit|
69. The Council also noted the proposal to alter Item 13 to read “Medium-Term Plan”, to bring it into line with the accepted terminology within the UN system, and that Item 26 should be completed to read “Reimbursement of Withdrawals from the Working Capital Fund”.
70. In connexion with Item 29 of the Provisional Agenda, the Council noted that further applications for membership in the Organization had been received from Bahrain, Qatar and Swaziland. These applications had been circulated to all Member Nations on 6 October 1971.
71. The Council received a suggestion that Commission II should examine Item 12 “Programme of Work and Budget 1972–73” before Item 13 “Medium-Term Plan”, and that this latter item might be examined by joint meetings of Commissions I and II. This suggestion would be put before the General Committee of the Conference for consideration when this Committee made its recommendation on the final Conference Session Timetable.
1 CL 57/PV-5.
2 See paras. 109–111 below.
72. The Council noted that the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters (CCLM) had, within the framework of the examination of the Basic Texts of FAO, considered two specific questions, namely:
the procedure for filling the post of Chairman or Vice-Chairman of the Programme or Finance Committee in the event of a vacancy occurring between Conference Sessions and,
the definition, in the General Rules of the Organization, of the qualifications of members of the Programme and Finance Committees.
Since both these questions were of direct concern to the Programme and Finance Committees, they had been considered by these Committees and the CCLM had thus been in position to take their views into account.
73. The Council noted that the Chairman of both the Programme and Finance Committees are elected, along with the members and alternates of these Committees, at each post-Conference session of the Council in accordance with Rules XXVI-1 and XXVII-1 GRO. Each Committee elects a Vice-Chairman at the first session following the appointment of the Committee by the Council (Rule I-1 of the Rules of Procedure of the two Committees) for the duration of the term of office of the Committee.
74. Recognizing that practical difficulties might arise from the absence of a provision pertaining to the occurrence of a vacancy of the office of Chairman or Vice-Chairman, the Council agreed that it would be desirable to introduce appropriate provisions in the Basic Texts which would fill this gap.
75. Since the appointment of a Vice-Chairman is vested in each of the Committees, the filling of a vacancy can be provided for in their Rules of Procedure, and the Council accordingly recommended that the Programme and Finance Committees adopt the following amendment to Rule I-1 of their respective Rules of Procedure:2
1. At the first session after its establishment by the Council, pursuant to Rule XXVI, paragraph 1 3 of the General Rules of the Organization, the Committee shall elect a Vice-Chairman from among its members, who shall remain in office for two years 4. If the Vice-Chairman is prevented from exercising his functions for the remainder of his term of office, due to resignation, disability, death or for any other reasons, the Committee shall elect a new Vice-Chairman from among its members for the remainder of the Committee's term of office.”
1 CL 57/PV-6, CL 57/REP/CW and CL 57/4.
2 Text underlined to be added.
3 In the case of the Finance Committee, Rule XXVII - paragraph 1.
4 The phrase “who shall remain in office for two years” does not appear in the Rules of Procedure of the Finance Committee. The Council, bearing in mind the desirability of harmonizing the Basic Texts, also endorsed the proposal of the CCLM that the Finance Committee be invited to amend Rule I.1 of its Rules of Procedure accordingly.
76. The Council noted that to cover the contingency of a vacancy in the office of Chairman, provision could be made either for assumption of the functions of Chairman by the Vice-Chairman or for the election of a new Chairman by the Council. The Council concurring with the views of the Programme Committee, the Finance Committee and the CCLM gave preference to the first solution which appeared to have the merit of simplicity and expediency and did not require an amendment to the General Rules of the Organization. It therefore recommended that Rule I of the Rules of Procedure of the Programme and Finance Committees be amended by the addition thereto of the following paragraph:
“3. If the Chairman of the Committee is prevented from exercising his functions for the remainder of his term of office, due to resignation, disability, death, or for any other reasons, his functions shall be assumed by the Vice-Chairman for the remainder of the Chairman's term of office. The Committee shall elect a new Vice-Chairman from among its members for the remainder of the Committee's term of office.”
77. The Council noted that the qualifications required for eligibility to membership in the Programme and Finance Committees are defined in Rules XXVI-1 and XXVII-1 GRO. It observed that, under these provisions, any candidates for election to the Programme Committee must have shown a deep interest in the objectives of FAO and must have participated in Conference and Council sessions and other technical activities of the Organization, while candidates for election to the Finance Committee must be in government service and have special competence in financial and administrative matters.
78. The Council endorsed the views of the Programme and Finance Committees and the CCLM to the effect that, while it would be desirable that the members of both Committees should be selected from among persons who have shown a continued interest in the objectives and activities of the Organization, it did not seem necessary to require that such persons should have participated in Sessions of both the Council and the Conference. The Council considered that members of the Programme Committee should have special competence and experience in economic, social and technical matters pertaining to the various fields of the Organization's activities, and members of the Finance Committee should have special competence and experience in administrative and financial matters.
79. The Council considered the advantages and disadvantages of maintaining the requirement of Government service in respect of members of the Finance Committee. Having taken note of the reservations expressed by some members, the Council nevertheless concluded that the introduction of the requirement that members of the Finance Committee, like those of the Programme Committee, must have participated in Conference or Council sessions, would obviate the necessity of retaining the present requirement that only persons in government service may be elected to membership in the Finance Committee. The Council therefore agreed to recommend to the Conference that the first sentence of Rules XXVI-1 and XXVII-1, respectively, be amended to read as follows:
1. The Programme Committee provided for in paragraph 6 of Article V of the Constitution shall be composed of a Chairman, six other members, and a first, second and third alternate, all selected by the Council in a personal capacity from among individuals who have shown a continued interest in the objectives and activities of the Organization, have participated in Conference or Council sessions and have special competence and experience in economic, social and technical matters pertaining to the various fields of the Organization's activities.”
1. The Finance Committee provided for in paragraph 6 of Article V of the Constitution shall be composed of a Chairman, four other members, and a first, second and third alternate, all selected by the Council in a personal capacity from among individuals who have shown a continued interest in the objectives and activities of the Organization, have participated in Conference or Council sessions and have special competence and experience in administrative and financial matters.”
80. The Council recalled that the Conference, at its Fifteenth Session (November 1969), had decided that “the status, functions and term of office of the Independent Chairman should be set out in more detail in the Basic Texts of the Organization” and had requested the Council “to prepare appropriate amendments to the Basic Texts for consideration by the Conference at its Sixteenth Session, taking into account the views expressed at the Conference”. 1 The Council, at its Fifty-Fifth Session, had therefore requested the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters (CCLM) to consider the question.
81. The Council noted that the CCLM had considered the following questions:
the method of election of the Chairman of the Council;
the duration of his term of office;
the concept of “independence” and the qualifications that a Chairman of the Council should possess;
his functions during Council sessions;
his functions between Council sessions; and
the principle of rotation of the post between regions.
82. Having considered the recommendations submitted by the CCLM in the report of its Twenty-Fifth Session 2, the Council decided to endorse them.
83. Accordingly, the Council agreed that there was no need to amend the Basic Texts regarding the method of election of the Chairman of the Council. The Council also agreed that no amendment to the Basic Texts was called for either to reflect the view expressed by the Conference at its Fifteenth Session, that being in government service was not incompatible with the “independence” of the Chairman of the Council; or to list the qualities that a Chairman of the Council should possess. Nor was it necessary to refer to the principle of the rotation of the post between regions in the Basic Texts.
84. The Council noted that the role of the Chairman of the Council during sessions had not given rise to any difficulties and that, therefore, no amendments to the provisions in the Basic Texts were necessary. As to the question whether provisions should be inserted in the Basic Texts specifying the meeting, other than those of the Programme and Finance Committees as already provided for in Rules XXVI-6 and XXVII-6 GRO, which the Chairman of the Council might in exceptional circumstances attend, the Council noted that existing provisions did not preclude his attending other meetings and decided that it would not be desirable to attempt to enumerate these meetings in the Basic Texts.
1 Report of the Fifteenth Session of the Conference, paragraph 594.
2 CL 57/4.
85. With respect to the duration of the term of office of the Chairman of the Council, at the Fifteenth Session of the Conference the general view expressed was that the Chairman of the Council should be appointed for two years and that this term of office should not be renewable. The Council decided that the amendment of Rule XXIII-1 GRO to this effect was necessary and recommended to the Conference the adoption of the Resolution set forth in paragraph 7 of CL 57/4. Some members, however, expressed the view that in order to discharge his functions effectively, it would be preferable to enable the Chairman of the Council to remain in office for four years and could not therefore support this Resolution.
86. The Council recommended the following resolution, containing an amendment to Rule Rule XXIII-1 GRO which would provide that the Chairman of the Council would be appointed for two years and that his term of office was not renewable, for adoption by the Conference:
DRAFT RESOLUTION FOR THE CONFERENCE
Functions and Term of Office of the Independent Chairman of the Council
Recalling that at its Fifteenth Session it considered the functions of the post of independent Chairman of the Council, and that it requested the Council to prepare, for consideration at its Sixteenth Session, appropriate amendments to the Basic Texts taking into account the view expressed at the Conference;
Noting that this matter had been considered by the Council at its Fifty-Sixth Session, by the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters at its Twenty-Fifth Session and again by the Council at its Fifty-Seventh Session;
Endorsing the recommendation made by the Council at its Fifty-Seventh Session to the effect that the term of office of the Chairman of the Council shall be two years non-renewable;
Decides to amend paragraph 1 of Rule XXIII of the General Rules of the Organization to read as follows 1:
CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL
1. In pursuance of paragraph 2 of Article V of the Constitution [the Chairman of the Council shall be appointed for two years] the Conference shall appoint an independent Chairman of the Council under the following conditions:
(a) The Chairman of the Council shall be appointed for a term of office of two years which shall not be renewable
(Sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) to become sub-paragraphs (b) and (c)).
Decides further that the above amendment to paragraph 1 of Rule XXIII shall not apply to the Chairman of the Council appointed by the Conference at its Fifteenth Session.
1 The words underlined are to be added and the words in square brackets to be deleted.
87. At its Fifteenth Session, the Conference had decided to review at its following session the method of balloting for elections to the Committee on Commodity Problems in the light of any recommendations to be submitted by the Council. Accordingly, the Council had considered this question at its Fifty-Sixth Session, and had requested the CCP to report its views on the subject. The Council again examined the matter at its present session in the light of the discussion held at the Forty-Sixth Session of the CCP.
88. After noting some of the difficulties experienced with the outcome of the balloting for the election of the members of the CCP for the 1970–71 biennium, and after having discussed possible alternatives, the Council decided 3 to recommend the Conference that membership of the CCP should be open to all interested member nations on a trial basis, as proposed for the Committee on Fisheries. Accordingly, the Council recommended the following draft resolution for adoption by the Conference:
DRAFT RESOLUTION FOR THE CONFERENCE
Change in the Structure of the Committee on Commodity Problems
Having noted the views of the Council and the Committee on Commodity Problems regarding the structure and composition of this Committee;
Considering that it would be desirable to open the Committee on Commodity Problems to all interested Member Nations on a trial basis;
- I -
1. The Committee on Commodity Problems shall be open to all interested Member Nations for a trial period of two years, at the end of which the structure and composition of the Committee and the method of appointment of its members shall be reviewed by the Conference.
2. The appointment of the members of the Committee shall be carried out in accordance with the following procedure:
The member of the Committee on Commodity Problems provided for in paragraph 6 of Article V of the Constitution shall be appointed by the Council for a period of two years at the session of the Council immediately following the regular session of the Conference.
The Committee shall be composed of those Member Nations which notify the Director-General in writing of their desire to be appointed as members of the Committee in view of their interest in the work of the Committee and their intention to participate actively, for a two-year period, in the efficient discharge of the Committee's mandate.
The Director-General shall determine and communicate to all Member Nations the date by which such notifications shall be made and shall submit a list of such notifications to the Council not later than on the day set by the Council for the appointment of the members of the Committee.
3. Members of the Committee should, as far as possible, be represented by their most senior officers concerned with commodity problems of an international character.
- II -
The provisions of paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of Rule XXIX of the General Rules of the Organization are hereby suspended in accordance with paragraph 1 of Rule XXXIX of the General Rules of the Organization, for a period of two years.
1 C 57/REP/CW-Sup.1, C 71/LIM/10 and paras. 6–16 above.
2 CL 57/PV-5.
3 By a vote of 18 in favour and 9 against.
89. The Council recalled that certain subsidiary bodies of the CCP had raised the question of their nomenclature and that when the CCP considered the matter at its Forty-Fifth Session (October 1970) the view had been expressed that the term “Commodity Study Group” no longer accurately reflected the changing functions of certain of these groups. At the suggestion of the CCP, the Council, at its Fifty-Fifth Session (October–November 1970), had requested the CCLM to study the legal problems arising out of the nomenclature of the subsidiary bodies of the CCP.
90. The Council noted that in the Reports of its Twenty-Third and Twenty-Fourth Sessions (March and May 1970, respectively) 2 the CCLM had made a number of recommendations to which the CCP had agreed at its Forty-Sixth Session (October 1971) 3. The Council reviewed the recommendations of the CCLM and decided to endorse them.
91. Accordingly the Council agreed that all “commodity study groups” should be renamed “intergovernmental commodity groups” on a given commodity, it being understood that the characteristics included in the definition of commodity study groups adopted by the Council at its Fortieth Session (June 1963) 4 would continue to apply despite any change in nomenclature. Subsidiary bodies established by intergovernmental commodity groups would be called “sub-groups” and the term “working party” would be used for subsidiary bodies established by such “sub-groups”.
92. The Council agreed that a reference to “ad hoc subsidiary bodies” should be substituted for “subsidiary working parties” in Rule XXIX-9 GRO and Rule VII-1 of the Rules of Procedure of the CCP.
93. The Council further agreed that Rule XXIX-9 GRO and Rule VII-1 of the Rules of Procedure of the CCP should be amended in order to make it clear that commodity study groups were open to all Member Nations and Associate Members of the Organization that indicated to the Director-General their interest in becoming members of such groups.
94. The Council recommended the following draft resolution, containing amendments to Rule XXIX-9 GRO and Financial Regulation 5.9; an amendment to Rule VII-1 of the Rules of Procedure of the CCP which that Committee is invited to make; and also a decision to the effect that the characteristics included in the definition of commodity study groups adopted by the Council at its Fortieth Session would continue to apply after their designation had been changed to “intergovernmental commodity groups”, for adoption by the Conference:
1 CL 57/REP/CW-Sup.1.
2 CL 56/5 and 56/6.
3 CL 57/2.
4 Report of the Fortieth Session of the Council, paragraph 31.
DRAFT RESOLUTION FOR THE CONFERENCE
Nomenclature of CCP Subsidiary Bodies
Noting that the nomenclature of the subsidiary bodies of the Committee on Commodity Problems dealing with single commodities or groups of related commodities has been examined by the Council, the Committee on Commodity Problems and the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters;
Considering that certain clarifications regarding the elegibility for membership of such subsidiary bodies of the Committee on Commodity Problems are desirable;
Decides to endorse the recommendations of the Council set out in document C 71/LIM/20 and to amend Rule XXIX-9 of the General Rules of the Organization, and Financial Regulation 5.9 as follows by deleting the words in square brackets and adding the words underlined:
9. The Committee may, when necessary, establish sub-committees, [subsidiary working parties or commodity study groups,] Intergovernmental commodity groups and ad hoc subsidiary bodies, subject to the necessary funds being available in the relevant chapter of the approved budget of the Organization. [and] It may include in the membership of such subcommittees [or subsidiary working parties] and ad hoc subsidiary bodies, Member Nations that are not members of the Committee and Associate Members. [The Council may admit to membership of commodity study groups established by the Committee] Membership of intergovernmental commodity groups established by the Committee shall be open to all Member Nations and Associate Members of the Organization and the Council may admit to membership of such groups, nations which, while not Member Nations or Associate Members of the Organization, are members of the United Nations. It may authorize the Director-General to invite at their request nations which, while not Member Nations or Associate Members of the Organization are Members of the United Nations, to attend consultations, convened under paragraph 1(e) of Rule XXIX of the General Rules of the Organization, on individual commodities and participate in the discussions, with the right to vote and to hold office. Former Member Nations of the Organization that have withdrawn leaving arrears of contributions shall not be admitted to membership in [commodity study groups] intergovernmental commodity groups or attend consultations on individual commodities until such time as they have paid up all such arrears or the Conference has approved an arrangement for the settlement thereof, or unless the Council, in special circumstances, decides otherwise with respect to such admission.”
“Final Regulation 5.9
Non-Member Nations of the Organization that are Members of [commodity study groups] intergovernmental commodity groups:.....”
Invites the Committee on Commodity Problems to amend Rule VII-1 of its Rules of Procedure, as follows, by deleting the words in square brackets and adding the words underlined:
1. In accordance with the provisions of Rule XXIX-9 of the General Rules of the Organization, the Committee may, when necessary, establish subcommittees, [subsidiary working parties or commodity study groups] intergovernmental commodity groups and ad hoc subsidiary bodies, subject to the necessary funds being available in the relevant chapter of the approved budget of the Organization. [and] It may include in the membership of such sub-committees [or subsidiary working parties] and ad hoc subsidiary bodies, Member Nations that are not Members of the Committee and Associate Members. [The] Membership of [commodity study groups] intergovernmental commodity groups established by the Committee [may include] shall be open to all Member Nations and Associate Members of the Organization and the Council may admit to membership of such groups, nations which, while not Member Nations or Associate Members of the Organization, are members of the United Nations.”
Decides that characteristics included in the definition of the term “commodity study group” adopted by the Council at its Fortieth Session shall apply to intergovernmental commodity groups: it being understood that non-Member Nations of the Organization that are Members of the United Nations shall be admitted to membership of intergovernmental commodity groups on the conditions specified in Rule XXIX-9 of the General Rules of the Organization.
95. The Council took note of the report 2, and the additional oral presentation, listing those international non-governmental organizations without status that had been invited to specific FAO meetings 3.
96. The Council considered Documents CL 57/13 and CL 57/13 Corr.1, concerning Statutes, Rules of Procedure and Financial Regulations of FAO subsidiary bodies and setting forth
a proposal for establishing a Near East Nutrition Commission and Draft Statutes for that Commission, and
an amendment to the Financial Regulations of the European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease.
97. The Council recalled that it had already given preliminary consideration at its Forty-Eighth, Forty-Ninth and Fifty-First Sessions to a proposal which emanated from the Eighth Regional Conference and that it had requested the Director-General to enter into consultation with WHO for the purpose of drawing-up Statutes for a Joint FAO/WHO Commission. The Council took note of the fact that the recommendation for the Establishment of a Regional Commission - either as a Joint Commission or as a Commission under FAO auspices only - had been reiterated at the Tenth Regional Conference and that, as a result of the resumption of consultations with WHO, the Secretariats of the two Organizations had reached the conclusion that the best solution would be for FAO to establish the Commission on the basis of Article VI of the FAO Constitution and to make provision for cooperation with WHO at the technical level.
98. Having examined the proposal and the text of the Draft Statutes submitted to it, the Council approved the establishment of a Regional Food and Nutrition Commission for the Near East and adopted the following resolution:
1 CL 57/REP/CW.
2 CL 57/10.
3 The following three organizations were mentioned in the oral presentation:
- African Wildlife Leadership Foundation; Mediterranean Association of Marine Biology and Oceanology; Mediterranean Marine Sorting Centre.
ESTABLISHMENT OF A REGIONAL FOOD AND NUTRITION COMMISSION FOR THE NEAR EAST
Recalling Conference Resolution No. 13/61 by which the Conference approved in principle the creation of regional food and nutrition commissions, at the request of the governments concerned;
Considering the wish expressed at the Eighth and Tenth Regional Conference regarding the establishment of such a commission for the Near East;
Reaffirming the need for a regular exchange of information gained from research in applied nutrition and for concerted and coordinated action within the region;
Convinced that the establishment of a regional commission will contribute to the solution of nutritional problems in the Near East Region;
Acting under the terms of Article VI-1 of the Constitution providing that the Council may establish regional commissions to advise on the formulation and implementation of policy and to coordinate the implementation of policy;
Hereby establishes the Regional Food and Nutrition Commission for the Near East whose statutes shall be as hereinafter set forth:
STATUTES FOR THE REGIONAL FOOD AND NUTRITION COMMISSION FOR THE NEAR EAST
Membership of the Commission
1. Membership of the Commission shall be open to those Member Nations and Associate Members of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) whose territories are situated wholly or in part in the Near East Region as defined by FAO.
2. Members of the Commission shall comprise such eligible states as have notified the Director-General of FAO of their desire to be considered as members.
Terms of Reference of the Commission
The terms of reference of the Commission shall be:
by means of regular meetings and correspondence through its Secretariat, to review and exchange information and experience on food and nutrition policies and programmes and on problems encountered in their formulation, execution, follow-up and evaluation;
to recommend, on the basis of a review of food and nutrition problems in the region, a programme of work, indicating priorities, for national and international action appropriate to the solution of these problems within the context of national development plans;
to stimulate the measures needed for members of the Commission to establish food and nutrition policies and programmes.
1. The Commission shall hold at least one session every two years. Sessions will be convened by the Director-General.
2. Each member of the Commission shall have one vote. Representatives of members of the Commission may be accompanied by alternates, experts and advisers.
3. The Secretariat of the Commission shall consist of the Regional Nutrition Officers of FAO or other officers designated by the Director-General.
4. The role of the Secretariat shall be to provide technical documentation for the Commission and to prepare its reports. This will involve:
the assembly of information on food and nutrition matters in the Near East, such as on food supplies, their consumption, the nutritional status of the population, the distribution, preservation, processing and preparation of foodstuffs, nutrition education and applied food and nutrition programmes;
the study, interpretation and dissemination of such information in order to assist members of the Commission in the implementation of food and nutrition policies and programmes.
5. Members of the Commission shall appoint a liaison officer with whom the Secretariat can communicate.
1. Any Member and any Associate Member of FAO that is not a member of the Commission but has a special interest in the work of the Commission may, upon request to the Director-General of FAO, attend sessions of the Commission in an observer capacity in accordance with the principles established from time to time by the governing bodies of FAO.
2. States, which, while not Member Nations or Associate Members of FAO, are Members of the United Nations may, upon their request to the Director-General of FAO, be invited to participate in an observer capacity at sessions of the Commission, in accordance with the principles established from time to time by the governing bodies of FAO.
Cooperation with International Organizations
1. FAO will seek to ensure close consultation and cooperation with the World Health Organization on matters to be considered by the Commission, particularly with regard to public health aspects of nutrition.
2. Participation of international organizations in the work of the Commission and the relations between the Commission and such organizations shall be governed by principles established from time to time by the governing bodies of FAO.
1. Expenses incurred by representatives of Members and their alternates, experts and advisers as well as expenses of observers of organizations and of states which are not members of the Commission, in connexion with their attendance at sessions of the Commission, shall be borne by the respective governments and organizations.
2. FAO shall bear the expenses involved in servicing the Commission and providing its Secretariat.
Reports and Recommendations
The Commission shall, through the Director-General of FAO, report and submit recommendations to the governing bodies of FAO. Copies of these reports, including any conclusions and recommendations of the Commission, shall be forwarded, for information, as soon as they become available, to all interested Member Nations and Associate Members of FAO and to international organizations concerned.
The Commission may establish such subsidiary bodies as it deems necessary for the accomplishment of its task, subject to the availability of funds as determined by the Director-General.
Rules of Procedure
The Commission may adopt and amend its own rules of procedure, which shall come into force upon approval by the Director-General of FAO, subject to confirmation by the FAO Council.
99. Pursuant to a recommendation by the External Auditor of the Organization, the European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease adopted, at its Eleventh Session, an amendment to Regulation 6.2.2 of its Financial Regulations.
100. Under the provisions of Article VIII of the Constitution of the Commission, any amendments to its Rules of Procedure and Financial Regulations come into force upon approval by the Director-General subject to confirmation by the FAO Council.
101. The Council noted that the Director-General had approved the amendment on 25 June 1971. Having taken cognizance of the amendment, as reproduced in paragraph 15 of Document CL 57/13, the Council decided to confirm the said amendment in accordance with the provisions of Article VIII of the Commission's Constitution.
102. The Council was informed that the Director-General, in accordance with Paragraphs B-1 and B-2 of the “Statement of Principles Relating to the Granting of Observer Status to Nations” 2, had on request invited the USSR to attend the following two sessions: AGA 872 Research Group of the Standing Committee of the European Committee for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease, Tubingen, 20–22 October 1971 (request received on 14 July 1971); FI 889 Executive Committee of the Indian Ocean Fishery Commission (second session), Rome, 7–10 September 1971 (request received on 13 August 1971).
103. The Council requested that in future the Director-General should provide it with a brief note on the significance of the attendance of non-Member Nations at each FAO session to which they are invited.
1 CL 57/LIM/1.
2 FAO Basic Texts, Vol. II, 1970 edition, Section I.
104. The Council noted that unpaid contributions totalled $5 262 843 on 2 November 1971, including $953 219 representing arrears of contributions due for 1970 or earlier years. (See Appendix E).
105. In view of the difficult budgetary situation faced by the Organization, the Council recommended that the Conference appeal to all Member Nations to settle their outstanding commitments as soon as possible as continued delays could have adverse repercussions on budgetary resources in 1972–73.
106. The Council further noted that as the arrears of the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Paraguay exceeded the contributions due from them for the two preceding Calendar Years, these countries would risk losing their vote at the forthcoming Session of the Conference in accordance with Article III. 4 of the Constitution.
107. The Council also noted that, in accordance with General Rule XXII-7, Chile would need to pay an amount of $46 000 by 31 December 1971 in order to retain its membership in the Council during the calendar year 1972.
108. The Council noted that as at 30 September 1971 the cash expenditure ($57 346 000) and unliquidated obligations ($10 507 000) recorded in the books of the Organization in respect of the biennium 1970–71 totalled $67 853 000 against allotments issued of $72 218 000 (representing the appropriations for the 1970–71 biennium increased by the withdrawal of $1 650 000 from the Working Capital Fund authorized under Council Resolution 5/55).
109. At its Fifty-Sixth Session, the Council was informed that applications for Membership had been received from Fiji, the Maldives and Oman. Applications for Membership had since then been received from Bahrain, Qatar and Swaziland.
110. The Council noted that should the Sixteenth Session of the Conference approve these six applications the assessments of each would be 0.04 percent, the minimum rate.
111. The Council further noted that the contributions due for 1971 from Fiji, the Maldives, Oman and Swaziland would be $3 200 each. Bahrain and Qatar would both be called upon to pay an additional assessment for 1971 of $1 277.60, being the difference between the full contribution of 0.04 percent and the Associate Membership contribution of 0.024 percent for the last quarter of the year. Each of the six countries would be required to make an advance of $1 800 to the Working Capital Fund.
1 CL 57/REP/CW and CL 57/PV-6.
2 See paras. 68–71 above.
112. The Council noted that the following withdrawals from the Working Capital Fund had been made:
$127 654 against the authority to withdraw up to $150 000 to meet the cost of engaging outside consulting services to assist in improving the Organization's methods, systems, procedures and practices (Council Resolution 5/51);
$1 650 000 against the authority to withdraw up to that amount to meet part of the unbudgeted increases in staff remuneration in the 1970–71 biennium; (Council Resolution 5/55);
$8 650 for emergency expenditure on a detailed survey of the Desert Locust situation in the Spanish Sahara, authorized by the Director-General (pursuant to Resolution 17/69 of the Fifteenth Session of the Conference) on the recommendation of an Advisory Panel of Experts, and after consultation with the Chairman of the Finance Committee.
113. The Council noted that the Director-General expected that a substantial cash surplus would arise at the end of the 1970–71 biennium and that that surplus would be adequate to reimburse the Working Capital Fund in respect of the above withdrawals. The Council recommended that notwithstanding the provisions of Financial Regulation 6.1 (b) this surplus be withheld and used to reimburse the Working Capital Fund. It accordingly recommended the following draft Resolution for adoption by the Conference:
DRAFT RESOLUTION FOR THE CONFERENCE
Reimbursement of Working Capital Fund for Withdrawals Made in 1968–69 and 1970–71 2
Noting that the Council, at its Fifty-First Session, had authorized the withdrawal from the Working Capital Fund of up to $150 000 to finance a study to improve FAO's methods, systems, procedures and practices, and that an amount of $127 654 had actually been withdrawn to meet part of these costs;
Noting that the Council at its Fifty-Fifth Session had authorized the withdrawal from the Working Capital Fund of up to $1 650 000 to finance additional expenditure resulting from increases in staff remuneration;
Noting that the Director-General under the provisions of Resolution 17/69, acting on the recommendation of the Advisory Panel of Experts set up to advise him on initial control activities against the Desert Locust in emergencies and after consultation with the Chairman of the Finance Committee, had withdrawn $8 650 from the Working Capital Fund for the purpose of an emergency survey in the Spanish Sahara;
Noting that in accordance with Financial Regulation 6.5(b) advances made from the Working Capital Fund to finance emergency expenditures shall be reimbursed by such method as the Conference determines;
1 CL 57/REP/CW and CL 57/PV-6.
2 See also draft Conference resolution in para. 120 below.
Further noting that the Director-General expected that, provided Member Nations duly paid their contributions in good time, a substantial cash surplus would arise in the 1970–71 biennium;
Decides that, notwithstanding the provisions of Financial Regulation 6.1 (b), such cash surplus as may arise in the 1970–71 biennium shall be withheld and used to the extent necessary to reimburse the Working Capital Fund in respect of the above-mentioned withdrawals.
114. The Council noted that additional unbudgeted costs had ensued in 1971 from changes in exchange rates and from additional Professional Staff post adjustments and General Service staff wage index adjustments. The Council was informed that for 1971 these additional costs were estimated to amount to some $500 000 and that the Director-General would endeavour to absorb these extra costs by curtailing or postponing activities wherever possible.
115. As regards 1972–73, the Director-General estimated that exchange loss developments and inflationary trends would again result in substantial additional costs. The Council was informed that the Director-General had tentatively estimated these extra costs to be around $3.5 million over and above the revised budget level for the biennium. The Council noted that the Director-General had undertaken to make saving during the biennium to an amount of $600 000 1.
116. In view of the tentative nature of the estimates of the extra costs, the Council felt that the matter should be further reviewed at its next Session but that in the meantime the Director-General should be authorized to withdraw from the Working Capital Fund, as and when necessary, the sum of $1 000 000 to meet the cost of such increases as would be in effect as early as January 1972.
117. The Council adopted the following Resolution:
WITHDRAWAL FROM THE WORKING CAPITAL FUND IN 1972–73
Noting that for the 1972–73 biennium increases in Headquarters Professional staff remuneration resulting from changes in post adjustments, in Headquarters General Service staff remuneration, and losses from changes in currency exchange rates are estimated to exceed the budgetary estimates by an amount of approximately $3 500 000, and that part of such increases is expected to be in effect as early as January 1972;
Noting that the Director-General has undertaken to make savings during the 1972–73 biennium to an amount of $600 000 to meet part of these increased costs:
Authorizes the Director-General, in accordance with Financial Regulation 6.2(a), to withdraw as and when necessary an amount of $1 000 000 from the Working Capital Fund for the purpose of financing additional expenditure in 1972–73 resulting from the unbudgeted increases in expenditure referred to in the first paragraph of this resolution.
1 See para. 44 above.
118. As stated in paragraph 113 above, the Director-General expected, provided Member Nations pay their contributions in good time, a substantial cash surplus would arise in 1970–71. The Council noted that this surplus was expected to cover, in addition to the amounts needed to reimburse the Working Capital fund in respect of withdrawals previously authorized and made 1, such further amount as may be withdrawn under the authority contained in Resolution 3/57 above.
119. The Council recommended that, notwithstanding the provisions of Financial Regulation 6.1 (b) the excess of the 1970–71 cash surplus over the amount required to reimburse the Working Capital Fund in respect of withdrawals previously made be witheld and used to reimburse the Working Capital Fund for the additional amount withdrawn under Resolution 3/57 above.
120. The Council accordingly recommended the following draft resolution for adoption by the Conference:
DRAFT RESOLUTION FOR THE CONFERENCE
Reimbursement of Working Capital Fund for Withdrawals Made in 1972–73
Noting that the Council at its Fifty-Seventh Session had authorized a withdrawal from the Working Capital Fund of $1 000 000 to meet unbudgeted costs in the 1972–73 biennium resulting from increases in Headquarters Professional staff remuneration, in Headquarters General Service staff remuneration and from unbudgeted losses due to changes in exchange rates;
Noting that in accordance with Financial Regulation 6.5 (b) advances made from the Working Capital fund shall be reimbursed by such method as the Conference determines;
Further noting that the Director-General expected that provided Member Nations duly paid their contribution in good time, a cash surplus would arise in the 1970–71 biennium and that such surplus would be adequate to cover the withdrawal referred to in the first paragraph of this Resolution, in addition to the amounts needed to reimburse the Working Capital Fund in respect of withdrawals referred to in Conference Resolution..../71 2:
Decides that notwithstanding the provisions of Financial Regulation 6.1 (b), the balance of such cash surplus as may arise in the 1970–71 biennium, after reimbursement of the Working Capital Fund in respect of the withdrawals referred to in Conference Resolution...../71 2, shall be withheld and used as far as possible and to the extent necessary to reimburse the Working Capital Fund in respect of the above mentioned withdrawal.
1 See para. 112 above.
2 See draft Conference resolution in para. 113 above.
121. The Council reviewed the above accounts, while requesting that at future sessions adequate time be given for a proper review of such accounts. In the course of its examination of the accounts of the UNDP (SF Sector) for 1970, the Council noted the Finance Committee's comments concerning the desirability to initiate and expand measures aimed at improving the standard of presentation of field accounts and at examining those accounts more thoroughly at Headquarters. It noted that the Finance Committee would keep the matter under review.
122. The Council also noted the Finance Committee's comments regarding additional costs amounting to some $200,000 incurred in connection with a contract for an irrigation feasibility study. The Council noted that as a result of the problems encountered in connection with this contract, the Organization had changed its procedure to avoid recurrence of the problems. It took note that this matter also would be further reviewed by the Finance Committee.
123. In the course of its review of the Finance Committee's Report, the Council questioned the correctness of the terminology of General Rule XXVII.7(o) which required the Finance Committee to examine and “approve” the Report of the External Auditor. It recommended that on a suitable occasion this terminology be amended to give better expression to the Finance Committee's responsibilities in this respect.
124. The Council forwarded these accounts, together with those it reviewed at its Fifty-Fifth Session to the Conference, and recommended the following draft resolution for adoption by the Conference:
DRAFT RESOLUTION FOR THE CONFERENCE
Having considered the reports of the Fifty-Fifth and Fifty-Seventh Sessions of the Council;
Having examined the following audited accounts and the External Auditor's Reports thereon:
|Regular Programme, 1968–69||C 71/5|
|UNDP (Technical Assistance Sector), 1969 and 1970||C 71/6; C 71/12;|
|UNDP (Special Fund Sector), 1969 and 1970||C 71/7; C 71/13;|
|World Food Programme, 1969 and 1970||C 71/10; C 71/14;|
|Freedom-from-Hunger Campaign, 1969||C 71/8|
|European Commission for the Control of Food-and-Mouth Disease, 1969||C 71/9|
|Trust Funds, 1969||C 71/11|
Adopts the above audited accounts.
125. The Council recalled that the Ad Hoc Committee of Experts established to examine the Finances of the United Nations and the Specialized Agencies had, inter alia recommended that:
1 C 71/12, C 71/13, C 71/14, CL 57/REP/CW and CL 57/PV-6.
2 CL 57/REP/CW.
“If the organizations decide to adapt their internal regulations in order to follow the recommendations made by the Committee concerning budget preparation format and practices, they should try as far as possible to reconcile and standardize their respective financial regulations when making the necessary amendments thereto.” 1
126. The first regulation to be standardized, as far as possible, was Regulation XII relating to External Audit. The Council noted that the Finance Committee had carefully examined the proposals submitted by the Director-General and had recommended their acceptance subject to clarification of some minor inconsistencies and lack of precision in certain wording. The Council was advised that the Consultative Committee on Administrative Questions (CCAQ) had agreed (4 – 8 October 1971) that clarification was necessary.
127. The Council was also informed that a proposal had been made to the Director-General by a special consultant, whereby there would be no need to translate or print the External Auditor's Report and the financial statements which, for the 1970–71 Biennium, had cost some $40 000. The essence of the proposal was that the Council and Conference should rely upon the Finance Committee examining these documents, and drawing to the attention of the Council and Conference any matters of particular importance. The Council did not support this proposal on the grounds that this would be an excessive delegation of authority to the Finance Committee, which did not represent governments but consisted of persons selected in a personal capacity. The Council agreed, however, that the documentation should be reduced in volume wherever possible, and invited the Finance Committee to examine the procedures involved in handling the reports and financial statements with a view to effecting reductions and economies.
128. The Council recommended the following draft resolution for adoption by the Conference:
DRAFT RESOLUTION FOR THE CONFERENCE
New Financial Regulation XII
Noting the desire of the Ad Hoc Committee of Experts established to examine the Finance of the UN and the Specialized Agencies to standardize the financial regulations of the organizations;
Decides to adopt the new Financial Regulation XII attached hereto as Appendix F-Part I, in substitution for the existing Regulation XII, attached hereto as Appendix F-Part II.
129. The Council recalled that the Conference, at its Fifteenth Session, had approved the list of sessions and conferences to be financed under the Regular Programme. It also recalled that the Fourteenth Session of the Conference had recognized that in exceptional circumstances certain unscheduled sessions might be necessary and by Resolution 21/67 had authorized the Director-General to make exceptions to the approved list when in his view, such action was necessary for the implementation of the programme of work as approved by the Conference, subject, however, to these exceptions being reported to the next session of the Council.
130. The Council noted that 11 sessions had been approved since 27 May 1971 and 35 sessions had been cancelled, making a total for the biennium of 50 unscheduled sessions approved and 78 sessions cancelled. The additional sessions approved by the Director-General since 27 May and the cancelled sessions for the same period, with their estimated costs, are listed in Appendix G.
1 A/6343, para. 52.
131. The Council agreed to re-appoint the Comptroller and Auditor-General of Great Britain for a further period of two years commencing with the accounts for the year 1972, and accordingly adopted the following resolution:
APPOINTMENT OF THE EXTERNAL AUDITOR
Noting that the Finance Committee had recommended the re-appointment of the Comptroller and Auditor-General of Great Britain as External Auditor of the Organization;
Recognizing the effective services of the External Auditor:
Decides to re-appoint the Comptroller and Auditor-General of Great Britain as External Auditor of the Organization for a further period of two years commencing with the audit of the accounts for the year 1972.
132. The Council was informed of the most recent developments in connexion with the first special contribution of 300 million Italian lire which the Italian Government had generously offered in recognition of the fact that FAO had incurred large rental expenses for outside premises. It noted that it had been tentatively agreed that the contribution might be utilized for rent of further additional premises which might be required in 1972–73, an Associate Expert scheme providing for recruitment from developing countries and some nongovernmental projects in Africa under the aegis of FFH/Action for Development.
133. The Director-General assured the Council that funds received by way of special contributions from the Italian Government would not be used in such a way that FAO would be faced with continuing commitments for the Organization.
Developments in Management/Staff Relations.
134. The Chairman of the Finance Committee introduced these items which had been dealt with by the Finance Committee at its Twenty-Sixth Session. In view of the limited time available for discussion of these important items, the Council recommended that they be placed on the Agenda for its Fifty-Ninth Session.
135. With regard to Management/Staff Relations, the Council noted statements made by the Chairman of the Staff Council and the Director-General 1.
136. The Council took note of the other matters covered in the report of the Twenty-Sixth Session of the Finance Committee.
1 CL 57/LIM/5.